There were breakdowns in the communication between firefighters attacking the fatal November fire that killed three Coos Bay firefighters, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division said Friday.
There was a failure to immediately establish a command structure at the fire scene.
There was a failure to obey a "two-in, two-out" rule that requires firefighters to be suited up and waiting outside a burning structure while two others are inside.
In all, OSHA's nearly six-month investigation was capped Friday by a finding of 16 violations of federal safety standards, 13 of them classified as serious. The findings resulted in $50,450 in fines against the city of Coos Bay.
Fire Chief Stan Gibson, praised in November for quickly identifying the smoldering blaze at the Farwest Truck & Auto Supply store, took the brunt of OSHA's criticism without visible emotion Friday morning. He had perhaps saved four lives in November by ordering the building evacuated when he noticed the roof of the building was turning spongy during the early stages of the fight.
Standing among a small press crowd gathered on a landing outside Coos Bay City Hall, where OSHA officials set up a folding table and an American flag, Gibson made no comments and issued no appeals to OSHA's findings. Instead, he listened, stoically, to the report.