PA Firefighters Sue Engineers For Collapse

Two Pennsylvania firefighters have filed suit against an engineering firm and an engineer who they claim are responsible for a floor collapse that injured them and killed two other firefighters during mop-up operations at a fire scene.

Assistant Fire Chief Greg Altland and Firefighter Erik Swanson of the York Fire Department filed separate suits against Carney Engineering Group Inc. and Josh Carney yesterday in the York County Court of Common Pleas. The firefighters’ wives were also listed as plaintiffs in the actions.

The suits stem from a fire last March at the Weaver Piano building. Two days after the fire, York firefighters Ivan Flanscha, 50, and Zachary Anthony, 29, were killed when the fourth floor of the building collapsed. Chief Altland and FF Swanson were injured in the collapse. The firefighters were working on hot spots at the time.

The suit alleges that engineers were negligent. The estates of both Flanscha and Anthony filed suits in May. In answering those lawsuits, Carney Engineering Group and Mr. Carney denied telling firefighters or the fire department that the building was structurally sound before the collapse.

The complaints are not available at this time.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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