The Engine Officer And Standpipe Buildings

It is another cold and windy night at 2am when the tone alert sounds. There is a report of a fire on the 12th floor of a high rise senior housing project in your district.

Then advanced into the fire apartment to extinguish the fire. When stretching a dry line to the apartment door we must remember to chock open any door that the line passes through. If a door accidentally closes on a dry line and the line is charged while still under the door the results could be disastrous. Everyone on the other side or that door would become trapped on the fire floor with out water.

If the fire apartment door is open, with heat and smoke filling the public hall, stretching a dry line to the apartment door will be very dangerous and almost impossible. The officer must order the line flaked out and charged in the stairway with the door to the public hall kept closed. When flaking out the line try to pull some hose up the stairs to the stair landing above. Once the line is charged the weight of the water will aid in advancing the line down the public hall. This should only be done while the door to the public hall is closed. If the door is open, operating above the fire will be exceptionally dangerous. Remember if there is any question of integrity of the apartment door, the line must be charged in the stairway.

If the fire apartment door is open, and the fire has self vented with a wind condition, 2 lines operating in unison may be required just to get down the public hall. While operating the nozzle in the public hall stream impact with the side walls should be kept to minimum. This will limit the amount of steam being generated, which will aid in the advance toward the open apartment door. We must remember that while we operate in the public hall we are not fighting the fire, we are fighting the heat to get to the fire. This type of fire is very punishing to the members and early relief is a must to keep injuries down.

Fires in fireproof buildings can be a simple one room fire to a 3 line push through oven like conditions. Decisions made by the first due officers will, with out question, effect the outcome of these fires. Choosing the proper standpipe and method of deploying your attack line is essential. Training and pre-planning is a must for a safe and successful operation.

Lt. Klett is a 13 year veteran of the FDNY, currently serving in the Bronx. He can be reached at