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Radio Problems Cited in Former Deutsche Bank Building Fire

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Firefighters had a lot of trouble communicating by radio when they fought a fire last year at the former Deutsche Bank building at the World Trade Center site. Firefighters made more than 30 distress calls from inside the burning building, but not all of them were heard.

A Fire Department official says the 14 maydays and 19 urgent distress signals were sent from firefighters climbing stairs in a maze of hazards including blocked stairwells and negative air pressure. Firefighters also had to wait more than an hour to get water on the fire because of a disabled standpipe.

Two firefighters lost their lives in that blaze, and today a report by investigators hired by the FDNY is to be released. The report recommends training firefighters in radio communication and the use of air tanks.

The report does not explain why the fire department hadn't inspected the partially dismantled building in over a year.

Related: Deutsche Bank Fire, A Look Back

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