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  1. #1
    Dalmatian90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Fire Scenario: Things that go through your mind...

    Well, heard this on the scanner the other day (names changed to protect the innocent...and no, I don't know the outcome, just heard the initial tones) and said, well that would be a cool thing to think about...

    County Dispatch to Town Fire Department, Engine 3, Engine-Squirt 4, Ladder 3 responding the the Nationally Known Chain Hotel, strong smell of Kerosene on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Time of Tone 22:45 hours

    If memory serves me right, it's a pretty typical modern (1970s) 3 story wood frame -- center lobby, 2 "wings" at slight angle to each other. Pretty open typical car-oriented lot, back side has a parking lot that's adjacent to an Interstate.

    OK Cap'n, your on the first due unit -- what things are going through your mind as you're responding.

    [This message has been edited by Dalmatian90 (edited April 18, 2000).]


  2. #2
    FF McDonald
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Smile

    Well---

    Time of dispatch -- 2245hrs; meaning that there will more than likely be occupants in the hotel. Life Safety will be a big issue.

    Last time I was in a hotel, they weren't heated by Kerosene -- so I might think Arson, and the use of accelerants right off the back -- so on top of everything - scene preservation. (Although -- if arson, the would-be arsonist should have uses a flammable liguid rather than a combustible liquid, lower flash point )

    Considering that it is a three story structure, I would make all attempts to have the ladder be the first truck in - Life Safety would be my primary concern. After that, -- its a toss up between the Eng/Squrt or the Engine proceeding in. I would rather have the Squirt be the second truck in, tagging a hydrant for water supply, and using it's elevated master stream to attack the fire (if there is one) until handlines can be strecthed.(The fire will more than likely be on the 2nd and 3rd floors - if that's where the smell of kerosene was)

    Handlines for an offensive attack could also be stretched from the squirt. The engine should hit a hydrant from a separate main, and supply the sprinkler system if there is one in place. If not-- they still hit a separate hydrant/main -- and begin an offensive attack if conditions permit.

    Once all of the life safety issues have been addressed, and necessary saves made-- then the Truck Co. should go to work, and begin ventilation, and their searches.

    Mutual aid, and or manpower called as needed.

    I hope I covered everything-- if I didn't - please e-mail me and tell me what I missed.




    ------------------
    Marc


    The opinions presented here are my own, and not those of any organization that I belong to, or work for.

    "In Omnia Paratus"

  3. #3
    Dalmatian90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Dope slapping myself...since I scene preservation hadn't crossed my mind!!!!

    Even worse while I was at the station trying on my *new* bunker gear today our Chief who is a State Fire Marshal with an Arson Dog was on the phone describing a new class he's teaching on preserving fire scenes! Du'oh!

    I do have a couple other ideas though...but will give other people a chance!


  4. #4
    e33
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Random Thoughts:

    Sounds like an investigation box so far, this call wont get a full assignment in many places, however its occupancy may automatically upgrade the response. In any event depending on initial findings and the thoughts below, upgrade to full box assignment / call addt'l companies.

    Is this an outside odor condition being taken by the HVAC system?

    Is the smell actually kerosene?

    Where is the utility room?

    Id see to it that at least one crew did a full walk around of exterior right away as I made the decision to evacuate the building. This may save alot of headaches if a source is located.

    ------------------
    The opinions and views expressed herin are solely mine and not on the behalf of any department or organization I belong to.



  5. #5
    FF McDonald
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Smile

    Not that e33 isn't right.....


    I would personally treat this call as if it were a fire due to the nature of the occupancy. I would much rather proceed in Hot-- and have the first due company do a size up/ investigation of the situation, than treat it as a "smells and bells".

    But this is only my opinion.....


    ------------------
    Marc


    The opinions presented here are my own, and not those of any organization that I belong to, or work for.

    "In Omnia Paratus"

  6. #6
    FSRIZZIO
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Pretty much the same answer as Mac up there, but I'd get Law Enforcement en route. Could be someone operating a methanphetamine lab in one of the rooms for a little weekend money.
    Be Safe, Frank

  7. #7
    Lt. Chester
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I am on the same page as FSRIZZIO I thought a drug lab even before I saw his response. But could be some families who are living there doing some ethnic or cultural practices.

  8. #8
    Dalmatian90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    Are we running into the drug labs in CT?

    Scarery thing is Chester, I took this scenario from a dispatch for a town next to yours!

    Now, out here in the sticks we have chicken coops converted into clandestine Marijuana greenhouses...wonder what you do if one of those ever lit off! I keep getting a vision of Cheech & Chong in the bucket of the Tower...

  9. #9
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I would tend to think it would be (in this order)

    A. drug lab (assume the worst and hope for the best)
    B. something in the parking lot (leaky tank)
    C. someone's cooking a late night feast on a coleman stove in their room or on the balcony
    D. Somebody forgot to clean something they were transporting and it leaks. (Example - fuel control for a Huey - actually happened except the smell/leak was found coming from the overhaed bin of the 707 the guy was flying on. Can you spell passenger panic and ****ed off FAA?)

  10. #10
    Dalmatian90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    A lot of great replies and several points that I'll have to remember in the future!

    Here's my original thought --
    Kerosene is not a normal smell for a hotel.

    Especially in the evening...is someone trying to create a revenge arson and/or kill himself? Let's get the police started as a precaution.

    It was a weekend...but is there anygroup staying there that *might* be a political target -- i.e. possible domestic terrorism?

    Probably wouldn't lay in until we make a better determination -- could be through the HVAC like e33 suggested. Engine stays at hydrant, but looks closely for a possible secondary device...Squrt and Ladder go in to investigate.

    Talk to the staff...whose staying there, any conferences, banquets, etc going on that might be a target?

    I think I would keep one of the companies in a 'reserve' status, and use the other to search the building with the staff for the source. Since I'm in a volunteer area and it's Sunday night, we'll have 6+ people on a truck, so I'd probably send the officer & a ff from the reserve company to do an exterior walk around for stuff out of place or HVAC sources.

    Just in case this is someone waiting to trigger the event or it's a meth lab...I'd try to keep units relatively low key.

    Now, here's a dilema...you find someone in a room ready to flick his bick...or you and the police start to seriously suspect room 230 is a meth lab. How do you evacuate? Do you pull the alarm, cause a commotion, and get everyone hopefully out quick but at the risk of aggravating the source...or do you grab the master keys and go room to room saying it's time to leave now, there's a bomb threat in the building?

    I also think once the FD confirms, yup smells like a lot of Kerosene, that the alarm should be upgraded...I'm thinking minimum of another engine and ladder to a staging area nearby.

    Any ideas? Thoughts on the dilema? I like this one the more we talk about it!
    Matt

  11. #11
    FSRIZZIO
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Sounds like it's turning into an unsecure crime scene. In my neck of the woods the Police get paid to handle those. My suggestion would be to work with the PD, get the place evac'd quietly. stage a full structure alarm at a safe distance, and let the police do there job until it's time to do ours. If it is a meth lab, bingo... you've got a Hazmat incident that could shut down the building during some serious cleanup needs, depending how long it's been going on. If it turns out to be Hadji cooking up a little bowwow on the coleman stove, you clean it up, let the hotel manager spank him, and head back laughing about it.
    Be Safe, Frank

    [This message has been edited by FSRIZZIO (edited April 21, 2000).]

  12. #12
    mark440
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    What about a unreported traffic accident? How busy is the Interstate this time of the night? Could it be possible that there is a Haz-Mat incident not reported yet, the wind blowing to the Hotel, and 2 & 3 floor windows open and collecting the fumes?

    Just thinking up different possibilities.

    ------------------
    If in doubt - Call us out

  13. #13
    Dalmatian90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Very busy interstate...6 (maybe 8?) in this stretch of road. Interesting idea though!

  14. #14
    Gill
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Very interesting scenerio. If this person in room 230 is waiting to "flick thie Bic", then we need to let PD do what they need to do. They should be enroute to begin with...hopefully.

    My first thought is to get more people there, just in case our "terrorist" decides go light it up. I would dispatch an extra engine, truck, and chief "on the quiet" and have them stage down the block. Better to have the help there if we need them.

    At the same time, I'd like to evacuate people quietly. Give me the master key, and let us start getting them out. My reasoning is, if we sound the fire alarm, we might push our guest in room 230 over the edge. Also, I don't think many of the other guests are going to heed the fire alarm, especially if they don't see any smoke or flame in their hallways when they peek out.

    mark440 had a good idea. If it is that, then we possibly brought a whole lot of people out for nothing, but better safe than sorry.

    ------------------
    I LOVE THIS JOB!

    Gill

  15. #15
    LAfyrfytr
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    No matter what type of incident, you ought to have some considerations in mind in order to develop an effective strategy upon your arrive. You should consider:
    1. Potential for high life loss due to time of day and type of structure (Hotel, 2245 hours).
    2. Need to immediately address exposures (both external and internal).
    3. The need for rapid fire attack and/or ventilation.
    4. The need for additional resources:
    Firefighting, rescue, search and rescue, ems,laddering, ventilation, evacuation, salvage, manpower, RIC, command/staff positions.
    5. Access and availability of water supply
    6. Need to address alternate response routes for responding companies.
    7. Need to establish a Medical Group.
    8. Need for outside agency assistance - PD,etc.
    If you arrive and determine that you have a Hazardous Materials problem, due to the smell of kerosene:
    1. Elimination of sources of ignition
    2. Need to establish a Hazardous Materials Group.
    3. Determination of methods for isolating, identifying, containing and eliminating the hazardous product.
    4. Establishment of a perimeter, the need to control all means of egress/ingress.
    5. Need for early air exchange.
    6. Accessing information from Building Inventory, Management, witnesses, etc.

    Hope this helps

  16. #16
    dtj
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    If the guy has a lighter, who has the fire extinguisher?

    Terrorists like big bangs. I don't know what you could mix with kerosene to get the desired effect. However, there are more and more groups out there who don't have the technology or resources for that.

    I'm curious. What really happened?

  17. #17
    FF17
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Agree on checking utility room. Any chance of oil fired boiler?

  18. #18
    Capt. Skippy
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Added thought for the possibilities.

    Contruction type trades on the road stay in hotels, sometimes very nice ones (personally I'm in the Environemntal business and we stay in rather nice hotels for away jobs). There are various types of equipment that runs on kerosene, that may be brought back to the room for storage overnight (to prevent theft - some of these instruments can run in excess of $5,000.00) or they may be cleaning items in the bath tub. I didn't say they were smart, but at least they are not using gasoline! (and smoking!!!!)

    Just one of another thousand possibilities.

    ------------------
    Remember - Safety is a way of Life!

  19. #19
    st34ff
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Arrow

    My first reaction. Talk to the staff. Find out which wing it is or is the smell in both. If it is in one wing, then I would consider it a little worse than if it was in both wings of the hotel. I would have a team of 2-4 ff do a walk around of the building also randomly checking around cars in the lot. I would take a meter and walk it thought the whole hotel. I would have the ladder pull into the lot, and the engine stand by the hydrent. No need to pack up hose if not needed. Then I would play it by ear from here on, depending on what I heard from the staff and the walk around.

    Kyle

  20. #20
    resqb
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Just to throw this out. Maybe some workers had been up on the roof earlier in the day and while cleaning up left a small container behind. It would be fine until a passing animal (bird?) possibly dumped the material on the roof, possbly toward air intake. Time to do a complete check, roof and all.
    Response wise, treat it like a high rise lots of people for lots of work...just in case.

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