Know Your Enemy #27

In 1970 in NFPA's Fire Command, I wrote a first of its kind article detailing the hazards of commercial buildings.


Sykes called him over and asked him if he knew something. "There is a lazarette door in that compartment and we were stowing ammunition mats in the compartment and some of the blokes were smoking."

A "lazarette door" is a half-high door. Ammunition mats are heavy mats made of manila rope, used to cushion the impact of shells being placed on a deck. If you have ever seen beer barrels being unloaded you may have noticed the heavy mats used to cushion the impact of the barrels.

All the firefighters looking for a door in the smoky compartment had felt along the bulkheads while standing. They were sent back down with orders to search on hands and knees. The Lazarette door was found and the smoldering mats extinguished.

I am most grateful to those who have emailed an appreciation of the work Maurine and I have done to save firefighters lives. I will put them together to read to her as her memory fails.