1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Rescue21D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    134

    Question Colliers Mansion conditions

    I've seen this referenced numerous times mainly by the FDNY.
    What exactly is it? I've never seen it in the books before.

  2. #2
    Sr. Information Officer
    NJFFSA16's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    25 NW of the GW
    Posts
    8,434

    Post Colliers

    I'm guessing, because I've never heard that phrase before.

    The process of making charcoal was considered an art and the charcoaling skill was called the "Mystery of Charring". Those who performed this task were called "Colliers."

    The master collier and one or two helpers "coaled" together working as many as eight or nine pits at a time. The collier's hut was placed in a central location to the group of pits being fired. The hut was conical in shape, having a base about eight feet in diameter and a height of about ten feet. It was constructed of three-inch poles that were covered with leaves to form a mat so that the final dressing of topsoil would not sift through the remaining crevices. A door just large enough for one person to get through was placed on the pit side of the hut and a wood stove and rough log bunks were the furnishing of this temporary structure.


    Would it be logical to assume that the term "Colliers Mansion" comes from this description? Exactly what the FDNY are referring to, I can not say. I do know this...one of our Brothers will post an answer here soon.
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    Here, There, Everywhere
    Posts
    4,191

    Default Colliers Mansion

    Some of my facts might be slightly inacurate but they are for the most part correct.

    A Colliers Mansion is a Dwelling (Private Dwelling, Apartment etc.) That is filled with filth, Trash and General Refuse. It is common to find hermits and Junk Collectors with these conditions in thier places of residence.

    The term was coined after two brothers who came from a wealthy family in Harlem (Harlem was a wealthy neighborhood in the Late 1880s to early 1900s) Inherited the Brownstone from their parents. They were recluces. One of the Brothers was blind and the other cared for him. Only leaving at night the brother would leave to gather only essentials and return home.

    Well Since both of the Colliers Brothers were very suspicious of the outside world the one who left created booby traps in the pathways created by reams of papers and Trash.

    This is where my memory gets fuzzy.. but the one could see died in the house somewhere and the blind one started to wander around the house. Well he fell into one of the booby traps and starved to death while stuck in the pile of trash.

    The firemen had to access the second floor via ladders to make entry because there was so much trash inside.

    Hence the name "Colliers Mansion"
    Last edited by FFFRED; 04-27-2002 at 12:03 AM.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    E229Lt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    2,987

    Default

    Like Fred said.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Rescue21D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    134

    Lightbulb

    Thank you for clearing this up for me.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    backsteprescue123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    4,319

    Default

    Bump.........

    This was interesting. I was reading on a fire department's website that "crews encountered colliers mansion conditions....." And was curious about it so my search led me here.

    Anyone got any good stories of fires or incidents under similar circumstances?
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
    ------------------------------------

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,586

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RFRDxplorer View Post
    Bump.........

    This was interesting. I was reading on a fire department's website that "crews encountered colliers mansion conditions....." And was curious about it so my search led me here.

    Anyone got any good stories of fires or incidents under similar circumstances?

    Knock on wood we haven't had a fire in a structure with a "Collyer's mansion".

    I have seen my share. Most of them are due to residents having OCD/hoarding problems or mental illness.

    The most recent one was found at a medical at an apartment in one of our elederly housing complexes. Literally, pathways no more than a foot wide snaked through the unit (think of a studio apartment and make it slightly larger) It was filled with rotting trash, junk, old newspapers enough furniture to fill two 2 bedroom apartments!

    If an apartment or home with a Collyer's Mansion condition catches fire, it's going to be fully involved well before we get the first phone call, toned out or before the joker starts to ring....
    ‎"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

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    213

    Default

    We run into this type of problem numerous times per year. Typical names/descriptions for these types of places include "tunnelers", "path makers", as well as the standard "hoarders" and just plain old "death traps."

    Path makers/tunnelers simply make a narrow path from door frame to door frame which is the only part of the floor you can actually see. The rest is completely filled with trash or treasure depending on the eye of the beholder.

    I have been to one incident in particular in which there was a double civilian fatality due in large part to the debris and clutter hampering search efforts. The male/female couple were a holding place for local thieves to fence their stolen items. Literally, without exaggeration, you could not tell if the living room floor was carpet, tile, bare wood etc due to the mounds and I do mean mounds of stolen cd's, dvd's, video tapes all over amongs other stolen goods. If Circuit City had these peoples inventory they wouldn't be going out of business! Both victims were upstairs found in a bathroom, and before egress could be made down the stairs I personally removed the frame for an engine block remover (sorry mechanics, don't know what it's called, whatever the full size framework you'd place over your car engine to hoist the engine out) from the landing of the stairs.

    The male was doa, the female made 6 months before succumbing. Had it been less cluttered.....outcome different perhaps? Either way, definite high risk for victims and RIT intervention. Always expect the unexpected, never get lazy, never leave a hoseline/rope line, and personnel accountability.

    May we all go home safely.

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Brooklyn, New York
    Posts
    584

    Default

    For the story of where the term comes from...click on this link:

    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...%3Den%26sa%3DN

  10. #10
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Post Yep............

    We got 'em here too. Found a few in Garden Apartment Buildings over the years, quite a mess. One of the Problems that the Younger Jakes will encounter will be the "Collyers" conditions in newer buildings with lightweight construction. The Floor loadings in these conditions can be several times that of a normal room, and in Fire Conditions, will precipitate an earlier than normal collapse.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    FWDbuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Pee-Ayy!
    Posts
    7,427

    Default

    Dealing with the problem from a Code Enforcement/Fire Inspector standpoint.....

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=84512
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber
    DFCFFEMT14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    35

    Default

    I'm surprised no one mentioned the article on the front page. I had actually just read it last evening because I had heard the term before but could not remember what it was.

    The previously shared link is excellent and also there is some good information on wikipedia (as always take it for what it's worth)

    Anyway, link to the article on the front page..
    http://cms.firehouse.com/web/online/...-2009/14$62716
    Stay Safe

    Ryan Dennett
    FF/EMT-I

    -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    "Some ask why. I answer: I know where I am going when I die, and so I do not fear it. Some people need more time to figure it out. I am that extension. My life for yours."
    Marc 'SkipJack270'

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,586

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Dealing with the problem from a Code Enforcement/Fire Inspector standpoint.....

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=84512

    Randy.. you were fortunate to get a Judge with the testicular fortitude to say enough is enough. Personal freedom aside.. she was a danger to everyone living in that building.

    To quote Charles Dickens from "A Tale of Two Cities"...
    The needs of the many far outweigh the needs of the few...
    ‎"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

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    first fatal fire was had these conditions.....keyword FATAL FIRE.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    FiftyOnePride's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    471

    Default

    Before my time my department had a trailer fire with collier mansion conditions. Thankfully the homeowner had the door closed to the room where the fire originated (Dryer fire if I recall).
    JLS
    MFC
    51 Pride - R.I.P. Sandy
    Alarm 200644004, I won't ever forget.


    Remember you only have 1*.

    IACOJ

  16. #16
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
    Posts
    10,675

    Default

    We don't have many mansions here but I have sure run into a few "Collier's Shack's" on EMS calls.

  17. #17
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    735

    Default

    2000+ posts...finally one that made sense.
    Just another one of the 99%ers looking up.

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    backsteprescue123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    4,319

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Weruj1 View Post
    first fatal fire was had these conditions.....keyword FATAL FIRE.
    Wasn't that the Osborn St. fire that you showed the video of in that command class?

    Could I get a copy of that? I mean I know ya dont like me very much and I'm a pain, but I figured it cant hurt to ask right?
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
    ------------------------------------

  19. #19
    Forum Member
    Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    yes thats the one ...we shall see.............
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  20. #20
    Forum Member
    Slaytallica45's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Belle Mead, NJ
    Posts
    282

    Default

    Heres a pic of colliers mansion conditions from a fire in another district in my town last year. This is taken from the front doorway looking into the living room, with the hallway on the left going towards the bedrooms almost completely blocked with crap


    NJ FFII/EMT-B

  21. #21
    Forum Member
    DennisTheMenace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Washington, DC/Northern Virginia
    Posts
    3,717
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register