Columbia firefighter killed while responding to structural collapse

Feb 22, 2014

Firefighters responded early Saturday to a structural collapse at the University Village Apartments.
Credit Miranda Metheny / KBIA

Columbia Fire Department Lieutenant Bruce Britt died early Saturday while responding to the collapse of a walkway at the MU-run University Village Apartments. According to a Columbia Fire Department press release, Britt sustained life threatening injuries while assisting citizens and was pronounced dead at University Hospital. 

MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin offered his condolences to Britt's family in a statement Saturday.

"We are grateful that, due to the efforts of this firefighter and others, no residents were injured. My deepest gratitude goes out to everyone who assisted during this emergency," Loftin said.

MU student ​Ghazwan Alwan was at the scene at the time of the collapse. He said he witnessed Britt fall.

"One of the firemen was walking on the hanging part. I tried to warn him," Alwan said. "Then he suddenly fell down."

According to Alwan, Britt lost consciousness and was taken away by ambulance. He said firefighters then helped residents escape through windows. 

In a statement, the MU News Bureau said that all residents are safe, and that the university is working with the Columbia Department to investigate the incident.