Heroism: Remembering Another April Firefighter Death Linked to 2x Floor Joists

Originally published by: FirefightersCloseCalls.comApril 10, 2014

The following article was produced and published by the source linked to above, who is solely responsible for its content. SBC Magazine is publishing this story to raise awareness of information publicly available online and does not verify the accuracy of the author’s claims. As a consequence, SBC cannot vouch for the validity of any facts, claims or opinions made in the article.

Editor’s Note: SBC Industry News has recently shared a series of firefighter-related news items that has made us reflect on the IRC code change proposal effectively banning the use of trusses and I-joists from residential markets that have basements. The news items contained in this SBC Industry News-Special Edition! provide a retrospective on the facts surrounding the need for a ½” gypsum wallboard membrane to be applied to everything but 2x10 floor joists that became part of the 2012 model code. It is clear this code change has altered the free market to favor 2x10s, where all other structural floor member alternatives are now more expensive. This is important news from a public policy point of view so we have included hyperlinks to other recent, related news items, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

April 11 is the anniversary of the Line of Duty Death of New Jersey Firefighter/Foreman Kevin Apuzzio...who gave his life while attempting to save the life of a trapped civilian. Below are the factual details from the Incident Commander....Chief Danny Krushinski of the East Franklin (NJ) FD :

"....On April 11th, 2006, many of our lives changed in a heartbeat, especially the life of 21 year old Firefighter Kevin Apuzzio. Kevin stood courageous on the front lawn of 36 Whittier Avenue and said "Chief, what do you need my crew and I to do?" I Said "Kevin, go in ...and get her." While it only seems like yesterday, to me it is still clear as day. With a house full of heavy smoke and an elderly women confirmed trapped, Kevin (and crew) did not hesitate and attempted to rescue her. I knew when the floor collapsed and my Firefighters fell into that basement -literally just feet from removing her out the front door, from that point forward, their lives along with many others would be changed forever. While several were seriously injured and burned, Kevin lost his life with the victim he and his Brothers were valiantly trying to save.

Kevin Apuzzio, you will always be by our side and your name is tattooed on my arm to prove it. On that day, you lost your life and became a hero doing something you loved to do that was helping strangers...."

"Tomorrow, my family which includes the men and women of Station 27, my wife and children and the Apuzzio Family will again be spending the day together. We will share stories about our hero's life and not mourn Kevin, but celebrate his life and all that he stood for. God bless you Kevin, continue to watch over us each and every day...."
Chief of Department Dan Krushinski-EFFD

On April 11, 2006, Foreman Kevin Apuzzio died while he and four members of the East Franklin VFD selflessly and heroically attempted to rescue 75-year-old Betty Scott from a single family dwelling fire. Foreman Apuzzio died when he became trapped after falling through a floor that collapsed into a well involved basement....he fell just a few feet from the front door - with Mrs Scott in hand. Mrs. Scott also died in the fire as Kevin and crew were attempting to remove her.

It is sadly but widely acknowledged, that most FF LODD's can be prevented. However, in this case, it is well documented that Kevin died while he and his crew were heroically attempting a rescue - that based upon conditions and size up, was the right thing to do.

We take a moment to once again remember Kevin, the Apuzzio Family and the members of the East Franklin FD, along with all area FD's that were impacted by the Line of Duty Death of Kevin. Rest in Peace.
HERE is the FIRE / LODD REPORT: http://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/dfs/reports/eastfranklin.pdf
HERE is the EFFD Website: http://www.station27.com/
HERE is a related VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w05Y6saNYEw

Related Articles:

Check out this extra section in each digital issue of SBC Magazine for additional news, perspective, and advertiser content. Learn more and access 2016-2017 archives here.