11 Croatian Firefighters Die In Line Of Duty

Two were 17 years old.

From BBC International;

“The blaze, which broke out on Kornat island, killed six firemen on Thursday last week when a sudden change of wind direction trapped them in the flames.
Five more firemen have now since died in hospital.
Police have detained a national park receptionist on suspicion of causing the blaze with a discarded cigarette.
The wildfire is the worst incident of its kind in the country, wreaking havoc on Kornat island, 30km (20 miles) south of Zadar.
Kornat is the largest of a group of islands that makes up a national park in the southern part of the Kornati archipelago.

Another two firemen remain in hospital in critical condition.”

The two teenagers were Karlo Severdija and Mario Stancic. The fire commander has been arrested for sending under-trained fire personnel into a region with ‘erratic winds predicted’. It’s also reported he did not evacuate injured fire personnel nor did he send adequate backup even though he knew conditions were deteriorating.

These poor kids were looking for an adventure and to make a few bucks. Their lives were just beginning. Someone should be held to pay.

One thing for certain is this two-bit fire chief won’t be trotting out an ACLU type lawyer with a pr company as supporting cast to defend him. They mete out old school, old world justice in that quarter and unless he is able to hide under the skirt of a paid off general he’s looking at some serious time on a chain gang, or worse and so be it.

In the USA you need a 40 hour basic wildland firefighter course and be able to yell out the 10 Standing Firefighting Orders and 13 (18) conditions that Shout Watch Out before you can get on a fire line.

So much went wrong with this Kornati Island fire that it’s hard to avoid the obvious point that some Croatia fire commanders lack even basic knowledge of wildland firefighting.

Hopefully the deaths of these 11 firefighters can come to mean something, maybe what can be learned from their deaths will help prevent future tragedies.

More about Croatia.



  • Jarislav says:

    My God! This is a universal tragedy for all in public service. From across the Atlantic and evan after all these months I can feel the tears. My sincerest condolences to the families of the the firefighters and the nation of Croatia. So sad, so very sad.

    Jarislav (what my Croatian friends call me)

  • Anonymous says:

    Croatian firefighters are well expirianced with fire in the wilderness. Every summer in Croatia forest fires pop out. Sometimes weaker sometimes stronger. They have knowlage. The problem is they didnt know what kind of situation awaited them. They were all brave young men, some older were even in liberation war Croatia waged against communist agressors ten years ago. Croatian firefighters are some of the best I ever worked with. Fellow Americans remamber this names: Ivan Franjevac, Robert Kragujevac, Franjo Dolic, Ben Simic, Donnie Keremi. Those are the brave croatian firefighters that gave their lives during 9/11 to save lives of people of NY. Remamber them, honor them. Thank you for your time.