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Bad Communication Named Reason for LAFD Deaths

Bad Communication Named Reason for LAFD Deaths

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Associated Press

May 01, 2010

LOS ANGELES—A new report says poor communications and unexpected fire conditions caused the deaths of two firefighters whose truck plunged off a mountain road last year during a massive Los Angeles County wildfire.

Capt. Tedmund Hall and Arnaldo Quinones died on Aug. 30 during the 250-square-mile Station fire in the foothills above Los Angeles.

A county Fire Department report issued this month says Hall and Quinones had been setting backfires in an unsuccessful bid to slow walls of flame threatening their fire camp.

The report says their deaths might have been prevented if the camp had better warning of the unexpectedly fierce fire behavior and if firefighters had chosen to leave instead of trying to defend the camp. But it also praises quick action for saving 72 others as flames overran the camp.