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Thread: Hey let's see if we can get a fire topic to go more than 5 posts befoe we let it die!

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    Default Hey let's see if we can get a fire topic to go more than 5 posts befoe we let it die!

    Let's talk about flow paths and firefighting. The idea to limit ventilation in some cases, and closing the door most of the way after the attack crew enters to slow the flow of fresh air in to feed the fire. What has your fire department done to embrace any of these changes?

    For those completely clueless tto what I am talking about here is a video from LA county Fire Department.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Uans40KdVI

    My 2 POC FDs have been doing some initial training on this and transitional attack.
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    We've been doing transitional attack for years, we just called it blitz attack. Door control has been a harder sell, however I think that once everyone understands why it works and how it benefits the operation, we'll be doing more of it.

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    We're working on some formalized training to this end currently. We've not been completely oblivious to blitz attacks and understanding every opening is a vent, but for years our dept. viewed any water flowed in through an outside opening as a defeat. All three shifts have been reviewing the UL/NIST work and the 30 Dowling Circle LODD report (with enhanced fire modelling). Now it's time to review what our personnel see as standard bread and butter ops and how what we'e learning might affect operations.

    Another approach I'm pushing for is an adult education program showing the importance of occupants closing doors and compartmentalizing their homes/apartments/spaces as much as possible. Showing them how much of a difference this can make in minimizing damage and life threat using pictures and videos would seem better than just removing door chocks every time we encounter them.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 02-17-2014 at 05:20 PM.

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    Wasn't the purpose of opening up and getting the "good" air in so that victims had a better chance? Did these new tests show that to not be viable?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    A couple of years ago the ATF did an investigation on a LODD of a firefighter in a multi-level apartment fire (30 Downing Cir). They also input all the realtime data into their simulator to better see what happened and how future deaths could be prevented. The finding were pretty amazing and pointed out the ventilation flow path being a major contributing factor as to how fast the fire was able to grow and cut off crews working above. If you haven't seen this video I would recommend it highly. This video shows the simulation of how the fire happened in real time w/ audio in realtime. It also shows fire spread, temp, smoke conditions, and ventilation flow path. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wsa4mI0rO-o
    Last edited by firedan525; 02-17-2014 at 07:23 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Wasn't the purpose of opening up and getting the "good" air in so that victims had a better chance? Did these new tests show that to not be viable?
    The short answer is that it's not as simple as just that.

    In simplistic terms, I can replicate the effect of a smoldering fire in a tight house using my airtight wood stove. I get a small fire buring, load it with fuel and then close the air intakes, the fire heats the fuel load, then uses up the available oxygen so that it smolders nearly if not completely snuffing any flame. Then when I open the door a little smoke puffs out, then begins to draw in rapidly, a little flame pops up and 30 seconds later the whole fuel load is roaring. New houses have a lot in common with air tight stoves. Their filled with fuel, can hold in the the heat and are tight enough to cause a fire to smolder quickly when filled with furnishings that produce high volumes of smoke(flammable I might add).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Wasn't the purpose of opening up and getting the "good" air in so that victims had a better chance? Did these new tests show that to not be viable?
    The victims will not have a better chance if we cause or allow the entire area to become a fireball. Especially if we do it prior to a hoseline being immediately available to operate.

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    There is more to this than accepting blitz attack as a viable option. It has to do with what was learned about cooling of fire area and adjacent areas during fire attack. The real point is that we don't have to be at the seat of the fire to have a positive effect on fire extinguishment. The seat of the fire is all around us, with the unburned fuel (smoke), heat and air that we allow in. This is generally more volatile and dangerous than whatever was originally burning.
    It was discovered that not only don't we don't "push" fire when we blitz, but temperatures drop throughout. The same holds true when we operate line overhead in areas adjacent to the fire.

    It's good to see so many departments, like LAFD, accept the idea of controlled ventilation at structural fires. I personally don't have a concern about protecting the thermal layer during advance. I see and hear it mentioned often. If there is a thermal layer, it is due to heat buildup at ceiling level. Heat buildup is not our friend. I say open the line when we encounter high heat, regardless of location in relation to origin of fire. Sometimes we'll have to open the line at the entrance door. It depends on layout, status of interior doors, ventilation and extent of fire. For smaller fires still in the incipient stage we can go right in to area of fire origin before operating line.

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    This is all well and good in a lab or training situation. Real life, not so much. First off, most residential door open INWARD, so the door controller is going to have to be on the inside. Which creates a host of problems. The can't see what's going on, who's coming up to the door, etc. And it also means you have one less firefighter to do search, RIT, utilities, and so on. I just don't see it with a three man crew. And you have to have ideal conditions for it to work.
    Squirting water on the top third of the door to see if it's hot?? If you're that close you should be able to see the effects of the heat or feel it. This is where reading smoke and scene size up comes into play.
    This MAY work in certain situations like brick row houses, sometimes. But I don't think this is practical in most of the fires we see, either with manpower, or the conditions. Nice to have in the tool box, but I don't plan on it being my go to SOP.
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    This is all well and good in a lab or training situation. Real life, not so much. First off, most residential door open INWARD, so the door controller is going to have to be on the inside.
    Why not control the door with a tool or hose strap? How often does the FE team wait for the line to be charged and bled before getting the door open? So they must control the door.
    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    Which creates a host of problems. The can't see what's going on, who's coming up to the door, etc. And it also means you have one less firefighter to do search, RIT, utilities, and so on. I just don't see it with a three man crew. And you have to have ideal conditions for it to work.
    If the fire gets larger faster how many more 3 man crews will you need? Controlling the flow path can be much more than just positioning a man at the front door.
    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    Squirting water on the top third of the door to see if it's hot?? If you're that close you should be able to see the effects of the heat or feel it. This is where reading smoke and scene size up comes into play.
    This MAY work in certain situations like brick row houses, sometimes. But I don't think this is practical in most of the fires we see, either with manpower, or the conditions. Nice to have in the tool box, but I don't plan on it being my go to SOP.
    I wouldn't base anything from just one video on Youtube, there's plenty of in depth repeatable research that has been done by NIST/UL in concert with some FD's that have some relevant fire experience and tend to be skeptical of "fad" tactics.

    Here's another good link to the 30 Dowling Circle Fire:
    http://www.thecompanyofficer.com/tag...g-circle-fire/
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 02-17-2014 at 10:30 PM. Reason: keyboard caused misspelled words

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    My original post was deleted by me because I felt it was to confrontational. Let me try again please.


    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    This is all well and good in a lab or training situation. Real life, not so much. First off, most residential door open INWARD, so the door controller is going to have to be on the inside. Which creates a host of problems. The can't see what's going on, who's coming up to the door, etc. And it also means you have one less firefighter to do search, RIT, utilities, and so on. I just don't see it with a three man crew. And you have to have ideal conditions for it to work.

    Anyone that doesn't have a way of controlling a door that swings away from them should know better.

    Squirting water on the top third of the door to see if it's hot?? If you're that close you should be able to see the effects of the heat or feel it.

    Standing up in front of the door, or giving the top of the door a squirt. Big deal either one works.

    This is where reading smoke and scene size up comes into play.

    Easy to say. But that really isn't what this is about. It's about not creating a flow path that creates a blast furnace inside the fire building.

    This MAY work in certain situations like brick row houses, sometimes. But I don't think this is practical in most of the fires we see, either with manpower, or the conditions.

    Controlling the flow path of air by partially closing the door doesn't really add any manpower to the situation. You really should have a door control person anyway to hel get hose into the building. It will work on any type of xtructure that has a fire contained in the building.

    Nice to have in the tool box, but I don't plan on it being my go to SOP.

    Then don't. We do have free will. My bet is you will come around to it eventually.
    Free your mind, it's a new day, and fires burn hotter and faster.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 02-18-2014 at 01:03 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    This is all well and good in a lab or training situation. Real life, not so much. First off, most residential door open INWARD, so the door controller is going to have to be on the inside. Which creates a host of problems. The can't see what's going on, who's coming up to the door, etc. And it also means you have one less firefighter to do search, RIT, utilities, and so on. I just don't see it with a three man crew. And you have to have ideal conditions for it to work.
    Squirting water on the top third of the door to see if it's hot?? If you're that close you should be able to see the effects of the heat or feel it. This is where reading smoke and scene size up comes into play.
    This MAY work in certain situations like brick row houses, sometimes. But I don't think this is practical in most of the fires we see, either with manpower, or the conditions. Nice to have in the tool box, but I don't plan on it being my go to SOP.
    The research was not conducted in a lab. It was done with real contents fires in real houses.

    As others have mentioned, it is entirely possible to control an inward opening door from either position.

    Member at door could be a RIT member if staffing is a real challenge.

    Personnel should be used as efficiently as possible. Door control is generally more important than utility control in early stage of fire.

    I don't see why a brick row house fire would be any different than other house fires. The rules of physics and chemistry won't be changing based on this. Plainly speaking, the fire doesn't know the difference. Think of the fire as a heat pump. It will pull fresh air in and push hot air out. This can be happening at different height levels of the same opening.
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    One of my POC FDs has a potential live fire training in an acquired structure coming up later this spring. I want to work on transitional attack and flow path control. I have been teaching for years to sweep the ceiling to cool the overhead and cut back the chances of roll over or flashover. Not penciling but flowing water in enough quantity to cool sufficiently to allow movement of the line to access the fire area. Use the reach of the stream to hit the fire. The days of crawling into the room on top of the fire to knock it down should be long gone.
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    All this stuff is well and good in a test house that is set up and has the same conditions. How many hoarder houses have a sign adhvertisting that the house is full of crap?? How many older houses that have been cut up and remodeled by some hill jack carpenter have the floor plan next to the front door??
    Controlling the flow path?? How do we know what that path is? An open window or two and your "flow path" control is out the window.
    And just how is a firefighter gonna keep the door closed and hump hose in at the same time???? Maybe this will all work out if you can get the entire assignment to show up at the same time, but how often does that happen?? Many times on a room and contents, the first engine has a knockdown before another company gets there. And like I said, do you REALLY need to test to see if a stream turns to steam?? If you don't have a TIC to tell you it's hot or you can't see and feel the heat, well, get some experience.
    As for using a brick row house as an example, with newer windows, a brick or masonry building is more likely to be airtight that the average wood frame house other that one of the smaller new builds.
    I think firefighters need to look at the situation ON HAND before they rely on ANY specific technique. I am a fan of the transitional attack when indicated, I just think this door control tactic is very limited and not practical on many fires. Around here a three man crew is the norm, and I think leaving a guy on the nozzle alone is a VERY bad idea. If you haven the manpower and the conditions are right for this tactic, fine. But I don't see those stars aligning that often.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    All this stuff is well and good in a test house that is set up and has the same conditions. How many hoarder houses have a sign adhvertisting that the house is full of crap?? How many older houses that have been cut up and remodeled by some hill jack carpenter have the floor plan next to the front door??
    Controlling the flow path?? How do we know what that path is? An open window or two and your "flow path" control is out the window.
    And just how is a firefighter gonna keep the door closed and hump hose in at the same time???? Maybe this will all work out if you can get the entire assignment to show up at the same time, but how often does that happen?? Many times on a room and contents, the first engine has a knockdown before another company gets there. And like I said, do you REALLY need to test to see if a stream turns to steam?? If you don't have a TIC to tell you it's hot or you can't see and feel the heat, well, get some experience.
    As for using a brick row house as an example, with newer windows, a brick or masonry building is more likely to be airtight that the average wood frame house other that one of the smaller new builds.
    I think firefighters need to look at the situation ON HAND before they rely on ANY specific technique. I am a fan of the transitional attack when indicated, I just think this door control tactic is very limited and not practical on many fires. Around here a three man crew is the norm, and I think leaving a guy on the nozzle alone is a VERY bad idea. If you haven the manpower and the conditions are right for this tactic, fine. But I don't see those stars aligning that often.
    Look, don't buy into it. But do us all a favor and stay out of the way of those in the fire service that are embracing the idea that flow path in modern furnished homes is a real threat and controlling it can make a interior fire attack far more survivable. By the way, I don't see anywhere where this is a mandated tactic. Use it when it applies, don't when it doesn't, including when manpower doesn't allow

    Um, as far as how does a firefighter keep the door closed and hump hose at the same time. You're kidding right? You aren't closing the door tightly on the hose, you are closing it most of the way. If you put a piece of webbing on the door kneel or stand on it to control the door while you feed hose.
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    Wow, poor guy offers his opinion on the discussion asked for an he's getting nit picked.

    and we wonder why tactics discussions are so few and short.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Wow, poor guy offers his opinion on the discussion asked for an he's getting nit picked.

    and we wonder why tactics discussions are so few and short.
    Sorry but he obviously hasn't done any research on the topic.

    Look at by comparison my comments on the CAFs topic. I admitted I had no real experience with CAFs and I asked questions. My belief as stated is that CAFs is too expensive for many FDs to even consider. I didn't out of hand dismiss CAFs because I don't know anything about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    All this stuff is well and good in a test house that is set up and has the same conditions. How many hoarder houses have a sign adhvertisting that the house is full of crap?? How many older houses that have been cut up and remodeled by some hill jack carpenter have the floor plan next to the front door??
    Controlling the flow path?? How do we know what that path is? An open window or two and your "flow path" control is out the window.
    And just how is a firefighter gonna keep the door closed and hump hose in at the same time???? Maybe this will all work out if you can get the entire assignment to show up at the same time, but how often does that happen?? Many times on a room and contents, the first engine has a knockdown before another company gets there. And like I said, do you REALLY need to test to see if a stream turns to steam?? If you don't have a TIC to tell you it's hot or you can't see and feel the heat, well, get some experience.
    As for using a brick row house as an example, with newer windows, a brick or masonry building is more likely to be airtight that the average wood frame house other that one of the smaller new builds.
    I think firefighters need to look at the situation ON HAND before they rely on ANY specific technique. I am a fan of the transitional attack when indicated, I just think this door control tactic is very limited and not practical on many fires. Around here a three man crew is the norm, and I think leaving a guy on the nozzle alone is a VERY bad idea. If you haven the manpower and the conditions are right for this tactic, fine. But I don't see those stars aligning that often.
    I kinda see what you're saying, but I don't think anyone's advocating this is the "silver bullet". No one tactic will work, fires are extremely dynamic events. We're now learning about ore flow paths than ever before, but it doesn't mean what many have been doing is wrong, it's just giving firefighters better understanding of the environment by which we can make better decisions.

    Controlling the door to me is not a tactic, it's just a part of direct attack that some of us don't practice routinely, especially those of us with too few personnel. The risk/benefit is that if the fire is air regulated will that one man have a greater effect if he stays at the door minimizing fresh air intake or if he's somewhere closer to the now faster growing fire?

    There are many tactics and tips we're now seeing discussed along the lines of this topic, their not mutually exclusive, it's ala cart, use what works for the situation in front of you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    I kinda see what you're saying, but I don't think anyone's advocating this is the "silver bullet". No one tactic will work, fires are extremely dynamic events. We're now learning about ore flow paths than ever before, but it doesn't mean what many have been doing is wrong, it's just giving firefighters better understanding of the environment by which we can make better decisions.

    Controlling the door to me is not a tactic, it's just a part of direct attack that some of us don't practice routinely, especially those of us with too few personnel. The risk/benefit is that if the fire is air regulated will that one man have a greater effect if he stays at the door minimizing fresh air intake or if he's somewhere closer to the now faster growing fire?

    There are many tactics and tips we're now seeing discussed along the lines of this topic, their not mutually exclusive, it's ala cart, use what works for the situation in front of you.
    Like my Brother from the beautiful mid coast region of Maine stated, door control and transitional attack are additional tools in the toolbox. There are no "cookie cutter" type of fires, each fire is an entirely different situation from the last.
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    This article by Lt. Ray McCormack was on today's Backstep Firefighter...
    this addresses many of the issues brough up in this thread.
    http://www.backstepfirefighter.com/2...ray-mccormack/
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    All this stuff is well and good in a test house that is set up and has the same conditions. How many hoarder houses have a sign adhvertisting that the house is full of crap?? How many older houses that have been cut up and remodeled by some hill jack carpenter have the floor plan next to the front door??
    Controlling the flow path?? How do we know what that path is? An open window or two and your "flow path" control is out the window.
    And just how is a firefighter gonna keep the door closed and hump hose in at the same time???? Maybe this will all work out if you can get the entire assignment to show up at the same time, but how often does that happen?? Many times on a room and contents, the first engine has a knockdown before another company gets there. And like I said, do you REALLY need to test to see if a stream turns to steam?? If you don't have a TIC to tell you it's hot or you can't see and feel the heat, well, get some experience.
    As for using a brick row house as an example, with newer windows, a brick or masonry building is more likely to be airtight that the average wood frame house other that one of the smaller new builds.
    I think firefighters need to look at the situation ON HAND before they rely on ANY specific technique. I am a fan of the transitional attack when indicated, I just think this door control tactic is very limited and not practical on many fires. Around here a three man crew is the norm, and I think leaving a guy on the nozzle alone is a VERY bad idea. If you haven the manpower and the conditions are right for this tactic, fine. But I don't see those stars aligning that often.
    You are correct in pointing out that open windows will affect flowpath. Flowpath control is not just about controlling the door. The LAFD video that fyrdup linked to concentrated on door control. That is just one piece of the puzzle. Anyone who thinks that door control is the only goal in controlling flowpath does not understand the process. Closing the door most of the way will still allow for line advance and will contribute to controlled ventilation at the same time. Once the charged line is moving in to the fire, the door control becomes much less critical because rapid cooling is imminent. It is much more important to control door prior to line being in place. A search tem entering before line is ready should close the door behind them. Once a team locates a fire and has the ability to confine it to a room by closing that door, then the entrance door no longer needs to be controlled. Confinement of fire by closing the door to the room is not a new idea in firefighting. We know now that the entrance door should be kept closed until that is done or the line is in place.

    You mention the windows. Regardless of staffing, the time spent on an exterior survey is always worth it. So you WILL know if windows are open. The whole point of controlled flowpath/ventilation is to reduce the likelihood of our actions allowing air to get to a ventilation limited (lacking oxygen) fire. If windows are open and fire is venting then you don't have to worry about allowing air to get to the fire. This has already happened.

    Hoarding doesn't really enter into the discussion as far as ventilation. Nor does floorplan, except to the extent that interior doors will be present. Depending on whether they are opened or closed, this can help us or hurt us.

    I believe most of the resistence to this stuff comes from not fully understanding it.
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    We have some older members that are not taking so kindly to the findings of the study, but for the most part the members are finding the information useful. We have been talking alot about transitional attach and search and have been thinking back to fires where we used these tactics and were successful. One example was a trailer house where the Chief jumped off the engine and found a window that was not showing fire, used the nozzle to break the glass and opened the nozzle while the crew packed up. The fire stopped at that window. Another fire was a room and contents in the first floor A/D bedroom. The police officer closed the front door when he got there, keeping the fire down. After the size up we threw the door wide open and stretched into the house and put water on the fire. The conditions rapidly got worse till we hit the seat. Thankfully it was a short stretch, had we taken the window and hit it from the outside we would have rapidly cooled it down, or if we had controlled the front door we think the conditions would not have deteriorated as quickly. Had it been a longer stretch we may have been in trouble before we got to the room. I have asked some of the hold outs if they would like to extricate people with hack saws and screw drivers like they did in the old days. They say no, things have changed and we changed tactics and got better tools to be effective in the modern times with modern steels. Hmmmm.......
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Another approach I'm pushing for is an adult education program showing the importance of occupants closing doors and compartmentalizing their homes/apartments/spaces as much as possible. Showing them how much of a difference this can make in minimizing damage and life threat using pictures and videos would seem better than just removing door chocks every time we encounter them.
    I'd like to know what you are doing and how successful it is or has been.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    I believe most of the resistence to this stuff comes from not fully understanding it.
    Bingo.

    This is still a fairly new, and to many, radical concept. For my entire career, there have been two things that were virtual absolutes.

    *No streams through windows.

    *Don't spray smoke.

    Now we are realizing that those aren't written in stone, but that mindset isn't overcome easily, and may never be overcome completely.

    What concerns me more than the people that refuse to consider this as an acceptable tactic, are those who will read about it, or watch a youtube video, and decide that this is the ONLY way to do it. That's every bit as dangerous. Knowing when NOT to reset the fire, is as important as knowing when to do it. If this is going to be a tactic in an FD's toolkit, everyone on the job needs to understand it, and when and how to use it.
    RFDACM02 and WVFD705 like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfd1992 View Post
    Bingo.

    This is still a fairly new, and to many, radical concept. For my entire career, there have been two things that were virtual absolutes.

    *No streams through windows.

    *Don't spray smoke.

    Now we are realizing that those aren't written in stone, but that mindset isn't overcome easily, and may never be overcome completely.

    What concerns me more than the people that refuse to consider this as an acceptable tactic, are those who will read about it, or watch a youtube video, and decide that this is the ONLY way to do it. That's every bit as dangerous. Knowing when NOT to reset the fire, is as important as knowing when to do it. If this is going to be a tactic in an FD's toolkit, everyone on the job needs to understand it, and when and how to use it.
    Another virtual absolute for many:

    The first guy through the door chocks it open.

    I don't necessarily agree that there are times where the new tactics are inappropriate. What is the downside to controlling ventilation until a charged line is moving in? I see none. How can controlling ventilation be dangerous? Many will agree (I hope) that breaking of windows all around the structure before a line is ready to operate is a bad idea. Why? Because it is uncontrolled ventilation. It can worsen conditions. How is chocking open the front door prior to a line being ready any different?
    RFDACM02 likes this.

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