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Thread: Vertical Ventilation in Private Dwellings

  1. #41
    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Been a long time since seeing any of that.
    Still plenty of that around here, but fortunately they covered it up with the original blown in cellulose-the ground up newspaper with "fire retardant"...
    It does ensure we do a proper overhaul, rekindles suck....lol
    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 FyredUp View Post
    Please tell me that culture is changing in the FDNY. We just had a guy in from the firefighter cancer support network and the increase in firefighter cancer AND cancer to firefighter family memers in the last 10 years is outright horrifying.
    Total 180 on mask usage since I came on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    Water does a great job if you can get it on the seat of the fire. Water and conversion does a great job of snuffing a fire if the steam can displace the oxygen in that area.
    But with balloon construction, blown in cellulose, or mohair insulation, vertical voids, and horizontal travel spaces, sometimes you just can't get the water in the right place unless you make access for it.
    In this case, due to construction, we had one of two choices; let the fire continue vertical, burn up the dormer, and in ten or fifteen minutes it would have self vented. Increased fire damage, increased water damage, increased building decay, increased danger to the crews. Or we could get on top, open up the porch roof, open up the intersection between the roof and the dormer, and open up the dormer wall getting the the seat of the fire and put it out. Limiting fire spread, water damage, building decay, and the the associated hazards to the crews.
    In St. Paul we tend not to be a department that waters roofs or saves basements.
    Snubbing-our slang for catching a hydrant for a water supply.
    I was trying to reinforce my point that ventilation isn't really a fire control tactic. Your incident was a bad example for me to use to try to do that. There is no doubt that the roof and dormer wall needed opening to fully control the fire you described.

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    But with balloon construction, blown in cellulose, or mohair insulation, vertical voids, and horizontal travel spaces, sometimes you just can't get the water in the right place unless you make access for it.
    How about just old wadded up newspapers, or regular sawdust for insulation? The first time I saw it I thought it was a fluke. Now I expect it in many of the houses built in the late 20's to mid 30's in my area. Although it is kind of cool to pull out an old newspaper and read some of the happenings of almost a hundred years ago.
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  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    How about just old wadded up newspapers, or regular sawdust for insulation? The first time I saw it I thought it was a fluke. Now I expect it in many of the houses built in the late 20's to mid 30's in my area. Although it is kind of cool to pull out an old newspaper and read some of the happenings of almost a hundred years ago.
    The wadded up newspaper is exactly how my pouch is insulated!! I want to change the windows out, when I do, I'm going to try and replace as much of that I can. Should be some interesting reading.
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    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    I was trying to reinforce my point that ventilation isn't really a fire control tactic.
    I disagree with saying that ventilation is not a fire control tactic. In a single family room and contents fire we look at it as a game of pressures created during combustion that we can combat. We all know that gases take the path of least resistance and if we are able to overcome the pressures generated by the fire we can send those products of combustion in certain dircetions. Now of course we have to have an acceptable exhaust port, crews dedicated to managing air movement, and we use horizontal in combination with vertical to ensure we get the gases moving in the right direction. I am not suggesting that I don't need a hoseline, in fact we practice these things assuming that our engine crews are making an aggressive attack and they are making an aggressive interior, assuming we are making ventilation happen. They only work when used in concert. love the discussion, lets keep it rolling

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    Quote Originally Posted by CATruckie81 View Post
    I disagree with saying that ventilation is not a fire control tactic. In a single family room and contents fire we look at it as a game of pressures created during combustion that we can combat. We all know that gases take the path of least resistance and if we are able to overcome the pressures generated by the fire we can send those products of combustion in certain dircetions. Now of course we have to have an acceptable exhaust port, crews dedicated to managing air movement, and we use horizontal in combination with vertical to ensure we get the gases moving in the right direction. I am not suggesting that I don't need a hoseline, in fact we practice these things assuming that our engine crews are making an aggressive attack and they are making an aggressive interior, assuming we are making ventilation happen. They only work when used in concert. love the discussion, lets keep it rolling
    I look at ventilation as a support function. When done right it assists in getting heat, smoke, fire gasses out of structure. it will almost never, on it's own, stop the spread of fire or reduce temperatures inside the structure. when done without immediate use of water or when timing is wrong, it will almost always make conditions throughout get worse.
    FyredUp and MemphisE34a like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    If this is a "TRUE" story I thank God you are not on either of the fire departments I am on. Frankly, I don't believe that you Bourkes melted down on to your mask. You would have been down to the floor crawling to try and get below the heat.
    The clear burkes are pretty easy to melt. There is so little mass that they heat up pretty quickly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    The clear burkes are pretty easy to melt. There is so little mass that they heat up pretty quickly.
    I have had clear Bourkes on 5 helmets and I have melted and curled some of them but I have never had them melt down onto my face piece. Either he had some cheap schitt imitation Bourkes, he was where he shouldn't have been, or his story has been made a little more dramatic than it actually was.
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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I have had clear Bourkes on 5 helmets and I have melted and curled some of them but I have never had them melt down onto my face piece. Either he had some cheap schitt imitation Bourkes, he was where he shouldn't have been, or his story has been made a little more dramatic than it actually was.
    I concur. ...
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by firedan525 View Post
    Yes sir, I don't spray smoke.
    Why not?

    Cool the space, and that does include the smoke as you advance.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 06-03-2014 at 09:04 AM.
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    So many of us were taught not to "use water on smoke". Outdated practice these days. Smaller incipient type fire, go ahead and wait until you're at the "seat". More developed fires, the seat is everywhere. That's how I look at it. Don't even need to see fire begin to roll over your head. Lack of O2 could make that impossible. But plenty of heat could still be there. Use your water.
    I saw a video where they burned a single upholstered chair in a room. It was the only thing in the room. Left untended it created enough BTU's to cause the room to flash over. Don't remember the timeline but it certainly wasn't the 20 minutes or more from years ago. Probably 5-10 minute range but possibly less.
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    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    I saw a video where they burned a single upholstered chair in a room. It was the only thing in the room. Left untended it created enough BTU's to cause the room to flash over.
    About 15 years ago we were evaluating the purchase of our FD's first TIC. We had an acquired structure and the evolution was a fire in the dining room toward the 2-3 corner of the first floor. The dining room was open to the living room that was on the left of the hallway along side 1 and 2. We set a couch on fire in the dining room with the attack crew at the front door. As the evaluator of the new TIC, I originally planned on staying in the living room on the side 1 wall to watch (and tape through the TIC) the fire and the attack crews' advance into to space. At the last minute, I decided to take a position behind the nozzle team. What occurred was a rapid fire in the couch that superheated the low ceiling room and cause the sofa next to where I was going to be, to go up in flames before the crew could even make the hallway! We were relatively confident the couch would cause a high heat smoky fire quickly, but the speed upon which that happened was so great that we didn't anticipate the level of involvement. The difference in this evolution was that the couch had been opened up with a knife and the foam rubber was chopped up and easily exposed to the fire. Nonetheless we documented a decent lesson on how fast things can change and how combustible some "smoke" can be. Obviously today, training fires are limited to hay and pallets, but don't be fooled by training fires vs. the hydrocarbon based fires that make up the contents of todays homes and structures.

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    Good point about the training burns vs actual structural fires. It bears repeating over and over, especially for the inexperienced. No real similarity between hay/wood fires in a fireproof burn building and the hydrocarbon based fires in class 3 or 4 construction (lightweight or standard). Not to mention the endless array of alterations to real world buildings over the years.

    IMO, these classes in burn buildings should be looked at as an opportunity to stretch line, operate nozzle, learn the backup position and get a basic feel for what a proper water stream can do. But don't look at it as a chance to learn real structural firefighting. There's only one place to do that and it takes a lot of time to get real good. Younger people coming into the fire service need to know that as much as they need to know anything.
    Last edited by captnjak; 06-03-2014 at 11:55 AM.

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    Burn room firefighters. That's what I call those that have never seen a real fire but have extensive time in burn towers. The truth is just as you have stated it. We get lttle heat, virtually no smoke, or if there is smoke it certainly is not the hot, heavy, black, pushing smoke of today's dwelling fires.

    The reality that needs to be stressed to firefighters is that heavy, black, pushing smoke is nothing but fire that has not ignited yet. It is looking for enough oxygen to light up. If we crawl under that without applying water we are crawling into a potential inferno. The problem is in many places people are not keeping up with the new research, with new techniques and are still teaching the same tactics we used 40 years ago. This is going to injure and kill firefighters and we need to move forward and change the way we fight fire as much as the fire has changed.
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    We were just lamenting about the good old days of training this morning after reviewing a class A burn for our regional FF 1/2 program this past weekend. The issue in so many smaller FD's and regions is that while many of us know the limitations of the training in the burn buildings, the reality is many of these "kids" go back to their local VFD's and are the most technically trained personnel they have. We've had some barely squeak by the class only to end up as officers and in one case a training officer within a year of the program.

    Even in our small career/combo FD, the ability to keep a rookie under the watchful eye of an experienced firefighter or officer is quickly fading away as workers are way down and thus gaining true fireground experience is much more difficult. All adds up to a recipe for trouble in the future. My own department could see every career officer retire within the next 8 years if we all left at 25 years! We have some smart, talented people but their experience levels lack a bit, though I suspect the officers before us said the same thing as they endured the same "war years" in the late 70's and 80's, just on the smaller scale that matches our size.

    To this end we've fought to keep the ability to use acquired structures as live fire training options, but seem to be slowly losing the battle to all the regulatory agencies. They don't get that if firefighters can't be properly trained to extinguish fires, the environmental damage may be worse. They don't care about the danger to our personnel from inadequate training. Sorry I've been on this soapbox since 0700, time to climb down and go home and mow the lawn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Burn room firefighters. That's what I call those that have never seen a real fire but have extensive time in burn towers. The truth is just as you have stated it. We get lttle heat, virtually no smoke, or if there is smoke it certainly is not the hot, heavy, black, pushing smoke of today's dwelling fires.

    The reality that needs to be stressed to firefighters is that heavy, black, pushing smoke is nothing but fire that has not ignited yet. It is looking for enough oxygen to light up. If we crawl under that without applying water we are crawling into a potential inferno. The problem is in many places people are not keeping up with the new research, with new techniques and are still teaching the same tactics we used 40 years ago. This is going to injure and kill firefighters and we need to move forward and change the way we fight fire as much as the fire has changed.
    "Fire that has not ignited yet." This is perfect. This is what we should be teaching. Because as much as we've learned from the latest research, the findings can be very technical. Especially for the newest members of the fire service who don't have the background to understand what has changed. Just teach them what they need to know. And they need to know there is a fire over their heads that they may not see or feel but is waiting to ignite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    "Fire that has not ignited yet." This is perfect. This is what we should be teaching. Because as much as we've learned from the latest research, the findings can be very technical. Especially for the newest members of the fire service who don't have the background to understand what has changed. Just teach them what they need to know. And they need to know there is a fire over their heads that they may not see or feel but is waiting to ignite.
    That statement has helped me convince others for the need to cool that overhead. It becomes clear that if that ignites because you didn't cool the overhead you will get roasted.

    Lack of fires, compounded by lack of realistic live fire training, further compounded by dinosaurs that refuse to keep up with current studies and information are a trifecta of looming disaster for many parts of the fire service.
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    I work with some of those dinosaurs. Personally, I don't know how they can deny the reality in front of their faces. Funny part is that the tactical changes we've instituted are not drastic in nature. Just a little more control over ventilation of all kinds covers most of it. We're still aggressively fighting fires as we always have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    I work with some of those dinosaurs. Personally, I don't know how they can deny the reality in front of their faces. Funny part is that the tactical changes we've instituted are not drastic in nature. Just a little more control over ventilation of all kinds covers most of it. We're still aggressively fighting fires as we always have.
    Therein lies the rub, some people mistakenly look at the transitional attack, and controlling the flow path, as somehow being less aggressive because you aren't crawling into the middle of a schitt storm and risking getting roasted. Or at least lessening the chance of being roasted.

    One of my POC FDs burned a house down for practice last week and we did a brief transitional attack stream from the B side into a fully involved, post flashover, living room. With just a 5 second shot we immediately dropped the temp in the room over 200 degrees. That temp drop made the concept easier to understand. We limited the amount of water applied simply because we wanted to burn the house down. My feeling is we could have dropped the temp substantially with another 10 or 15 seconds of application.
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