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Texas Department of Insurance
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Firefighter Fatality Investigations in Texas

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The State Fire Marshal's Office is responsible for investigating firefighter fatalities in Texas.

If a firefighter dies in the line of duty or if the firefighter's death occurs in connection with an on-duty incident in this state, the state fire marshal shall investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the firefighter, including any factors that may have contributed to the death of the firefighter.

In accordance with the State Fire Marshal’s Office Firefighter Fatality Investigation Policy the death of a firefighter will be considered line of duty or on-duty and investigated in the following circumstances:

 Any injury or illness sustained while on duty that proves fatal or is potentially fatal;

  • Responding to or returning from an incident;
  • Performing other officially assigned duties; except at the individual's home or place of business.
  • An individual who experiences a heart attack or other fatal injury at home while he or she prepares to respond to an emergency is considered on duty when the response begins.
  • A firefighter who becomes ill while performing fire department duties and suffers a heart attack shortly after arriving home or at another location may be considered on duty since the inception of the heart attack occurred while the firefighter was on duty. Typical timeframe is within 24 hours of coming off duty. (Ref: United States Fire Administration).

These investigations are conducted in cooperation with fire-service organizations such as the State Firefighters’ & Fire Marshals' Association, Texas Fire Chiefs Association, Texas Association of Firefighters, Texas Fire Marshal's Association, Texas Commission on Fire Protection, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Chapter International Association of Arson Investigators, and Emergency Services Training Institute.

Please contact  

Firefighter Fatality Investigation Information


Firefighter Fatality Investigation Witness Forms

Firefighter Fatality Investigation Statutory Authority

Firefighter Fatality Investigation Policy

How To Report a Firefighter Fatality

Firefighter Autopsy Protocol (from U.S. Fire Administration)

For more information, contact:

Last updated: 11/16/2023