1. #1
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    Default residential structure fire scenario...

    It's 5:45 AM, temperature is a balmy 55 degrees, winds are calm...
    Fire Alarm receives multiple 911 calls reporting a house fire on Adams Street.

    Adams Street is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. It is a short, narrow street on a rather steep hill. There is one series of 3 houses that are really close together...separation is a mere 2 feet from one to the other. The fire is in the middle house of this three house nightmare...it is a 2 story wood frame, balloon construction. You have heavy fire on the B and C sides of the 1st floor (possibly the location of the kitchen), heavy smoke pushing from the eaves of the attic area...and there is a report of people trapped in the two upstairs bedrooms.

    You also have severe exposure problems with the adjoining houses (of similar construction), and your access is limited to the street side....did I mention that it is a steep hill?

    The only thing in your favor at this time is that area has hydrants with excellent water pressure..there is a 1 million+ gallon storage tank on the top of the hill.

    Your first alarm response is 2 engines (staffed 2 firefighters and an officer), 1 ladder (staffed with 3 firefighters), a Rescue (two firefighters) and a command vehicle with a Deputy Chief.

    You are to assume the role of the Deputy Chief... and by the way, Exposures B and D have not yet been evacuated....
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    I would have my department, each member with a Phd, out think the situation. Then they could issue a paper on it. Stay safe Gonzo

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    Default Thank God for minimum staffing

    Since my department has only one Ph.D. (from Western States University), we would have to find another way to extinguish this blaze. First, you need to get the cavalry started. Eleven firefighters (including two pump operators) is woefully insufficient for this scenario.

    Until they arrive, an aggressive interior attack on the fire, with a coordinated search and rescue operation, must be initiated. As soon as all the occupants are accounted for, a cursory check of Exposure B needs to happen. Depending on the results, the next decision is either to take a hose line to the attic/cockloft of the fire building, or attack the fire that has extended into Exposure B. Hopefully, the additional help the DC requested upon hearing the first unit's initial size-up will arrive soon.

    P.S. I had better check my facts. We only had one Ph.D. last week. By now, we could have dozens.

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    Default My real response

    It's 5:45 AM, temperature is a balmy 55 degrees, winds are calm...
    Early am hours. Chances are that someone is home although an early riser might be cooking something. Winds are calm so that is a positive in a densly packed area.

    Fire Alarm receives multiple 911 calls reporting a house fire on Adams Street.
    The multiples usually indicate a working fire.



    Adams Street is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. It is a short, narrow street on a rather steep hill.
    The fact that the neighborhood is old might indicate several construction factors including Balloon Frame and no houses up to any curent codes. "Tight" houses, as in energy efficient, will not be a problem. The narrow street provides both placement and logistical problems.

    You have heavy fire on the B and C sides of the 1st floor (possibly the location of the kitchen), heavy smoke pushing from the eaves of the attic area...and there is a report of people trapped in the two upstairs bedrooms.
    You also have severe exposure problems with the adjoining houses (of similar construction), and your access is limited to the street side....did I mention that it is a steep hill?
    First off the smoke in the attic area is probably due to the baloon frame. However right now I would have two objectives.
    1. Put the first hoseline into operation because that is the best way to help those in need. Entering through the front to extinguish and push the fire back towards B and C the first line would try and protect the stairwell. Ladder work is needed so I would transmit extra alarms, having ladders come in from the opposing side. More manpower and more water. The steep hill can be a problem for ladder work (Such as in San Francisco) but my department has planned on this contingency. Teams are sent in to the adjoining structures to evacuate and begin removing window furnishings, etc. from the windows. A line shall be stretched to protect exposures and one stretched to the upper floors. In the meantime while I have been doing all of this writing another company has performed a primary with negative results. We then begin to concentrate on checking the spread of the fire. We will need a lot of that water that we have on the hill. I turn over operations to my meddlesome Chief.

    Okay I know, limited manpower. We do what we can.

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    Default Life safety will take precedent over property loss...

    I read a book about this.....let's look at our priorities using RECEO (rescue, exposure, contain, extinguish, overhaul) as our guide.

    RESCUE:

    With 2 people trapped on the second floor of the fire bldg. and a working fire on floor one, we definitely have a rescue problem. Call for more help! First line needs to go between the fire and the victims. In this case, the most severly exposed victims, because exposure B is about to present a rescue problem as well.

    Engine 1 protects means of access/egress with 1 3/4" line taken through front door of fire bldg. Engine 2 takes a line to second floor with Rescue 1 to perform a primary search of second floor.

    EXPOSURE:

    Truck 1 will have to do engine work. Hopefully, the engineers have established a water supply. They can leave their deck gun fixed on exposure B. Truck 1 enters exposure B with 1 3/4" line to stop fire progress and make sure it's "all clear."

    Other exposures can be evacuated by PD if there are any on scene. I'm out of manpower.

    CONTAIN, EXTINGUISH, OVERHAUL:

    Once we've made it this far we'll be okay. It's the first two priorities that are presenting problems.

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    My idea: have PD evac the adjacent homes. ladder the roof and vent. place ground ladders to the second floor and have the two man rescue company start a search for your two vics. have one engine company start interior attack on the first floor. the second engine company should be back up for the first company and prepare to go to the second floor if the rescue company directs them to. the ladder guys, after venting the roof should set up either a water curtain or two hose lines to protect the exposures. If the vics are located and removed then your rescue co can be come your RIT and the second engine co can check for spread of the fire and assist the attack if not under control. I would call for another alarm and establish command on the A side of the building far enough back to have a view of the B and D sides.
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    Handline from one engine inside to protect stairs. 2 man search teams from second engine and rescue to second floor to find/remove trapped persons. 1 guy from second engine and 1 from ladder put ground ladders to second floor windows. 2 men from ladder to roof to open vent hole - if it's a true balloon frame, that is where the fire is going - up to the attic. Once it is freely venting out the roof, keep pushing it up there. Ground ladder guys can then open a deck gun from engine between houses to protect exposure.

    Oh yeah, call for more help.

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    "the ladder guys, after venting the roof should set up either a water curtain or two hose lines to protect the exposures."

    ...after setting ground ladders and venting the roof of the original fire building, if no water has been put on the exposure by now you might as well have the truck vent the B exposure as well.

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    I think I'll hold off on a reply until our friend from Pittsville has a chance to post. I'm sure we'll all learn something.
    _________DILLIGAF

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    Yeah gah, thanks for pointing that out, that was just where my train of thought was.
    Member IACOJ & IACOJ EMS Bureau
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    As always these are strictly my own opinions and views

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    Line to the fire. I hope that meets with approval from cadets.

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    Hey Gonzo, is this a D/C test scenerio?

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    The first in engine should go in with an 1 3/4 line, and find the fire. Second in engine can establish a water supply. The rescue company can start searching the fire building. Like other guys have said if you have PD onscene they can help evacuate the exposure buildings. The second engine company can go to the second floor with a line. The ladder company can start ventilating and throw ground ladders to the second floor windows. After the ladder company has finished that they can start protecting exposures.
    As a junior I am still learing so please give me advice on what I can do differently.

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    FireLt1951...

    They (the Massachusetts Department of Human Resources)no longer have a fire problem on the Deputy Chiefs and Chiefs promotional exam.
    I really wish they would, as it is good exercise for the the brain cells...

    This is a neighborhood in my first due district. Being in the Central district, we have a lot of these older homes and the downtown area as our first due response area (there's a lot of ordinary construction built in the late 1800s/early 1900's...commercial occupancies on the ground floor, apartments above!)

    I did a residential fire alarm/smoke detector inspection for a home resale at the "exposure D" house on Monday morning and tossed this situation out at the kitchen table over lunch to get the crew thinking...it will make a good tactics and strategy session for next week!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Immediatly after assumptin of command and size-up.
    Id transmit a second alarm. As been noted for the time of day you can expect a high life probablility.
    With narrow and short streets Id have part of the pre plan for that area, unless the truck is delayted, to allow the truck into the street first to allow for optimal positioning, you can always stretch more hose is better than stretching an aerial. Assignments would be as follows:

    1st due engine: Stretch a interior line to attack the fire and to protect interior stairs, the best exposure protection is to put the fire out. When a water supply is secured the driver will utilize the deck gun for exposure protection for exposure B.

    2nd due engine: Water supply, then back up the first line with the officer and one ff.

    Truck: since you have 3 ff and an officer you can split up into inside and outside teams. outside will ladder the building and perform vertical ventlilation. inside team will perform primary search and perform horizontal ventilation as search conitnues.

    Rescue: The officer and ff on the rescue, since there are reports of mulitple victims trapped will assist the primary search, while the second ff will team up with the driver from the 2nd eng to complete evacuation and to check for possible extension in exposure b.

    2nd Alarm: relieve initial attack if not extinguished already, perform RIT duties, assist in evacuation and search for extension in remaining exposures.

    Id also call for utilities and red cross to assist displaced families. Also Id check to make sure dispatch had sent an ambulance for possible victims.
    Last edited by dfd3dfd3; 03-28-2002 at 05:56 AM.

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    In contrast to DFD, I am assuming on my own experience that I would know the area that I am responding to, and as the chief with multiple calls I would start a second alarm, or if I am a Lieut. on a responding apparatus who should know their first due area, I would either request one, or recommend to the chief that he does. The fire the way I read it has already self-vented on the B and C sides, which in a way is a blessing, being that it wants oxygen and not the stairs, well not yet anyway. Upon first arrival of each unit, I would assign 1st due engine to pull a 2 1/2" with smooth bore for interior attack, this is due to the potential for conflagration of the adjoining exposures. You have good water, and this fire is screaming for lots of water. Truck company, immediately to work on the second floor, with the rescue company, 1 Firefighter from the rescue company will pull a back up line and protect the stairwell and 1 truck company ff will place exterior ladders to the 2nd floor in the event that conditions downstairs deteriorate and any remaining rooms need to be VES from the exterior. 2nd due, picks up the hydrant for 1st due eng, that crew will stretch a line and check the exposures. Hopefully by now or shortly therein, several things will occur, the 2nd alarm will arrive and supplement the initial attack, while the operators are positioning the aerial devices for possible master stream use, (hills or no hills, make it work, it isn't easy, but it can work), or the primary search will be coming to an end soon, and they can switch with the 2nd due engine who will now take the 1 3/4 at the bottom of the stairs upstairs, and begin to check for extension into the attic with the balloon construction. Or even better the 2 1/2 kicked the $hit out of the fire and extinguishment has occurred or is close. If the latter is occurring the 2nd due can be used to due a secondary, and hit the exposures on the B/C side to check for extension there thoroughly. If you start to lose it, get the primary on the 2nd floor done fast, drop any 1 3/4 you have and leave em there, and get out your 2 1/2's and set up your deck guns on the ground for use between the exposures.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    The above is my opinion only and doesn't reflect that of any dept/agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.

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    I would turn over command to the fine cadet from Pittsville, which with that name is a little ironic, and go back to the house.

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    Capt. Gonzo,
    My question will relate to where I decide to make entry for the primary search and when and if I begin vertical ventilation.

    I've read many of the answers to your scenerio and find most to be effective and thought out. What I would like to know due to the fact I am unfamiliar with the floor plans of the residential construction in your area.

    Depending on the floor plan, where is the stairwell leading to the second floor? Are the stairs located in the front corner on the A/B side, A/D side or in the center of the dwelling near the kitchen entrance ( this is where the majority of stairs are located in my city)? Do your stairwells leading upstairs have doors or not?

    The placement of attack, exposures lines and evacuation is not in question.

    I will answer your scenerio but this information is critical to my decision in the aforementioned questions.
    Last edited by FireLt1951; 03-29-2002 at 07:11 PM.

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    OK,I just gotta go here.As a primary on a shorter staffed outfit than yours,drop a feeder on the way in,prepiped gun holds fire off stairs (if like most NE structures in that frt. door/stairs face street) and 1.75 to go upstairs with S&R.Call Mongo to be ready with Ribeyes in case above tactic doesn't work.Arrival of Mongo on redeye should coincide with coals in parking lot being ready for grilling.Kevlar on! Hood down! Hehe T.C.

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    Strike a 2nd alarm, Hoping you get at least 1 engine and 1 truck on a second.

    Engine1
    MPO - Establish a primary positive water supply.
    Crew - Stretch an attack line to the seat of the fire.

    Engine 2
    MPO - Assist E1 MPO in establishing a primary positive water supply then establish a secondary water supply.
    Crew - Stretch a back-up line to protect primary means of egress (stairway).

    Truck 1
    D/O - Ground laddering of the 2nd floor, prep areial to go to the roof.
    Crew - Primary search of the second floor. Vent as you go.

    Rescue 1
    Crew - Exposure evacuation and protection. Stretch a line inside exposure B to the D/C corner.

    2nd Alarm companies
    Truck 2
    Crew - Roof for ventilation.

    Engine 3
    Crew - Line to the top floor of the fire building.

    Now that I have layed it out, let me atempt to explain. I am a firm believer that if you hit the fire hard and hit it fast the problem of rescue becomes easier. So Engine 1's job really doesn't need to be explained. The task that Engine 2's crew as back-up with a secondary water supply is, that for some unforeseen reason there is a problem with the initial attack, the fire doesn't get past them and run up the stairs. That's why the second line stays downstairs. Truck 1's MPO by laddering the A side of the building, provides a secondary means of egress. With the alley's (sp?) being only 2 ft wide laddering of the B and D sides is out and the fire is on the B/C side. The truck's interior crew has their job's cut out for them, but with limited manpower, what are you gonna do? Venting as you search helps relieve some of the heat build up and improve visibility With the exposure problem, here's how I see it. Since the dimensions of the structure weren't given, I'll figure about 25 ft across the front, add 4 ft for both alley's for a total of 29 ft (give or take a ft). With the ladder in front of the building, the pre-piped deck guns don't have a chance of hitting the exterior of the exposure. By the time you got one set up in the alley, exposure B will be off and running. Having the Rescue crew stretch a line inside exposure B they can work as a team in the evacuation of the B building and the line is there for their protection as well as protection of the exposure. 2nd alarm companies will have the task of dealing with the attic fire.
    I see this going to a 3rd and maybe a 4th alarm for rehab.
    FTM-PTB-EGH-RFB-KTF

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    I would commit the 1st engine to pump with the 2nd securing water supply. Both would take attack lines into the structure. If the ladder
    is capable of sticking the building then I would do it, however if not then I would have the ladder co. and the rescue co. ground ladder
    the building. As this is going on the DC should fill out the box and strike a second alarm right away because of exposure and life safety concerns. After the building is laddered than proceed with a search.
    The rescue and second due ladder could proceed with searches on the interior. The 1st ladder would vertically ventilate and then proceed
    with horizontal ventilation or perform VES on the second floor. I would use the police to evacuate the exposures as someone had mentioned earlier. If I was getting a 3rd engine on the fill in I would have them put a line in operation for exposure control.(I am going on Gonzo's previous scenario with the MP.) On the second alarm I will assume you might get 2 and 1. I would assign an engine co. to go to the 2nd floor and loft with a line due to the prescence of victims and balloon construction factor. I would assign the 5th engine the 4th interior line and hold the 3rd ladder FAST. After 10 minutes I would reevaluate progress. Initially the fire was doubtful but after 10 min if it was still doubtful I would call for more help, and consider defensive ops if it is becoming untenable. If it was probable then I would hold the co's and probably call for an extra engine co. for relief. After the fire was knocked down I would assign a co. to secure the utilities before overhaul and perform secondary search with different crews. I would have EMS establish rehab and care for FF's and patient care for the victims. After the fire is under control I would procede with thorough overhaul to prevent rekindle. Just a thought.

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    Guys, good answers. I am not going to attempt to tell you what I would try to do. With guys like this running the show, I think will be under control. And plus I would be one of the firefighters inside anyway. (No fancy collar brass on me!! Just a firefighter

    This is a very likely scenario for a lot of municipalities. I know in the downtown district where I work, this is VERY likely to happen.
    A matter of fact, in two consecutive shifts, we had fires that were both balloon type construction houses turned into low rent apartment houses. The first fire happen to be at 0430 and we thought we had a rescue situation when first dispatched. 3 engines were onscene w/in 4-6 minutes with a ladder and D.C Turned out homeowners made it out a window and sustained a little smoke inhalation. Fire spread through the walls and upper floor and attic very quick. But anyway, Guys, good solutions, and good scenario, I enjoyed reading this one. Everybody stay safe and have a good one.
    IAFF Local 2270

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    Wow! some great responses (and a little sarcasm...)

    FDlt1951...

    the stairwell leading to the second floor is on the A/D corner of the house....

    Trkco1

    Our second alarm would be a Ladder and an Engine (Ladder 1 and Engine 3) staffed 2 and 1 on the Engine , 2 on the Ladder. The two reserve engines woukld be staffed by recalled personnel and mutual aid from our surrounding communities would also cover the stations.

    Your outside width dimension is right on the mark, figure the average length to be about 35 to 40 feet...you must have a few of these in your community!

    Let's see if we can get a few more responses.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Guys, good answers. I am not going to attempt to tell you what I would try to do. With guys like this running the show, I think will be under control. And plus I would be one of the firefighters inside anyway. (No fancy collar brass on me!! Just a firefighter

    This is a very likely scenario for a lot of municipalities. I know in the downtown district where I work, this is VERY likely to happen.
    A matter of fact, in two consecutive shifts, we had fires that were both balloon type construction houses turned into low rent apartment houses. The first fire happen to be at 0430 and we thought we had a rescue situation when first dispatched. 3 engines were onscene w/in 4-6 minutes with a ladder and D.C Turned out homeowners made it out a window and sustained a little smoke inhalation. Fire spread through the walls and upper floor and attic very quick. But anyway, Guys, good solutions, and good scenario, I enjoyed reading this one. Everybody stay safe and have a good one.
    IAFF Local 2270

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    E-1 ,1 Off., 1 Ecc., 1 FF.
    E-2 ,1 Off., 1 Ecc., 1 FF.
    L-1 ,0 Off., 1 Lcc., 2 FF.
    Res.,0 Off., 0 Lcc., 2 FF.
    Dep.,1 Off., Total 3 Off., 9 FF..



    Ok Capt.G. I dont like the odds. But I got a fast moving
    fire and report of trapped occupants. Strategy is to
    consolidate E-1 and E-2 to give me 1 Off. and 2 FF. on
    a 1"3/4 line for mobility to attack fire room.
    Knock down fire room , operate line out the window and up
    to knock down fire between fire Bldg. and Exp. B. There is
    a good chance the fire has auto-exposed to the attics of
    both Bldgs. through the eaves. Kitchen fire in balloon
    constuction is a double whamy, if the non fire stoped walls
    dont get the fire moving up to the attic and floor above
    the pipe recesses will. Ceilings and walls need to be
    opened quickly. PROBLEM: No manpower available.
    The Ecc. from E-1 and E-2 will be busy hooking up.

    2 FF. from L-1 search fire Bldg. Second floor priority.
    Lcc. from L-1 aerial/portable laddering.

    Off. from E-2 and 1 FF. from Rescue search Exp. B. Priority.

    Deputy and 1 FF. from rescue search Exp. D.

    Fire in this type of structure is a fast moving fire.
    Burns inside and outside. Fire in walls generates heavy smoke.
    Clock is ticking on the masks . Multiple occupants to be removed.
    There is not enough manpower to effect rescue and get ahead
    of fire for extinguishment.Im short 2 lines and truckys with
    hooks. Life is a priority. Strategy is to knock down visable
    fire and remove occupants from 3 Bldgs.. The Bldgs. will be
    lost, hopefully occupants rescued and no loses to FF., this
    is all due to the inappropriate staffing of this FD. Dept..
    The guys have posted some good strategys but the best
    strategy and tactics in the FD. world are not going to work
    properly with out enough manpower and reserves to implement
    them for this type of fire. Sorry Capt Im out gunned on this one.

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