1. #1
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    Default Best way to attack an attic fire

    So lets trade some ideas.

    Lets say you get a fire that starts in the attic, You arrive on location and the fire is still confined to the attic. I know that there are countless ways it can go... but in general..

    Do you like to vent then attack or Attack from the outside to knock down the main body of fire. I have found that if the fire has been vented, Fog works really well.

    So have at it.

    Thanks
    Bring enough hose.

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    I am a proponent of going inside and fighting the fire...like firemen do.
    FTM - BTB - KTF

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    Go inside, open the ceiling under the fire and put out the fire.

    You can completely open up for a direct attack on the fire, or open a smaller hole and inject a fog pattern into the atmosphere and let the steam knock down the fire.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 07-26-2011 at 06:50 PM.
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    Yea, go in and put out the fire. Maybe cut a vertical hole, maybe not. (I prefer not in most cases).
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

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    A) Fog it from below if accessible, give it a few, then vent above and inspect what you have. Open up the hot spots and overhaul.
    B) If not accessible, cut a smaller vent hole in the roof at 1 end, a larger at the other, and fog through the smaller. (note seat of fire and wind) Letting the conversion do the work. Open it up for hot spots and overhaul.
    C) Pick up and go home.
    D) Watch truck guys clean and service their tools and equipment.
    E) Listen to engina guys brag on slaying the beast for the rest of the shift.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    almost always best to hit from below - Punch a small hole and whip a full fog in it. in this instance , steam is your friend. just remember - try to kill the juice asap . and have plan B if it has a floor. I usually dont (cut a)vent in the roof because it opens it up to the weather. When its in check, I try and clear the room under the seat, get some salvage covers and drags and pull some ceiling and access that way, plan B is to acess from the gable , unless it is a full hip - then we go to plan C
    ?

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    Attack from below. Most likely going to hit with a straight stream up the pull down stair access...(more common way to access in my area). Attic ladder in place and get up there. Good chance we will open the roof above.

    Floors in the attics are very common in my area so pulling ceiling below will not give great access. As example, in my attic I have 1/2" plywood glued and screwed in place. There is about a foot on each side that is not floored, at the bottom of the roof.
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    Good number of our attics are walk up type. Make entry to attic steps and open up. Advance up as conditions allow. If it gets too hot, back down steps and wait. Ladder guys are good at either vertical or horizontal via gable vents.

    Non walk up attics: Either find attic scuttle hole, or make your own. Direct stream through opening to knock it down. Make hole larger and after some form of vent get a guy on an attic ladder to get in there and finish it off.

    Not a very difficult fire in general, as you can typically stay well below the heat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Attack from below. Most likely going to hit with a straight stream up the pull down stair access...(more common way to access in my area). Attic ladder in place and get up there. Good chance we will open the roof above.

    Floors in the attics are very common in my area so pulling ceiling below will not give great access. As example, in my attic I have 1/2" plywood glued and screwed in place. There is about a foot on each side that is not floored, at the bottom of the roof.
    My attic is the same - with access only via pull down stairs in the hallway. I also have a window on each gable end, accessable from front porch roof and rear kitchen roof. BUT - I need a new roof - so please - cut away!
    FTM - BTB - KTF

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    In Central Texas we do not have many basements (no freezing water lines and the ground is rock a few feet under), so people use their attic space as storage. Not uncommon to find two dozen boxes and plastic storage bins. This makes attic fires really fun (sarcasm) with the added fire load and stacked boxes in the way of your fire stream.
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    It depends on your definition of "attic." Here, when you say attic, you could get a variety of different things. You could get the full stairs, insulated, used for living space attic. The full-stairs, uninsulated, storage space. The "I need a step ladder to get up there attic." Which you don't dare step foot in because people don't like it when you miss the studs and go through the ceiling. For me (And my little experience compared to you guys), I'm attacking the first two types the same way as any interior attack. The third gives a little more challenge, and it would depend on the circumstances on what I ultimately decide to do. Probably injecting a fog stream through the opening. Then assessing from there with a TIC. Ceiling will be pulled, and the story under the attic will probably have a mess made, but the fire would be out.

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    There is a good article in urbanfirefighter explaining why exactly vertical ventilation is often necessary in attic fires. In many attics found in the North East with steep pitches, there is a significant volume of space that can not be vented by the windows that are typically found. Obviously gable vents will help, but even if they are present they are so small they provide limited ventilation.

    Most of our attics are walk up and essentially another floor, the best way is to get up there and put it out. Usually a pretty good fire, lots of junk up in the attic to burn and if unfinished lots of exposed wood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    There is a good article in urbanfirefighter explaining why exactly vertical ventilation is often necessary in attic fires. In many attics found in the North East with steep pitches, there is a significant volume of space that can not be vented by the windows that are typically found. Obviously gable vents will help, but even if they are present they are so small they provide limited ventilation.

    Most of our attics are walk up and essentially another floor, the best way is to get up there and put it out. Usually a pretty good fire, lots of junk up in the attic to burn and if unfinished lots of exposed wood.
    1 Tower,1 Warthog, 2 minutes. You can look at anything in the attic you want,hehe T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by L-Webb View Post
    I have found that if the fire has been vented, Fog works really well.
    ^I'm noticing a running theme with you...

    Quote Originally Posted by L-Webb View Post
    Do you like to vent then attack or Attack from the outside to knock down the main body of fire.
    Are you sure you've ever actually fought fire in an attic?

    No offense, you must be from a rural area. That would explain these questions, despite 4 years on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Yea, go in and put out the fire. Maybe cut a vertical hole, maybe not. (I prefer not in most cases).
    Ding ding ding...we have a winner. Concise and to the point (yes others made these points also).

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    Quote Originally Posted by . View Post
    Ding ding ding...we have a winner. Concise and to the point (yes others made these points also).
    I knew your brother would agree with me.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    I knew your brother would agree with me.
    Hahaha, at this point, I don't think L-Webb would agree if it was me who posted what you said.

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    What makes you say that?
    Bring enough hose.

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    I agree with the concept of going inside and pulling ceiling. Around here, ventilation is directly dependant on manpower; meaning, most of the time by the time we have enough people on scene to send someone to the roof, the crew inside has the fire knocked down. Granted, we still need to vent, but it won't have any effect on initial fire attack.

    I would have no problem with the OVM taking a ridge vent on the end of the structure the fire is on. Much more feasable in our situation most of the time than cutting the roof.
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    would have no problem with the OVM taking a ridge vent on the end of the structure the fire is on. Much more feasable in our situation most of the time than cutting the roof.
    This is one of those catch 22's we have here, as I'm sure others do too. With many of the "cape cod" types we have here, there could actually be 3 attics. 1 behind each knee wall and in the peak. Depends on who built the damn thing, they may or may not be all connected until it burns through....all said and done, you could have 3 separate vents! Ahhh, the joys of home construction!
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    I would have no problem with the OVM taking a ridge vent on the end of the structure the fire is on. Much more feasable in our situation most of the time than cutting the roof.
    If you are going to have someone on or that close to the roof to take the ridge vent, why not just send him up there with a saw and let him make a hole that will actually vent the space?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    1 Tower,1 Warthog, 2 minutes. You can look at anything in the attic you want,hehe T.C.
    Make this your primary attack mode for walk-up attics and I'll guarantee you two things.

    1.Excessive time on-scene
    2.Lots of parking lots.

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    uhhhhh from the unburned side????

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Guidry View Post
    uhhhhh from the unburned side????
    lolwhat? .
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    If you are going to have someone on or that close to the roof to take the ridge vent, why not just send him up there with a saw and let him make a hole that will actually vent the space?
    After reading this I realized I used the wrong terminology in my original post. What I was referring to is having a member on the ground take out a GABLE vent with a long hook.

    Sorry for the mix up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
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