1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool October Fire Scenario, Part #1, It's that time of year again!

    And no, I'm not talking about fire prevention week It's the time people start lighting up their wood stoves, forgetting they haven't gotten the chimney cleaned yet.

    It's nice when you don't have to wonder if you're at the right address.
    "Engine 1 On Scene, we have flames approximately 2 to 3 feet high venting from the chimney. 1-1/2 story wood frame cape, center chimney. Fire appears to be contained to the chimney at this time."
    "Dispatch acknowledging Engine 1. 20:41 hours"

    You talk to the homeowner, story is pretty typical. The started the fire leaving the woodstove doors open (with a screen, of course, in place!), got distracted doing other chores, next thing you know the chimney was a roarin'

    Ok, what questions are you going to ask, what is your sizeup going to consist of? Any immediate actions without much further info, where you going to be looking and what are you looking for? Any immediate decisions on apparatus placement?

    This is part #1...once I get several replies going I fill in what you find during size-up. Part #2 will then be strategies & tactics based on what is found...

    So start telling me what you're looking for!

    Have fun, play hard, stay safe

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Here goes the first shot at this one!

    Engine 33-61 will arrive first with 3-6 crew. If the driveway allows, place 1st due in the driveway and leave space for ladder on street (or vice aversa if thats the case). This is a structure fire assignment until proven otherwise (i'm from the school of thought that any fire in a house is a structure fire). If fire is venting from the chimney, stretch a 1.75 line while half the crew and the officer go in with the chimney kit and 2.5 gal can (we will at least need the line to wet down debris when they are dumped in the driveway). If it appears that the fire is contained to the flue and the stove..hold the line outside. Looking around the outside first (walkaround size-up) to see if any smoke is present coming from places it shouldnt (i.e cracks in chimney, joint of chimney to house or eaves and attic vents). Removal of all debris in the stove is common practice (the chimney kit contains a 5 gallon metal trash can, asbestos blanket, thick gloves, chain, and flares as well as a shovel). Once this is done a flare can be placed in the stove to try to extinguish the fire in the chimney...water is last resort here as it causes so much damage potential. if required, a flare may be dropped from on top also.

    Ladder arrives and spots where it best can...they set the jacks and prepare to go into operation. If its an easy ground ladder job..then we will leave it at that..but never hurts to get the jacks set and get 'er ready to go in the air. Ladder crew goes to roof and attic. Check attic for fire/heat extension and determine need for a line or any other action in these areas. basically, following the chimney from the stove to the outside and checking for extension of fire / heat into rafters, insulation, walls..etc. This will generally get a 2 engine, 1 tanker, 1 ladder, and 1 support truck response as well as a rescue if they are not recalled prior to arrival.

    By the way...I just realized that I said too much for this part of the topic...but I couldnt bring myself to erase it all..sorry Matt.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our normal response for an alarm of such would be: One Engine (500gal) - We'll Take the driveway entrance and light up the scene ( you said 20 hrs right ? ), One Tanker (1500gal) Stage at the end of the drive and prepare to lay lines and flow water, One Rescue to stage with tanker and send its manpower to pumper for assignment.

    Engine company officer would interview owner and ensure all occupants are evacuted while the Engine crew checks for possible extension.

    Rescue's Manpower would ladder the structure and prepare for extinguishment procedures (ie: get the hand line stretched - just in case, and get the Chimney kit ).

    I guess we'll wait now and see what fate awaits us when we get to part #2...To be continued...

    Firefighter/Paramedic in Northwest Pennsylvain... Stay Safe

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Only one engine to chimney fires. Engine pulls up driveway or stays on the street (depending on the driveway's length, cars in the driveway, etc). One crew enters the room with the fireplace in it with a 2.5 gal. water extinguisher, salvage covers, asbestos gloves, and the mirror. Another crew will ladder the roof to go to the chimney carrying the chimney box (chains and dry chem baggies), and possibly the booster with the chimney nozzle on it. A chief or a lesser officer will do a sizeup of the area surrounding the chimney itself, through all floors and into the attic, checking for heat that shouldn't be there. The fireplace crew, after moving the furniture and covering everything in sight with salvage covers, will give the fire a few quick shots with the water extinguisher, enough to darken it down, and we'll remove the burning logs to the front lawn. Once that is done, the roof crew will drop a bag or 3 down the chimney to knock the fire down. If that doesn't work, we'll try to hit the hot stuff with the chains and drop it into the firebox. If that still doesn't work, we'll send the booster down the chimney, charge it, then pull it out (the nozzle shoots sideways out from the hose and has no shutoff...pump operator controls the flor). The chimney nozzle only flows 3 gpm or so, and we've never had a problem with cracking bricks. After we get a decent knockdown, the mirror will go into the flue to see what (if anything) is still burning up there. Total time on scene is generally about 45 minutes or so, but we've spent as much as 3 hours on some chimneys (built in the late 1700's...flue took two 90 degree bends...boy was that a long, messy day).


    "I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine" -- Kurt Vonnegut

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    This run would be a 3 engine, 1 truck response for a report of a fire.
    Engine 1: Officer would conduct a quick interview with the homeonwer. Questions asked, What are you burning? Did you use an excellernt? Any extension to the room? The crew would stretch a line to the front door as a precaution. Then E1 would investigate the source. (for now)

    Truck 1: Throw ground ladders and ready for roof ops and wait for a report from E1 since the chimney is doing it's job.(for now)

    Engine 2: Prep for attic ops. No line stretched at this time. Wait for report from E1. (for now)

    Engine 3: Water supply, stand by the closest hydrant. (For now)

    Since this scenario has a second part, I'll wait and let the situation dictate the actions.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Basements and now Chimneys...

    If we're playing with our own dept's response, E1 would have 3 FFs. We don't have a truck co, but I would spot engine in front of house, leaving driveway open.

    Size up involves about what has already been said...On scene, 1 and a half story wood frame residence, flames from chimney... however, I would request structure response from dispatch, pass command to next arriving officer.[Brings another eng or quint, depending on location, Rsq, ambulance, BC] I would take FF and check attic area around flue for heat/extension/etc and have engineer take salvage covers, extinguisher, shovel inside to stove(firebox).

    Upon return from attic... [and discovery of basement fire...depending on whatever Part 2 holds for us ] ...I would ask homeowner to have family vacate, last time chimney was cleaned, what's the score in the game now? [Sir, just leave the TV on...] ...while ending and removing his fire from firebox. Dump the fire near engine and have engineer douse it with redline. We might try a few squirts of extinguisher up the chimney, once fire is gone from firebox; then have FF stand by at stove w/extinguisher while engineer and I prepare/ladder house.

    I'll go with the last post from here... standing by for more info and arrival of other units... with a charged 1.75"!

    Believe it or not, we haven't had too many chimney fires (either) and so lack a "chimney kit" or any other ingenious ways to handle them.
    Ledbelly :-)

  7. #7
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Truck 57 (quint) arrives first, gives an initial report to county, and positions itself (if possible) to deploy both aerial ladder and 1.75" hand lines. Tr57 crew first makes sure that the home has been evacuated, finds out the general circumstances (what's burning in the stove/fireplace, any signs of extension noticed, etc.). Then, Tr57 crew stretches a dry hand line to the best point of access and takes the inside chimney kit and PW extinguisher inside to begin working on extinguishing the fire of origin.

    Engine 42 and Truck 57-1 (ladder) probably arrive at about the same time. E42 drops its crew and positions to lay LDH to supply Tr57 and stands by. E42 crew is sent inside to check for extension. Tr57-1 crew ladders the roof (with their rig, Tr57, or ground ladders, as appropriate) and takes the outside chimney kit to the roof to survey the progress from there and begin a coordinated attack with the Tr57 crew inside.

    Tanker 42 (actually a tanker/pumper), Engine 57 and Squad 42 will arrive in some order and stage slightly away from the scene in a way that they can be used for secondary attack/supply or exposure support if necessary. If extension is found, E42 deploys LDH and hits the hydrant it chose when it took its original position, Tk42 and E57 deploy as ordered by OIC and Squad 42 crew takes a second 1.75" hand line from Tr57 for support (the first will already be inside by then).

    Of course, all personnel are in SCBA to begin with, nobody goes anywhere in/on the house without kits, lines, or tools of some sort. Generally, nobody would be "on air" until extension is found.

    A little preview there...standing by for further information.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    E-5 is arrival...conduct a quick but good walk around of structure. Have the roof laddered-Fires' a'roarin' right? Send crew inside to check attic and interior. Ask homeowner what is burning, when was the last use of fireplace/stove, when was it cleaned last? If possible at this point knock down fire inside and have roof sector ready with their tools...awaiting further from command.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Good start on this one. Most of my questions have already been asked so here is the response.

    My department would respond with 2 engines, a tanker, and our support unit. Our first due MA department would also respond sending 2 engines, a tanker, and an ambulance.

    First in engine would pull into driveway. Pull one 1.75" preconnect and advance to door. Line would be charged but remain outside until size up is done, unless it is obvious that the line needs to be inside right now. First in officer would be inside with one or two firefighters checking for extension of fire.

    Second in engine would establish drop tank position. Man power to assist with laddering the building and checking roof for extension.

    Tankers would position to drop loads but not drop until we start using water.

    Third and fourth due engines would stage and make manpower available to assist with hauling out the contents of the fire box.

    All of our trucks carry our own version of a chimney kit which is a couple of 5 foot lengths of chain and some ziplock baggies with dry chem in them. These would be sent to the roof to be dropped down the chimeny.

    Will have to wait for part 2 to go any further.

    David Ferguson
    Lt. Hookstown VFD

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I haven't forgotten! I'll be posting part two in a day or so!

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