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Update: West Virginia Firefighter Killed in Secondary Collapse at Cell Phone Tower Rescue, Two Workers Also Dead

WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Department Statement – Sunday 8pm

On February 1, 2014, the Nutter Fort Fire Department responded to a rescue incident involving multiple patients due to a reported cell phone tower collapse on Murphy’s Run in Summit Park, WV.

While rescuing a victim, Firefighter/EMT-I Michael Garrett was severely injured during a secondary collapse. Michael was then transported to United Hospital Center where he succumbed to his injuries.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time, but will be released upon finalization.

Michael-Dale-GarrettWBOY.com, Republished with Permission

State Police have released the names of three men that died Saturday after the collapse of a cellular phone tower.

Two men were killed and two men were injured as they were making structural repairs to the tower when it fell.

A Nutter Fort Volunteer Fireman was also killed when a second tower collapsed. The second tower was weakened by the collapse of the first tower, officials said.

The two injured workers, and an additional injured firefighter were transported to Ruby Memorial hospital and United Hospital Center for treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

Nutter Fort West Virginia Fire DepartmentThe names of those who died as a result of this incident are Kyle Kirkpatrick, 32, from Hulbert, Oklahoma, Terry Lee Richard, Jr., 27, Bokoshe, Oklahoma. Nutter Fort Volunteer Firefighter Michael Dale Garrett, 28, Clarksburg, W.Va.

Prior Update from WBOY

A firefighter has now died as a result of injuries suffered from a cell tower collapse in Harrison County, West Virginia.

Nutter Fort Fire Chief Jeremy Haddix confirmed the death in a statement sent out Saturday.

“It is with great sadness that the Nutter Fort Fire Department is confirming the line of duty death of one of our members. The firefighter was injured on scene in Summit Park during a secondary collapse at the cell tower, and transported to United Hospital Center,” said Haddix.

“While being treated the firefighter succumbed to his injuries. No name is being released at this time. Further details will be released at a later date. We ask that you keep his family and all members of the Nutter Fort Fire Department in your prayers. Please refrain from contacting the fire department for further information.”

Nutter Fort Volunteer Fire Department: Web Site | Facebook

Associated Press Report

Photo via Nutter Fort Fire Department
Photo via Nutter Fort Fire Department
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — A 300-foot cellphone tower collapsed Saturday and minutes later a smaller tower fell, killing two contractors and a firefighter, authorities said.

The contractors were tethered to the larger tower when it collapsed in Clarksburg, State Police Cpl. Mark Waggamon said. A firefighter with the Nutter Fort Fire Department was killed when he was walking from his vehicle to the scene.

Two other contractors working on the larger tower were hurt and taken to a hospital. Waggamon described their injuries as serious but not life-threatening.

Waggamon said three of the workers were more than 60 feet up on the tower. One of those workers was killed along with a co-worker who was about 20 feet up when the tower toppled.

Two other workers at the site were not injured.

Waggamon said the weight of the collapsed tower put stress on guide wires to the smaller tower.

The crew was doing maintenance to strengthen the tower’s support when the accident occurred, Waggamon said. He said the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate.

The towers are owned by SBA Communications, which hired workers from S&S Communications to remove the tall tower’s diagonal supports and replace them with new ones. Phone messages left with the companies were not returned Saturday evening.

Steven Thompson, a member of the Summit Park Volunteer Fire Department, said about three dozen people from eight fire departments in the area responded. He said rescue personnel had to use four-wheel-drive and all-terrain vehicles because snow had made a mess of the gravel road leading to the site, which was on a ridge about 200 feet above a main road. He said the first crews still arrived 10 to 15 minutes after the call.

The victims’ names were not immediately released.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

First Report from WBOY.com

Two people are confirmed dead, and three injured after the collapse of a cell tower on Saturday.

It happened just after 11:30 a.m. on Murphy’s Run Road in the Summit Park area of Clarksburg.

Summit Park Volunteer Fire Department’s Fire Chief said four contractors were approximately 80 to 100 feet up on the tower, and harnessed to it, when it collapsed.

A firefighter from the Nutter Fort Fire Department was injured, after debris fell while trying to remove one of the contractors.

That firefighter was stabilized by rescue personnel and taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. The remaining two contractors were flown by helicopter also to Ruby Memorial Hospital.

Their conditions are unknown at this time.

Officials said the workers were trying reinforce the tower when the accident happened.

Officials said the workers were subcontracted by a company called SNS.

This is a breaking news story. Firefighters Worldwide will have additional information as it becomes available.

About the Nutter Fort Fire Department via Web Site

The Nutter Fort Volunteer Fire Department is located in central Harrison County, WV. Located just minutes from downtown Clarksburg and Bridgeport, we serve an area of 88 square miles covering a small portion of Interstate 79 as well as a stretch of US Route 20 and US Route 57 through the communities of Nutter Fort, Quiet Dell, Center Branch, Walnut Hill, Willow Beach, Craigmoor, Romines Mills, and Bicetown. We also provide mutual aid to every fire department in Harrison County and to any agency that needs our assistance. Our goal is to protect the citizens we serve from threats against life and property, to develop and train to increase knowledge and skill, while showing pride, dedication, courage, respect, kindness, patience, and compassion.

We are blessed to have a roster of over 35 firefighters, both men and women, actively serving the department. We respond to more than 600 calls per year ranging from fires, vehicle accidents, medical emergencies, and public service calls. We are also a licensed Rapid Response BLS agency through WVOEMS to ensure the best medical care possible. Our apparatus consist of two engines, one heavy rescue, a tanker, two utility trucks each with different roles, a brush unit, a ranger for off road rescue, fire suppression, and recovery, and a boat.

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