Three firefighters sent to hospital for smoke inhalation after ‘Mayday’ calls

Chilling audio of a Memphis Engine 1 calling for multiple Mayday’s called at a large Warehouse fire. Engine 1 calls for multiple Mayday’s during the incident. After reviewing the audio of the Mayday command appears to be having a difficult time hearing and locating the Mayday. It sounds like Truck 2 recovers the crew calling the Mayday. Three Firefighters were sent to the hospital, it’s unknown at this time the extent of their injuries. Engine 1 clearly states they are running out of  air multiple times.


Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee

“(WMC-TV) – In chilling audio recorded during a distress call, a firefighter who lost his way inside a warehouse pleaded for help. One victim shouted “Mayday” multiple times.

Three firefighters were sent to the hospital for smoke inhalation after working a fire at the Memphis Kruger plant Saturday. Click here to listen to the full audio; the Mayday call starts 29 minutes into the timeline.

Fire veterans sent Action News 5 their concerns that recent staffing and apparatus cuts contributed to the incident’s dangerous conditions.

“In this line of work, it’s a very dangerous job,” said Memphis Fire Director Alvin Benson.

Benson says the number of people and apparatus on the ground had nothing to do with the injuries.

“It had nothing to do with the number of trucks, the budget or anything like that in this case.”

Fire Union President Thomas Malone calls for the city to do a full and thorough investigation.

“We almost lost, possibly, up to three people,” said Malone.

While the director said cuts did not aggravate the situation Saturday, he cannot yet say what did cause the injuries.

“We’re still investigating what happened,” said Benson.

All involved say they will do whatever it takes to make sure a situation such as this one never happens again.

“Any time something like this happens, we have a lot of concerns and a lot more questions,” said Malone.

The city is considering more cuts to the fire department. In recent meetings, the fire director told the council that the department hit the limit on cuts before safety becomes a concern.

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