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  1. #1
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    Default Backdraft/Smoke Explosion Video

    Had this emailed to me by a coworker. I for one would never have guessed this would have happened the way it did.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTQWNCeCBvQ

    Thoughts?
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    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    good news no one is hurt too bad.

    does anyone know if there were telltale signs of impending the bd?
    Originally Posted by madden01
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    I don't think it was a backdraft. Looks more like something collapsed on the interior or in the rear which subsequently caused the exterior wall attached to the chimney to collapse.
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    I have to agree that it doesn't look like a backdraft. None of the telltale signs were there, the smoke was pretty lazy, and when it did whatever it did, the smoke "poofed" briefly out of the vent and eaves, then continued to just drift, other than in the area where the collapse occured.

    I'm also guessing a localized collapse of some sort.

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    I'd have to put my money on a smoke explosion that occurred in the attic space of the the structure. A couple of points, at the very beginning of the video you can see what appears to be a little puff or chugging smoke coming from the gable end. The force of the explosion pushes the smoke out and down from the gable end not straight out. I would expect an event at the rear to push the smoke out more laterally, as the attic space would funnel it toward the gable vent. It appears that the smoke at the peak area lit off and pushed down, watch the smoke being forced down and the porch ceiling being blown down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    I don't think it was a backdraft. Looks more like something collapsed on the interior or in the rear which subsequently caused the exterior wall attached to the chimney to collapse.
    Same thing I was thinking. I just dont see any of the signs of backdraft overly evident. Maybe if the video was longer or if we had a veiw from the back, we could make a better judgement.
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    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    I don't think it was a backdraft. Looks more like something collapsed on the interior or in the rear which subsequently caused the exterior wall attached to the chimney to collapse.
    I watched several times and it appears that it was actually just the chimney that came down. The wall stayed in place. ????

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    I don't think it was a backdraft. Looks more like something collapsed on the interior or in the rear which subsequently caused the exterior wall attached to the chimney to collapse.
    That's kind of what I was thinking as I watched it. Never saw any real signs of an "explosion", rather smoke just pushing out just prior to the chimney falling. Maybe a balloon frame that had fire running up the walls near the chimney, buring out whatever tied the chimney to the structure. After you see it collapse, you can see fire the entire height of the structure where the chimney used to be.

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    my take on it was underventilated fire burning between the chimney and the house, filled the attic up with smoke, fire hits smoke, smoke explosion, brings the 2nd floor cieling down and knocks the chimney over, exposing the seat of the fire.

    glad nobody was hurt

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    Ok, does it matter whether it was a smoke explosion or an interior collapse? DID ANYONE NOTICE THE GUY IN BUNK PANTS, NO HELMET, NO COAT, and NO PACK WHO NEARLY GOT SQUASHED?

    Yeh, I sound like chicken little and the sky is falling, but in this case the wall WAS falling.

    Close call, brothers... Hot zone means Hot zone... There is no substitute for PPE when a collapse does occur.
    A coward stands by and watches wrongs committed without saying a word...Any opinions expressed are purely my own and not necessarily reflective of the views of my former departments

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    What do you bet he filled his bunkers??

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    Default Backdraft/ smoke explosion

    For all the post regarding the video that was watched on here. I was on the scene and know all that happened. Let me set the record straight. When we arrived on scene there was light smoke coming from the sofits on the house. When the apparent backdraft/ smoke explosion happened it was 10 minutes into the call. With limited manpower on scene you have to ladder the building as a engineer/ driver. Yes i know the ppe you are suppose to be wearing. But when given a order and no time to delay you sometimes have to act. When we where getting ready to remove the ladder from side d is when the backdraft/ smoke explosion happened. As everyone has stated there were no indications that this was going to happen.

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    Default Backdraft/ smoke explosion

    There was also no other colapse of any kind inside the structure. They were opening the wall up and thats when the explosion happened.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireman1412 View Post
    There was also no other colapse of any kind inside the structure. They were opening the wall up and thats when the explosion happened.
    I have a friend who was driving Engine 61 on that call. His account of events matches Fireman1412's.

    Also, watch the vent in gable. Smoke, under pressure, shoots out of that vent at least a full second before motion/collapse is seen on the Charlie side.
    Last edited by txgp17; 07-18-2009 at 05:12 PM.
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    Since we've got someone on here that was there and another that knows someone, I wanted to ask where the fire started and what kind of progression it had. If I were to "guess", it looked like a balloon frame that started low and went up the wall space, but I'd like to hear what actually happened if possible.

    I'm wondering if it had some trapped heat/smoke and the air from breaching the wall allowed it to light off with enough pressure to push out the chimney.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post

    I'm wondering if it had some trapped heat/smoke and the air from breaching the wall allowed it to light off with enough pressure to push out the chimney.
    That is what I am wondering also. As it looks, it is the only thing that makes any sense to me right now.
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    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jlcooke3 View Post
    I'd have to put my money on a smoke explosion that occurred in the attic space of the the structure. A couple of points, at the very beginning of the video you can see what appears to be a little puff or chugging smoke coming from the gable end. The force of the explosion pushes the smoke out and down from the gable end not straight out. I would expect an event at the rear to push the smoke out more laterally, as the attic space would funnel it toward the gable vent. It appears that the smoke at the peak area lit off and pushed down, watch the smoke being forced down and the porch ceiling being blown down.
    I would have to agree on a smoke explosion that occured in the attic space of the structure. All the smoke was forced downward and also if you will notice, at second 5, and also on the A/D corner of the house something is blown down from the over head. I thought it was one of the windows at first but I don't think that is what it was.

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    I am going to say smoke explosion in the space between the wall and the chimney unless the fire started on the first floor and extended to the attic. If you watch the chimney as the seperates from the building there is a lot of fire all the way down to about the middle of the first floor.

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    Default PPE @ incident

    What a great video!

    I have heard Fireman1412's reasoning before about safety (using PPE) taking a back seat to urgency. Every emergency scene we respond to calls for quick, decisive action. As far as I know, there is no ranking of needed activities vs. safe operations. I require my personnel to wear SCBA, including full turnouts, when going into IDLH atmospheres to search for KNOWN victims. This activity is our highest priority, and personal protection is required and expected in that scenario. In my mind there are no other activities which "premit" the ability to pick and choose the use of PPE. This is a cultural issue which we should all try to overcome. We know that our gear and procedures sometimes are developed after something has gone wrong, or someone is injured. The tremendous amount of folks who helped develop our turnout gear through their injuries might take issue with picking a little speed over safety. Our families would also think highly of our consistent use of ALL of our safety procedures, whatever the situation. Less personnel, limited equipment, longer response times - these are truly challenges to all of us. But, those problems are no free pass to operate in a manner we know is dangerous. No matter what the budget is, our personnel are still our most valuable asset. Proper, consisten use of PPE is one of the ways we protect ourselves.

    Of course, in this instance, no amount of gear (short of being inside a tank) would have protected anyone from that collapse if it had landed on their head. This is not something we ever know in advance - if you have a crystal ball (or other object) that predicts the future, please let me know how to get one.

    Thanks again for the great video. Hope no offense is taken - this is not a personal criticism, but one that hopefully addresses an attitude.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDV
    I require my personnel to wear SCBA, including full turnouts, when going into IDLH atmospheres to search for KNOWN victims.
    Here we go again. What about the UNKNOWN victims? Screw 'em? Not your emergency......they should have had a smoke detector......everyone goes home. Which BS cliche do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDV
    this is not a personal criticism, but one that hopefully addresses an attitude.
    This is personal. Your attitude and everyone else that shares yours, makes me sick to my stomach.

    First post huh. Welcome to the board.
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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