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This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for work injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by work injuries.

Three Workers Die in a Thanksgiving Tower Fire in Dallas, Texas – Part 1

Monday, December 15th, 2014
English: Thanksgiving Tower from Lane Street.

English: Thanksgiving Tower from Lane Street. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A fire broke out in Dallas’ Thanksgiving Tower at about 11 a.m. on Thursday. Approximately 2,800 people evacuated the building, but three workers who were working in a thermal storage tank did not survive. They were working on the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning unit when the fire started on level B2 of the Elm Street garage. Visibility, heat, and a concern that the fire was caused by an electrical problem kept Dallas Fire-Rescue from immediately entering the 50-story building. As the building’s occupants walked down numerous flights of stairs, quite a few were affected by smoke; but most were simply treated outside the tower. At least two people were taken to nearby hospitals to be treated for smoke inhalation suffered during evacuation.

The deceased are relatives Luis and Nicacio Carrillo and 36-year-old Oscar Esparza-Romo. The cause of the death of the three welders is as yet unknown and will be determined by the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office. According to a spokesperson for the contractor the men worked for, the welders had the appropriate safety equipment and were informed about evacuation procedures.

Jason Evans, spokesperson for Dallas Fire-Rescue, said the flames and thick smoke adjacent to an electrical facility close to the storage tank where the welders were working led the firefighters to believe that it was an electrical fire. According to protocol, they had to wait for power to be disconnected before they could fight the flames, to avoid being electrocuted or shocked. They later realized that more investigation is needed to determine the cause of the deadly blaze.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to equip workers with plans for workplace emergencies and evacuations. Read more in this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor

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