A female firefighter has died after she became ‘stuck’ and ‘ran out of air’ when her breathing apparatus failed at a factory fire in Brisbane’s Slacks Creek.
Izabella Nash, 46, suffered serious injuries after entering the inferno with two colleagues around 2:30am on Tuesday, before it was feared all three were lost in the flames.
Her two co-burners were rescued from the flames, but it is believed that Mrs. Nash ran out of oxygen.
She allegedly fell unconscious in the burning building before being discovered and executed by other firefighters.
Ms Nash was rushed to Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital but was pronounced dead at 9.15pm on Tuesday.
Izabella Nash, 46, (pictured) suffered serious injuries after entering the inferno with two colleagues around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday before it was feared all three were lost in the flames
A female firefighter from the Fire and Rescue Service died last night after a factory fire (pictured) in Slacks Creek, Brisbane, early yesterday morning
Firefighters were called to Pacific Highway near Slacks Creek in south Brisbane at about 2:20 a.m. after reports of a swimming pool maintenance warehouse engulfed in flames (pictured)
A second firefighter, senior firefighter Lia Drew, is in a serious but stable condition in the hospital, with burns and smoke inhalation.
Both were described as experienced firefighters with about 25 years of combined experience. The third male firefighter escaped unhurt.
The two women were said to be trapped on the second floor of the building as they attempted to deal with the inferno.
‘They were just upstairs. The crews were going to save them, they had to find them,” United Firefighters Union Queensland Secretary John Oliver told the Courier mail.
“We’ll look into every aspect of what went wrong — communication, whether the breathing apparatus failed or not, the types of areas that were placed on it.”
“It all comes out. I’m worried about the fires that have gone out. I am very concerned for the firefighters who rescued those firefighters.”
Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk has promised a full investigation into the fire, calling Ms Nash’s death “absolutely horrific”.
Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk has promised a full investigation into the fire, saying the death of Izabella Nash (pictured) was ‘absolutely horrific’
“There will be an investigation into the cause and how the tragedy could have happened,” the prime minister said on Wednesday.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and loved ones. It’s an absolute tragedy.
“I know her family came from NSW to be with her and she was an experienced firefighter.”
She added, “It took 30 or 40 fire trucks to actually put out that fire. Of course there will be more research.’
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the tragedy was devastating.
“The tragic death of firefighter Izabella Nash is a cruel reminder of the risks and dangers firefighters face every day,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Along with all Australians, I extend my deepest condolences to Izabella’s family, friends and crew at this time of mourning and sorrow.
“My thoughts are also with Lia Drew. We must never forget the courage of firefighters who work to keep us all safe.”
Izabella Nash (pictured) was in the army before becoming a firefighter, based in Duntroon in Canberra
Firefighters are now examining the twisted metal in the wreckage of the blaze at the Brisbane factory fire (pictured) to determine the cause
QFES Assistant Commissioner John Cawcutt said state firefighters were notified of her death via a broadcast over fire station PAs.
Flags are flown at half-mast at stations in Queensland.
Asst Cmsr Cawcutt revealed that Ms Nash had been in the army before becoming a firefighter, based at Duntroon in Canberra.
“(She was) incredibly fit, (a) really, really fit person, very strong. She was always the first to check equipment,” he told reporters.
“You get junior firefighters coming to the station and she will be the first to show them (the equipment). She always had a good smile around her, could take a joke and spent it too. The crew she was attached to has really broken up.
‘She is exquisite. It’s a real loss for us, one of those types of people who walk into a station and people are attracted to her.’
Tributes have been posted online for the fallen firefighter, with one comment: “RIP Izzy, your shift is over.”
Another added, “Rest in peace Izabella, thank you for your service.”
Former colleague Rob Boniwell revealed that he had met Ms Nash when she was trying to become a firefighter in 2014.
“I interviewed Izzy for her role as a resident firefighter and was proud to see her graduate from the school several years ago,” he posted on Facebook.
“In my 29 years of service, I have never seen a fellow firefighter from my own agency or agency make the ultimate sacrifice to protect their communities.
My thoughts and prayers are with our Fire and Rescue friends, families and colleagues today and for the foreseeable future. We all feel this sad loss.
Rest in peace Izzy. You will be sadly missed.’
Senior firefighter Lia Drew (pictured) is in hospital in a serious but stable condition, with burns and smoke inhalation
Izabella Nash died after entering the inferno with two colleagues around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday before the three went missing in the flames.
An investigation has now been launched into the condition and operation of Ms Nash’s breathing apparatus, while an investigation into the cause of the fire is also underway.
“It is rare for our firefighters to be injured in this way,” said Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Commissioner Michael Wassing.
“That’s because of the enormity of the training and professionalism of our firefighters.”
Ms. Nash joined the Fire and Rescue Service in 2014 and served as a first class firefighter.
“The thoughts of all QFES members are with Izzy and Lia’s families, friends and fellow crew members,” said a QFES spokesperson.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the tragedy has exposed the dangers emergency services personnel face every day.
“She was clearly dedicated to her job, on the front line supporting her fellow Queenslanders,” the prime minister said.
“Izabella’s passing is a terribly sad and poignant reminder of the dangers our frontline workers face on a daily basis.”
Federal Treasurer and Local Member of Parliament Dr. Jim Chalmers also paid tribute to Ms. Nash, calling her an “incredible young woman.”
He added: “The news came this morning that Isabella Nash lost her life protecting our community in that terrible fire in Slacks Creek.
Authorities said the fire was under control just after 6 a.m., but several crews and three senior officers remained on the scene, while police declared the area a crime scene (pictured)
An investigation is ongoing into the cause of the fire (pictured, damaged building at Freedom Pools, on the site of a factory fire in Slacks Creek)
“This is another reminder of the courage, selflessness and commitment of people who are first responders.
“That fire two nights ago was a dangerous fire. We have lost an incredible young woman. Selfless, involved and courageous.
“Her loved ones and her colleagues will be incredibly sad today and our community is heartbroken too.”
State Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan added: “So sad to hear of the passing of Firefighter Izabella Nash. With the passing of Izzy, Queensland has lost a hero.
“The thoughts of our entire state are with her family, friends and the wider fire and emergency services family,” Ryan wrote on Twitter.
The cause of the fire at an event agency, A Noble Event, has yet to be determined.