Suit: Fallen St. Louis Firefighter's Equipment Failed

April 16, 2024
The family of Benjamin Polson, who died in a 2022 St. Louis house fire, said his PASS alarm did not sound.

A lawsuit has been filed by the family of fallen St. Louis firefighter Benjamin Polson, saying his SCBA equipment was faulty.

Polson responded to a Jan. 13, 2022 fire in a vacant home when part of the roof collapsed and trapped him.

According to the lawsuit, his Personal Alert Safety System (PASS) alarm did not sound, reported

The suit claims that firefighters searched for Polson in the basement and first floor because the 3M and Scott PASS alarm did not go off and indicate that he was trapped in debris on the second floor.

In a statement to the television station, 3M wrote "We express our condolences to the friends and family of Benjamin Polson. 3M stands by our products and our record of helping protect the safety of first responders."

A report showed that Polson died from smoke inhalation.

In the filing, it said Polson suffered extreme pain, fear, suffering and harm. Other lawsuits, the claim says, said similar instances were in California, New York, Philadelphia and Texas.

The tragic fire sparked new policies in how St. Louis firefighters approach their tactics at vacant structure fires.

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Content curated and written by Firehouse editorial staff, including Susan Nicol, Steven Shaw, Peter Matthews, Ryan Baker and Rich Dzierwa.