In Honor of Firefighter Mark Falkenhan, CLOSE THE DOOR!

mark falkenhan

Firefighter Mark Falkenhan
(Photo courtesy of Holding 1&1)

On the evening on January 19, 2011 Fire Fighter Mark Falkenhan lost his life while working inside a building fire.

While we should try to honor all LODD, this one holds a special place in my heart because at the time of his death I was on my quest to learn more about fire behavior and was reviewing the latest reports from UL and NIST. These reports along withtalking to actual smart firefighters I soonrealize that I really needed to know more about fire behavior,than justhow to quote what fire is.If most firefighters were truly honest with themselves and their crew they would have to acknowledge that they have been trained to recite the definition of fire and have fought many fires however, the depth of mostof theirknowledge about fire is only a canned response from whatthey learned in recruit class.

It is refreshing to see brothers that are honest and admit they have much to learn about fire even though they have fought many fires and this morning these brothers made me proud of them and the excellent work they are doing on Holding 1&1. Check out a good honest post they wrote about how Firefighter Mark Falkenhan death was not in vain and they have also made it their quest to learn more about fire behavior.

As I mentioned before the time of Mark’s death I was actively reading over and over the latest reports that were coming out and trying to soak it all in.I was beginning to notice that regardless of rather the report was from UL, NIST, Kill The Flashover orUK and Sweden scientist the common theme was if the door was closed the fire was controlled. Also around this timeframe I had afacebook conversation with Chief ShawnOke about how much impact a closed door had on fire behavior and saving both firefighters and civilians life’s.

Chief Oke conversation motivated me to take the CLOSE THE DOOR message to the masses. Thenunfortunatelycame 30 Dowling Circle 01.19.2011 Box 11-09. This incident and Firefighter Mark Falkenhan death made my desire to spread the message about closing the door become a driven passion.

So the best way we can honor Firefighter Mark Falkenhan today is too revisit information about this incident and other credible fire behavior sources.

ATF MAYDAY/LODD Fire Modeling Analysis with Scene Audio, FF Mark Falkenhan, Baltimore County FD:


Baltimore County (MD) Fire Department 30 Dowling Circle FireLine of Duty Death Investigation Report (Here)

ATF Report (Here)

Another great read on this incidentfrom my friend Chief Christopher Naum (Here)

While we can see from the modeling and reports that if the original fire room had been closed we still mighthave Firefighter Mark Falkenhan here today! However here is some photos from the same incident where crews done a proper VES saved a life and closed the door which had a huge impact on the fire damage in that room.



Behind the CLOSED DOOR!

Behind the CLOSED DOOR!


Firefighter Mark Falkenhan isn’t the only firefighter who still might havebeen here with ustoday if we had gotten the message to the general public. So lets do more than talk about being our brothers and sisters keeper lets do it by spreading the CLOSE THE DOOR message to everyone we know!




Online Class @ Fire Training Toolbox (Here)

Articles: (Here) (Here)

GoodFire Behavior Knowledge Resources:

UL Firefighter Safety(Here)

NIST (Here)

CFBT-US (Here)

Kill The Flashover (Here)

ISFSI (Here)

Fire Training Toolbox (Here) (Here)

Fire UK (Here)

Enclosure Fires Sweden (Here)

Now you have NO excuse to only know to put the wet stuff on the red stuff!!!

Please sharein honor of Firefighter Mark Falkenhan!

Stay Safe

Captain John Shafer


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John Shafer

An 18 year veteran of  the fire service, and currently a Lieutenant and the Training Officer for the Greencastle Fire Department.  An Indiana regionally recognized instructor on building construction, fireground search and command management, he has traveled throughout the State of Indiana delivering specialized training programs on building construction, fireground search and firefighter safety.

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