Fire fighter killed, another injured in massive Queensland factory fire, Australia
Queensland fire fighters had to rescue their colleagues from a massive factory fire, with two female fire fighters rushed to hospital in a serious condition after the fire broke out at a factory south of Brisbane on Tuesday, 2 May 2023. Emergency crews were called just before 02h30am to reports of large amounts of black smoke at Slacks Creek. Some 45 fire fighters were involved in the operation, Queensland Fire and Emergency Service Deputy Commissioner Michael Wassing said. There were 18 fire appliances on the scene as part of a major effort to contain the fire on the Pacific Highway at Slacks Creek south of Brisbane.
Fire fighter Izabella Nash was revived with CPR on scene before being rushed to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital in a critical condition. The 46-year-old was pronounced dead just after 21h00 on Tuesday.
A second fire fighter, Lia Drew, was taken to hospital in a serious condition. She has since been moved to the burns unit where she is being treated for injuries to her hands and arms.
Multiple crews were involved in the rescue and one of the injured fire fighters required CPR once they were outside the building, Deputy Commissioner Wassing, said. “It was certainly during the hottest part of our fire fighting operations,” he added. “It is very rare that our fire fighters are injured in this way and that’s because of the enormity of the training and the professionalism of our fire fighters.”
The rescue was performed by breathing apparatus safety teams and there are systems used to alert crews to fire fighters’ locations. “That’s how they effected the rescue,” Deputy Commissioner Wassing said.
The fire was finally extinguished at about 06h00am and a crime scene has since been declared.
A man suffered minor injuries and was also transported to hospital.
Queensland Ambulance responded with “numerous additional units” when the firefighters were injured while trying to control the blaze, the medical director, Stephen Rashford, said.
A warning was issued to residents in the neighbouring area just after 03h00am to shut doors and windows as smoke gushed from the site. “There is a large amount of smoke in the surrounding area, including Springwood,” a Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokesman said. “Nearby residents are asked to close windows and doors and those suffering from a respiratory condition should keep medications close by.” Traffic on the Pacific Highway was “seriously affected” and motorists were being urged to drive with caution.
Statement regarding passing of fire fighter Izabella Nash “It is with heavy hearts we can confirm a Fire and Rescue Service firefighter has passed away overnight following a factory fire at Slacks Creek early yesterday morning. Izabella Nash joined the Fire and Rescue Service in 2014 and served as a First Class Fire Fighter”, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said in their statement.
“A second fire fighter, Lia Drew, who is a Senior Fire Fighter, remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition.”
“The thoughts of all QFES members are with Izzy’s and Lia’s families, friends and fellow crew members. Investigations into this incident are underway.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her thoughts were with Nash's family. "She was clearly devoted to her job, on the frontline supporting her fellow Queenslanders," she said. "Izabella's passing is a terribly sad and poignant reminder of the dangers our frontline staff face on a daily basis."
Fire and emergency services minister Mark Ryan said Ms Nash's bravery would not be forgotten. "Fire fighters face danger every day, they show courage and bravery," Minister Ryan said. "Izzy did that on behalf of all of us, so for us to honour her is the least we can do for the sacrifice she's made."
Sources: Queensland Fire and Emergency Service, The Guardian, News.com, ABC News
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