Captain’s Parents Sue for Daughter’s Death

The parents of the Colerain Township Fire Department captain killed in the line of duty on April 4, 2008, have filed suit against a host defendants. Captain Robin Broxterman was killed along with FF Brian Schira when they became trapped in a house fire on Squirrelsnest Lane. The basement fire was later ruled accidental. The suit alleges that a number of factors and defendants contributed to Captain Broxterman’s death, including:

  • The homeowners – due to an illegal marijuana growing operation in the basement;
  • An unnamed manufacturer and installer of a part that connected the home's furnace to a natural gas line that failed, further fueling the fire;
  • An unnamed manufacturer and/or distributor of the fan that started the fire;
  • Motorola – Broxterman, the suit alleges, repeatedly made radio "mayday" calls for help but wasn't heard or understood because of the faulty equipment;
  • Morning Pride/Honeywell – because her PPE allegedly failed to protect her;
  • An unknown manufacturer of the “beeper” device [we assume this refers to the PASS Device] worn on her SCBA, that failed.

The suit does not name the fire department or any of its members as defendants.

Additional 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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