Author Topic: 6-27-80...FFs FRISBY & FITZPATRICK LODDs.  (Read 4858 times)

Offline 68jk09

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6-27-80...FFs FRISBY & FITZPATRICK LODDs.
« on: June 27, 2017, 09:37:23 PM »
June 27, 1980
Manhattan Box 33-1651
512 W. 151st Street
FF GERRY FRISBY LAD*28 & FF LARRY FITZPATRICK R*3..... The Fire occurred early in the evening on a Friday night tour i was not there .....i never had met FF Frisby but i had known Larry ...He had 8 children & his Wife was pregnant w/the ninth..... he had been a Member of the Bravest Football Team & prior to going to R*3 he was a FF in LAD*26.....a quote i always remembered was from one of the other FFs that were on the roof that night... "Larry saw the FF in the window in trouble & never looked twice just went over the side to get him".......i was a FF in R*2 & we worked in R*3 during the 9x6 of the Funeral & the 6x9 that night....another FF & close friend of Larry's (Danny N.) stopped by R*3s qtrs that night w/some of Larry's Children...it was very sad....all 3 rigs 93..45 & R*3 were in qtrs....his Daughter Shannon pointed at the Rescue Rig & said to me..... "is this my Fathers Truck?".....she did not say "was" she said "is"....i still start to tear up thinking about her innocence that evening ....i said to myself that i would call my next Daughter Shannon...years later i did & my Shannon will be 29 later this year.........CONTINUED REST IN PEACE TO OUR BROTHERS FRISBY & FITZPATRICK.....PRAYERS FOR THE COMFORT OF THE FAMILIES......NEVER FORGET !



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6-27-80...FFs FRISBY & FITZPATRICK LODDs.
« on: June 27, 2017, 09:37:23 PM »

Offline STAjo

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Re: 6-27-80...FFs FRISBY & FITZPATRICK LODDs.
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2017, 10:39:39 PM »

 God Bless Those Who Serve, and Those Who Mourn.    :'(

Offline mikeindabronx

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Re: 6-27-80...FFs FRISBY & FITZPATRICK LODDs.
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2017, 11:37:42 PM »
Continued Rest in Peace

From their plaque dedication ceremony:









Offline 1261Truckie

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Re: 6-27-80...FFs FRISBY & FITZPATRICK LODDs.
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2017, 11:05:21 AM »
Continued Rest in Peace to Firefighters Fitzpatrick and Frisby. Continued thoughts and prayers for their families at home and at the Hilton and Big Blue.

Offline mack

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Re: 6-27-80...FFs FRISBY & FITZPATRICK LODDs.
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2017, 05:29:45 PM »
512 WEST 151 STREET, MANHATTAN:  On a warm summer night on June 27th, 1980, a fire occurred in Harlem that still has an impact on the day to day operations in the FDNY.  It was one of the most significant fires in the history of the FDNY.  It is commonly known as the “Fitzpatrick/Frisby” fire. 
At around 1830 hours on June 27th, 1980, Manhattan Box 1651 was transmitted for a fire on the 6th floor of 512 West 151 Street.  The alarm was for a reported gas explosion in apartment 61.  The entire kitchen area was engulfed in flames.  The original response assignment was Engines 84 and 80, Ladders 34 and 23 and Battalion 16.  At 1835 hours, Engine 84 arrived and transmitted a 10-75.  (Historical Note:  All Engine Companies responding to this fire were 5-Firefighter Engines.)  An additional Engine and Ladder was requested immediately.  Engine 69, and Ladder 28 were dispatched.  Rescue 3 was operating at a fire at White Plains Road in the Bronx at the change of tours.  The Bronx Fire Dispatcher sent Rescue 3 to the fire at  W. 151 Street in Manhattan as soon as they were available.  Ladder 28 arrived at 1840 hours and Rescue 3 arrived at 1850 hours.  Deputy Chief William Alford of the 5th Division arrived at the box and took command at 1842 hours. 

The fire building was a 7 story, class 3 new law tenement.  There were four apartments per floor.  It had an open stairway in the middle of the building that went around an elevator.  There were fire escapes on the building.  The fire apartment’s fire escape was a party wall balcony in the air shaft which connected to the exposure 4 building. 
Engine 84 stretched the first hand line to the 6th floor and to apartment 61.  This was a long, difficult stretch.  The stairway encircled the elevator shaft up the center of the building.  They got water on the fire at approximately 1845 hours.  Engine 80 had the 2nd hose line.  With the difficulty of the stretch and the water pressure issues Engine 80 experienced, their line was in place and operating on the 7th floor about 10 minutes after the first hose line. 
Battalion Chief Michael Meagher was the Chief in the 16th Battalion.  He assigned Ladder 28, commanded by Lieutenant Tom Neary, to work on the top (7th) floor.  Lieutenant Neary is a legendary figure in FDNY history.  He is one of two members to have been awarded the James Gordon Bennett Medal twice.  The forcible entry Firefighter for Ladder 28 was Fr. Francis Musumeci E-59 (Det.), a 7-year veteran.  The Can Firefighter for Ladder 28 was Fr. Jerry Frisby who had a year and a half on the Job.  They searched apartment 72 on the top floor and the primary search of that apartment was negative.  Fire had extended to the 7th floor already and into the cockloft.  The smoke condition on the 6th and 7th floors was heavy. 
When Rescue 3 arrived at the fire, they were assigned to operate on the roof.  Their officer was Lieut. Billy O’Meara.  On the roof as well was Fr. Larry Fitzpatrick, Fr. Conrad (Connie) Tinney, Fr. William Murphy, Fr. John Schneible and Fr. Robert Foley.  Rescue 3 brought two saws to the roof to attempt vertical ventilation of the roaring cockloft fire.  Fr. Foley brought the life saving rope to the roof.  A vent hole was cut over the 1 line of apartments and trench cuts were started in an attempt to keep the fire from spreading to the rear apartments.  Heavy fire was showing out of every cut that was made in the roof. 
Ladder 28 entered apartment 71, the apartment directly over the original fire apartment.  Already operating in this apartment was Engine 80 and Ladder 23.  Ladder 28 assisted these two units in operations.  Fire had extended to apartment 71 already.  Conditions in apartment 71 and the cockloft were severe enough that the three companies withdrew from this apartment to apartment 73 in the rear of the building.  The effects of Carbon Monoxide poisoning were beginning to show with Ladder 28’s forcible entry team.  Lieut. Neary ordered the members of his forcible entry team to leave apartment 71.  When Lieut. Neary and Fr. Musumeci left apartment 71 to seek refuge in apartment 73, Fr. Frisby was not with them.  He lost contact with his officer.  Once inside apartment 73, Lieut. Neary realized Fr. Frisby was not with them.  Lieut. Neary left apartment 73 to search for Fr. Frisby. 
Fr. Frisby was seen by Firefighters from Engine 37 in the stairway between the 6th and 7th floors at around 1905 hours.  He was in an apparent search for his officer.  He returned to apartment 71, the last known location of Lieut. Neary and Fr. Musumeci.  At approximately 1915 hours, Firefighter Robert Sexton E-93 noticed a Fireman slumped out of a window of apartment 71, which was now involved in fire.  The firefighter hanging out of the window was Fr. Jerry Frisby.  He was slumped over a child-guard gate and appeared to be semi-conscious.  Fr. Sexton straddled the 7th floor party wall balcony and the window where Fr. Frisby was.  He shook Fr. Frisby in an attempt to awaken him.  Fr. Frisby’s eyes rolled backwards and did not respond to Fr. Sexton.  Fire was now showing at the ceiling and top of the window of where Fr. Frisby was slumped.  Engine 93 had a hand line on the opposite side of the air shaft.  They directed their stream over the head of Fr. Frisby to protect him from the encroaching fire. 
At around the same time, Fr. Robert Foley R-3 and Fr. William Murphy R-3 heard the commotion on the 7th floor and spotted Fr. Jerry Frisby at the 7th floor window.  Fr. Foley, who was on the non-fire side of the trench cut, threw the “Roof Rope” over the venting fire to the other members who were closer to the window where Fr. Frisby was trapped.  Fr. William Murphy R-3 deployed his personal rope and performed a single slide evolution to reach Fr. Frisby.  His personal rope was secured by Fr. Thomas Nomack L-23.  When Fr. Murphy R-3 made it to the window, Fr. Sexton E-93 went back to the party-wall balcony.  Fr. Murphy R-3 made it to the 7th floor window and he attempted to arouse Fr. Frisby.  Fr. Murphy first thought was that Fr. Frisby might jump out the window.  He then thought he might be able to attach Fr. Frisby to his personal rope and swing him over to the party-wall balcony.  Fr. Murphy could not lift Fr. Frisby so he stayed with him until the “Roof Rope” could be deployed.  (Historical Note:  At the time, the rope was called the “Roof Rope”.  It wasn’t until after this fire and the changes to the equipment and procedures that followed that the name was changed to the “Life Saving Rope”.  In addition, the lowering evolution was different in 1980.  It involved planting the hook of the personal harness or the Atlas Life Belt into the parapet wall.)
Fr. Larry Fitzpatrick R-3 prepared himself for the rope rescue.  He hooked the rope to his harness.  Lieut. O’Meara R-3 was supervising the preparations for the evolution.  Events were happening quickly.  Performing the lowering evolution was Fr. Tinney R-3, Fr. Foley R-3, Fr. Robert Borcherding L-28 and Fr. Dan Beckworth L-28.  Everything was set.  Fr. Tinney told the other members holding the rope to “dig in” as the force of the rescue pick-up would challenge these strong men.  Fr. Fitzpatrick dismounted the parapet and made it to the window where Fr. Frisby was.  Smoke and flame was venting upward out of the window.  Fr. Murphy R-3 was on the other side of the window, still on his personal rope.  Fr. Fitzpatrick grabbed Fr. Frisby around the chest and under the arms and lifted him clear of the window.  There was a brief period of elation.  Someone shouted “Larry’s got him!”  Without warning, things went horribly wrong. Fr. Fitzpatrick swung away from the window to get away from the venting fire.  Suddenly, the rope broke.  The rope broke about 8 feet from the hook at the end.  Yelling could be heard, then, a loud thud.  On the roof at the lowering point, the rope went slack.  Fr. Tinney described it as someone letting go of a “tug-of-war” rope.  Lieut. O’Meara yelled, “Oh my God, they’re down.”  The end of the rope that was on the roof looked like it had a ball of cotton at the end.Fr. Bob Foley R-3 and Fr. John Schneible R-3 raced down exposure 4 and made it to the fallen Firefighters first.  Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation was administered to both men.  They were taken to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.  Both men were pronounced at the hospital. 
Fr. Larry Fitzpatrick of Rescue 3 was 38 years old.  He left a pregnant wife, and 8 children.  Fr. Jerry Frisby of Ladder 28 was 27 years old and was single.  “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  Rest in peace Brothers.
THE AFTERMATH:
   The current rope is described as being made of “continuous filament nylon”.  The old rope was not. The rope was changed.  The original rope was ˝ inch.  The current rope is 9/16 inch.
   Rope use rules were established.  If it is used once for a rescue, it is taken out of service.  It is to be used for life saving purposes only.  It is not to be used for drill purposes.  There were no rope use rules with the old rope.  This event led to the establishment of the NFPA Standard 1983 that addresses Life Saving Rope, Personal Rope, Harnesses, Belts, Throw Lines, and Hardware.
   When subjected to the weight of one person, it is to be examined for any signs of damage.  Safety Command shall be notified by the Officer and journal entries made.  There was no such rule with the old rope
   If a rope is frozen, it is placed out of service and a replacement obtained.  This was not mentioned with the old rope
   A dirty rope can be damaging to the rope.  It must be cleaned with mild soap and water and dried.  There was no such rule with the old rope.
   Ropes that are damaged or show wear are put out of service and replaced.  The old rope rules considered a “Frayed Rope” as a strong rope.
   If a rope has a persistent rust stain now, it is taken out of service.
   If a rope is exposed to acid or their fumes now, it is taken out of service.
   If a rope is exposed to high heat (over 300 degrees F), it progressively loses strength.  It is placed out of service. 
   The new rope has an anti-chafing device with the rope ensemble.  The old rule wanted Firefighters to place a work glove or a turnout coat between the roof’s edge and the rope. 

   The widely circulated theory of the rope failing was that the coping tile on the parapet cracked and cut the rope.  The rope did not break because of a broken coping tile.  That is an urban myth.  It was proven through forensic examination that the rope separated and broke.  Members who were at the lowering point told investigators that the coping tile showed no signs of cracking or breaking during the rescue.  The rope actually broke 2 feet below the top of the parapet wall.  As can be seen by the photo below, there was a broken coping tile at the point of rope deployment.  It was determined through investigation that the coping tile was inexplicably broken after the fire was “under control”.  The ropes were under suspicion and were being tested at the time of this fire.  Three separate testing laboratories found that the ropes in service circa 1980 had a breaking strength that was well below fire department standards. 
   Strict inspection procedures were developed.  Guidelines for the inspection were established.  Proper record keeping was initiated (Rope Record Cards). 
   New rope rescue evolutions were established.  The evolution now states that the life saving rope now has to be tied to a substantial object.
   New personal harnesses were developed.  These personal harnesses evolved into what has been issued today.
   We no longer inspect the life saving rope on the apparatus floor.  By not inspecting the rope on the apparatus floor, we reduce abrasion to the rope and it eliminates contact with damaging chemicals.
It is my sincere hope that after reading this essay that the members of this fire department look at life saving rope inspection time with new reverence.  These two members died because they didn’t have the equipment and procedures that are in place today.  Honor their memory by doing a meticulous inspection of the life saving rope each time you are tasked with it.  Know your knots and practice them.  Practice your evolutions. 

      - Division 7 Newsletter June 2015











« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 05:51:55 PM by mack »

Offline entropychaser

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Re: 6-27-80...FFs FRISBY & FITZPATRICK LODDs.
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2017, 09:49:48 AM »
Heard walking out of the ER at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital....."(Dick) Hannon told us not to use that rope"         Also, John Mulroy was the fifth FF working in Rescue that night.

Offline 68jk09

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Re: 6-27-80...FFs FRISBY & FITZPATRICK LODDs.
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2019, 06:54:00 PM »
CONTINUED REST IN PEACE BROTHERS.

Offline entropychaser

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Re: 6-27-80...FFs FRISBY & FITZPATRICK LODDs.
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2019, 07:13:12 PM »
So why did it require a change of Fire Commissioners to finally get rid of the rope?

Offline mikeindabronx

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Re: 6-27-80...FFs FRISBY & FITZPATRICK LODDs.
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2019, 07:16:08 PM »
Continued Rest In Peace

Offline STAjo

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Re: 6-27-80...FFs FRISBY & FITZPATRICK LODDs.
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2019, 08:11:36 PM »

 God Bless Those Who Serve; Continued Rest In Peace

Offline nfd2004

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Re: 6-27-80...FFs FRISBY & FITZPATRICK LODDs.
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2019, 08:54:03 AM »
 Firefighters from across the country remember this tragic event. It was a tragic event that every firefighter felt when they saw of this on the news.

 It will NEVER be forgotten by any firefighter who was around during this horrible event.

 Chief JK, my condolences on the loss of your good friend and seeing those kids the next day would be tough for any of us to deal with. 

Offline 1261Truckie

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Re: 6-27-80...FFs FRISBY & FITZPATRICK LODDs.
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2019, 10:13:47 AM »
Continued Rest in Peace

 

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