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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Windsor, CT

    Default Scary Buildings in your reponse area

    This tread is to continue with awareness of the types of buildings we are fighting fires in and to have other stories and pictures submitted here throughout the world. There is a building in my district that is being that is being rehabilitated which was scary when first constructed is now dangerous. This building is a complete wooden bowstring truss roof with no interior support columns and was constructed originally as a grocery store. It was vacant for many years but was purchased by a church group. We thought they would demo the building and built a new church but that is not now the case. Due to building costs the church decided to rehab the existing building. As you can see from the attached picture they are hiding the front bowstring and roof profile with an attached wall.
    Once complete you will not be able to tell that this building is a firefighter worst nightmare and very dangerous to be fighting any fires inside. Our fire marshal is doing everything in his power to make this a safe building but the fact remains any long exposure to fire in the wrong places and this building will collapse. Once this building is ready and occupied and Iím going to request the Chief issue a memo to all in town companies and to our various mutual aid agreement towns about this building. Other than immediate search and rescues all interior firefighting should be done with minimal crew exposure and exterior tactics should be used.
    This thread will be a great learning tool for all firefighters both young and old and I hope it will continue for a long time. Please add your communities scary / tough buildings to this thread. Try and give your response tactics and any special considerations you are using for these buildings.
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    "Fire Prevention is our Intention"

  2. #2
    Forum Member fftrainer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Northern, NJ


    A reminder of why there is no such thing as 'over' preplanning our response area.

    Also another example of why its good to take a look at buildings under construction and see just what's hiding behind those walls.

    I know a lot of career departments are on the road more throughout the day to notice these things, both due to call volume and because they may be responsible for inspections, etc, but vol. departments need to make the effort to get out there and look around as well. My dept. tries to make an effort on driver training to make these observations. Rather than drive around the town aimlessly, have the 'instructor' (probably an officer riding in the officer's seat) keep his eyes out for buildings under construction. Make note of them and keep tabs on them throughout the phases of construction. You will be surprised to see what you learn and more importantly it may just save a life down the road by not committing an interior crew into one of today's 'disposable' structures.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.


    Even though our district is really small, we still go out with driver training and that is coupled with district famil each time. I was out just last weekend on exactly that mission in mind. Got the truck out for a good drive, got me out staying acquainted with the truck, and my partner and I took notes of new houses and changes in the area.

    For scary places in the district, we have an Actylene storage farm in our area. I haven't been in there yet, but just the thought of that getting sparked up is enough to scare anyone. And of course it has to be bordered by a couple hundred acres of forest too. So once the farm stops blowing up, the situation becomes a forestry problem. O JOY O BLISS!!
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    No. Providence R.I. : Land of the "How ya doins"


    In my city we have many scary buildings. How about a 1800' long 5 story vacant mill, or the adjoining plating business in a similar yet
    smaller building with so many chemicals you don't know where to begin.
    We also have a building around the corner from my station. It used to be a theater, and now has been subdivided into a 3 story multiple commercial occupancy. We have everything from hi-rises to ranch houses, tenenments, mills, nursing homes, a hospital, many plating shops, huge garden apartment complexes and the like. We all have buildings that scare the $#i! out of us. But if we prepare and have the heads up, we all go home afterwards! Stay Safe!
    "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

    Edward F. Croker
    Chief 1899-1911
    Fire Dept. City of New York

    HOOK N' CAN of the I.A.C.O.J.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2001


    In my response area we have:
    A coal and oil burning power plant
    A hardware store that sells lots of fertilizer, and other nasty stuff you find in a hardware store
    A strip mall that, I heard, 9 different stores have 1 common attic
    A big propane storage facility
    Couple of lumber yards
    Lots of BIG homes
    A senior citizen center
    A couple of schools, including one special services school

    The scariest is the power plant, they have an internal FD, and call us when it really starts hitting the fan. They've patched this one boiler so much it looks like one big patch, and the turbines are cooled with hydrogen. Not to mention the place is like the world's biggest and most difficult maze. Its gonna be ugly when that thing goes up big one day, not for us, but for the power company.
    Last edited by FFEMTJohn; 05-16-2002 at 05:57 PM.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Here and There


    Most of the homes in our area are scary. Most of the houses are self built with owner financing. This means that they aren't built to any sort of code and usually consist of multiple sections added on piece by piece. A good part of the area doesn't have natural gas yet and a lot of homes have questionable propane and diesel tanks next to the house. Then there's the private airfields with the av-gas around.
    Also, I think pretty much every house (including professionally built, bank finance, 'to code' houses) has roofs consisting of prefab trusses, which are held together by cruddy little gussett (sp?) plates that will probably melt in 5 minutes.
    In addition, many homes are set back a good distance from the road, with a driveway that's poorly suited for a fire truck. A lot of them have some interesting lawn ornaments (cars, washing machines, etc) in the way. The local roads in many cases aren't the best for running a tanker shuttle either.
    Fortunately for our safety, a lot of the structure fires we respond to are already fully involved by the time someone calls 911, leaving us with an exterior attack. Every time I go into one of these places for a medical call I get a chill thinking of having to go in for a fire.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Aug 2001


    Aside from all the usual's like supermarkets, hardware stores, nursing homes etc, we have a sewage treatment plant that has 400,000 litres of chlorine gas stored there, plus 250,000 litres of diesel. It used to be out of the way, but these days it is rapidly becoming surrounded by suburbia. The place is a real rabbit warren, with undergound tunnels everywhere, and more heat and smoke detectors than you can poke several sticks at.
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

    ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

  8. #8
    Member truckrescue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002


    Well in the area that I work has hi-rise, large to extremely large single family dwellings 2 large hospitals (veterans and ucla) and of course the commercial buildings.
    The hi-rise house finacial companies, residential, and embassies. The single family dwelling range from 2,000 sq ft. to over 14,000 sq ft. which always seem to be under the remodel stage. So it it a constant battle to stay up with the changes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    State College, PA, USA


    Penn State Univ.'s Beaver Stadium. . . 110 THOUSAND half drunk football fans. Yes I said 110,000 fans. Not counting the 2,000 - 3,000 people working at the game. Probably the densest 5 acres in the north east. And don't get me started on the hundreds of research labs at this major research university, including the OLDEST Research Nuclear Reactor, just .5 miles from Beaver Stadium.

    But what do we have to worry about . . . NOTHING ever happens in the fields of central Pennsylvania!!!!

    Keep Safe Brothers

    just my 1 am ranting . . . not the oppinion of any responsible agency

  10. #10
    Forum Member WFDjr1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Waynesboro, VA, possibly relocating to Virginia Beach in the near future!


    How about an abandoned 8 story dry ice factory that looks like it would fall over if you leaned on it? And there is a possibility that homeless people live in there, so more than likely, entry would be made. I don't think I would even try it, but that's just me. If I were in command, I would get everyone 200' away from the building, raise the tower and point all the deck guns on the engines slightly above the COG of the structure, and pump through the tower's bucket to hit the top of the building, to go ahead and bring it down. Then put out the rubble that might be burning, call in a few bulldozers, and get that rubble into a nice, neat pile near where the building used to stand. But that's just what I would do.
    These are my opinions, not those of my career department, my volunteer company, or my affiliates. And by the way, I'm not a Junior.

    Buy me a drink, sing me a song, take me as I come 'cause I can't stay long.

    Johnny Greene: 2/3/45-5/2/04
    Forever in our hearts

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Capon Bridge, WV

    Exclamation We're doomed!!!

    Ahh!!! We're all gonna die!

    We have a very small rural response area so farms and small houses are our main response, of course lots of MVA's. The one building that scares me is the one right next door to us. It's about 10 feet away from us. Two story building. Manufactues siding and that kind of things. So if that building goes, odds are that our fire house will go too. Our response time will be record breaking. Just pull the trucks out of the bays. But odds are good that we would never get the trucks back inside, cause there ain't gonna be an inside.
    Who cares if we are volunteer or paid? Not the fire. We fight fire not each other. Get it straight my brothers and sisters.

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