Another recent fire revealed a concrete dome located inside the two-story open foyer. The dome supported a 1,200 pound chandelier. Given the fact that the fire was in the attic, this presented a greater-than-normal risk. Fire impinging on the wooden support structure could have, and eventually did, lead to a major collapse in this area. This house also had extremely high ceilings throughout, some of which were covered with a stucco-like finish. This made the typical methods of pulling ceiling rather useless.
The only way to prepare for these types of hazards is to get out of the station, see what's going on in your district, and "fight the fire before the fire." Once you find these challenges and develop potential solutions, you've got to communicate these ideas to all involved parties.
BRIAN COLLINS currently serves as a volunteer firefighter/paramedic with the Pleasant View Volunteer Fire Department, and a career engineer/paramedic with the Brentwood Fire Department, both in Tennessee. He holds a bachelor's degree in fire protection administration from Eastern Kentucky University. Brian also works with the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) and Fire Team USA. To read Brian's complete biography and view his archived articles, click here. You can reach Brian by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.