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  1. #21
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    First, a word of caution about about the burn barrel in a structure. It can lite up, and it has happened to a Brother who is an Inst.
    From what I understand Lt. Mickel was a HOT Inst. so for what it's worth, understand that no matter how good you are, the reality of it can happen to the Best of us anytime whether it is in Training or at an Incident.
    Think about what smoke is?

    I wasn't there so there is no need for me to comment anymore other then to say.

    GOD Bless ya Brother's may you rest in peace.

    FTM, PTB, RFB


  2. #22
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    Captstanm1 & Chief Reason to jump in on your comments on
    smoke. I feel that smoke began being called gas for the
    very reason you stated, hydrocarbon based products . Unburned fuel
    of plastic, foam, vinyl floating around in heated smoke
    can properly be called gas, instead of natural smoke from wood,
    cotton and hay which burn cleaner and more completly than
    petroleum based products. In doing a little critque from
    the media information ( usually half accurate) that some
    of the guys quoted we have a block building, no furnishings,
    one window with burning wood and hay. From what I read 2 guys
    were in searching and then the engine moved in with line.
    Now these are all IF'S .IF the window was closed and the entrance
    door, after a while you would have a oxygen starved fire,
    When the door was opened for line advancement you could
    have a small backdraft rather than a flashover. Just kicking
    a thought out to you guys. I personaly never liked the idea
    of closing the entrance door while searching unless warranted
    thier is to many variables.

  3. #23
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    Where is Paul Grimwood when you need him?

    There is a similar post regarding this exact issue...smoke.....and fire behavior.

    check out Fire tactics

    There is alot of information on flashover, by products, and fire behavior.

    To comment on Capstans comment.......sometimes you can do everything right and things still go wrong. I will wait and see with the rest of you.

    Dave

  4. #24
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    Dave...That is a valid point. With so many unknowns, you certainly can be prepared, plan, be safe, follow guidelines....an so on...and disaster will strike.

    Thanks to the lady from Osceola who has shared this information with us. I wonder what prompted her to come to us and pass on this information. And....she has confirmed that they did get seperated.(at least confirmed where the initial reports of seperation came from...)


    (oops....edited this after I realized I made a gender mistake)
    Last edited by captstanm1; 08-03-2002 at 04:40 PM.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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  5. #25
    Forum Member lilsisterosceol's Avatar
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    Default Not confirmation

    Coming here today was my way of saying farwell to Lt. John Mickel. He was buried today, about the same time of my post.

    I am not confirming they were separated, I am only confirming who and where the initial report came from.

    Thank you for turning me onto Grimwood.

    By the way I am not of the male persuasion.

  6. #26
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    George: please correct me if I'm off-base; there is already discussion that there were no furnishings in this room, so how could flashover cause articles to hit their ignition temperatures if the room was empty?

    I don't know. I suppose you could have flashover in a room with no furnishings if the initial fire was burning inefficiently and was large enough to fill the room with lots of superheated gases. My initial guess (underline, bold, italics...guess) would have to be that there were wall or ceiling finishings that began to burn.

    I am staying on the sidelines on this one until I hear some facts from the investigation. So far, there is not one thing that we shoul dbe commenting on, other than the fact that it appears they are doing a complete investigation.

  7. #27
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    For information - here was my original post Dave refers to above - 'It is a sad fact that the vast majority of firefighters and training officers still have little or no realistic appreciation of how fire gases form, transport and ignite under a wide range of conditions encountered in structural firefighting. When firefighters enter a burning structure, be it a real fire or a 'training' burn, it is essential that they understand how fire gases are able to behave like petrol vapors! Would they advance into a structure that they knew was swamped with petrol fumes?

    What is a flashover? or a backdraft? or a smoke explosion? or a forward-induced explosion? or a flash-fire? where are you likely to encounter high-velocity fire gases? Can ventilation cause a flashover or is this a backdraft? What is the effect of creating a vent opening behind the advancing firefighters?

    These are all questions that every firefighter and training officer should know the answers to! Do you?

    The behavior of fires can only be taught safely and effectively in purpose-built fire behavior 'simulators' (container style) and even then, a basic introduction session is far from sufficient. Multi-compartment, observation and attack units are needed to provide the depth of knowledge required to understand how fire gases form and transport and tactical venting actions should be used to demonstrate likely effects at real fires, taking into account the effect of creating/widening ventilation parameters.

    Firefighters will continue to die in fires until we provide them with this knowledge - fire gas formation, transport and potential for ignition.

    George was the only one to reply to that post......

    I have to say that you most certainly can achieve 'flashover' (of a sort) or NFPAs 'Rapid Fire Progress' with just Pallets and Hay as fuel, where the fire becomes ventilation restricted (ie; not enough air in the compartment to support complete combustion). I am notr suggesting this is what happened in Florida as I don't have the facts - but it can happen! The smoke can ignite in a flash-fire and create circumstances similar to 'flashover' - see http://www.firetactics.com/FLASHOVER.htm in particular.

    We have used exactly these two fuels to achieve controlled burns in fire simulators (containers) and demonstrated repeated ignitions of the fire gases in a 'safe' environment - no firefighter has EVER died in a european container burn.

    As George said - don't rule out any wall or ceiling linings that may well increase the potential for such an event to occur. Such ignitions may even initiate in compartments (rooms) adjacent to the fire-room itself.....NOTE THAT POINT! This really does take firefighters by surprise.

    Learn from this guys and stay safe......PLEASE!

  8. #28
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    Question Re: No speculation, no conversation

    Originally posted by lilsisterosceol
    Everything has been sealed tight and people who talk have been threatened with loss of employment so if you don't speculate or try to figure it out, you might as well shut down this thread.

    Pallets and Bales of hay???? I wonder how much was used? The statement that they were going to have a big burn would suggest that possibly someone over did? You are the experts, I just have my ears open.

    I have a question for you. This training facility is in a heavily wooded area. The initial report by the press, (reliable or not) was that the trees and brush outside the window caught fire. Would that make any difference in the equation?
    That would be as a result of heat or flame escaping from openings in the structure when the "flashover" occurred...and probably had nothing to do with the initial event. The exterior fuels (trees, shrubs) would not be a factor here.

    I'm curious as to why you state that this "has been sealed tight" and what relationship you have with Osceola County Fire...as denoted by your lilsisterosceol forum name. Is there some concerted effort at a coverup there?
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  9. #29
    Forum Member lilsisterosceol's Avatar
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    NJFFS posted: I'm curious as to why you state that this "has been sealed tight"

    Lilsister posted:
    I suppose because of my relationship with OCFR the press, media if you will have been contacting me. Since I am as I said, "Joe/Josphine Taxpayer". I would guess that is fairly hard up on there part? Pardon the slang. Perhaps I am the man/women about town, I don't know, it is difficult for me to explain who I am because folks just don't believe me.

    NJFFS posted:
    and what relationship you have with Osceola County Fire...as denoted by your lilsisterosceol forum name.

    Lilsister posted:
    I am Littlesister to Local 3284

    NJFFS posted:
    Is there some concerted effort at a coverup there?

    Lilsister posted:
    Not so much a coverup. Perhaps and my heart is sinking as I say this, we have a Lairdsville as someone suggested earlier.

    Last report I have read: While there has been some speculation on how the firefighters may have been critically injured in the one-stroy abandoned building donated for fire training, the state fire marshal's office said Friday that the investigation was still ongoing and a conclusion may not come until sometime next week.

    You are the experts, if there were no problem or issue, the report would have come out when promised which was two days after the incident. Lilsister is feeling very sick in the pitt of her stomach. Gentlemen, OCFR has been using abondoned buildings for training, for decades. The particular house they were in was used the previous week for burn training. I don't know which department used it, but I saw the fire with my very own eyes.

  10. #30
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    I know that they have acheived "flashover" in our local fire academy training burn building, just using pallets and hay.

    Lilsister, you know your area better than us, but there are many, many things that could change when an investigation is complete and when details will be released. They have said from the beginning that they want no mistakes.....the biggest mistake is releasing info too early, especially when it becomes inaccurate.

    I am curious as to why peoples jobs were threatened, but then they suspended the Asst Conductor in Boston that had some "verbal diarhea" after the train stopped at 2 stations before helping the heart attack victim. So maybe they are just trying to prevent the "wrong" information from getting out.

    Remebering our Brothers, and waiting for more details.......

    Dave

  11. #31
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    To Paul Grimwood....Glad to have you back...Excellent comments on this thread. Look forward to your well versed and sensible input.

    Locally.....MUM seems to be the word. I have seen no additional information since the announcement" "THE STATE FIRE MARSHALL"s OFFICE IS INVESTIGATING."
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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  12. #32
    Forum Member lilsisterosceol's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Agreement & Understanding

    You are so very right in all that you say. No more speculating on my part.

    We will await the release of information from the proper authorities at the appropriate time.

    For those of you not familar with our form of government. I live in what is called an unincorporated area. Our local government is run by 5 County Commissioners, the honorables. They give direction to a County Manager who in turn gives direction to staffers. Fire Service has become too intricate and scientific to allow too much involvement from laymen and the above governing body knows nothing about Public Safety. This is strictly my own opinion and personal preference. Since all of the above work for me, I make sure my vote, my voice and my tax dollar are spent on what I believe to be the priority for my county, "Public Safety". My belief is, if more people take an interest in their safety and quit relying on their local governments to look after their welfare, fire service would be at the level it should be. It is not prudent for me to wait until I have an emergency to wonder if the response team is trained, has the appropriate apparatus, is going to respond within a standard amount of time, et.al.

    I would like to thank each of you. You have packed more information into this small thread than I have garnered in the past 3 years. Keep doing what your doing, it is a service to the world.

  13. #33
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    A couple items then to expand on George & Paul slightly

    First, I agree with George that there isn't enough specific information on this incident yet for specific comments to be made on that situation.

    Second, my gut really wants to know if there was a dropped ceiling or otherwise big void above their heads -- but that will come out in the reports.

    Hay & Pallets are undoubtly safer than petroleum-based products.

    Petroleum products are hydrocarbons. They got lots of carbon in them.

    Combustion is rapid oxidization.

    Petroleum products, unless fed through a carberator or similiar device to make the right air/fuel mix, don't burn clean do to a lack of enough oxygen to use up all that carbon.

    Wood & Hay have a lot less carbon, so they need less air to combust completely to form CO2.

    But wood & hay without enough oxygen certainly can form CO -- carbon monoxide, which is one of many unburned products of incomplete combustion we can encounter. And CO can explode and/or flashover.

    There is a lot more work, work on the scene, that must be done to say it was caused by hay & pallets creating CO causing a flashover. There's much more likely causes to rule out first (like wall board or combustible ceiling tiles hidden behind a newer ceiling).

    If in the end the only fuel source was hay & pallets then that will be good information to take for the next revision of NFPA 1483(?). No standard can protect you from every event, but we can strengthen the standards based on our experiences.

    Matt

  14. #34
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    Hay & Pallets are undoubtly safer than petroleum-based products.
    Not for nothin. but 1403 permits Class A fuels like hay and pallets. If you can't use hydrocarbon fuels (with good reason) and then they write hay and pallets out of 1403, what do you use then?

    I am not commenting on this incident!

    Flashover prevention is of far more importance than what Class A fuel you had burning. In 1403, they discuss things like ensuring enough ventilation and having a way to evac the gases in an emergency, making sure the wall coverings are removed, making sure combustible ceilings are removed, etc. Therre is alot to preparing an acquired structure for a live burn.

    Paul, I have posted on here at least three or four times that, in my opinion, many officers today are placing their people in great danger due toa lack of knowledge and understanding about the science of fire. Thanks for your insight.

  15. #35
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    You guys should read this commentary by my friend and mentor Dr. Harry Carter.

    http://www.harrycarter.com/2002/Aug_...st_4,_2002.htm

  16. #36
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    and then they write hay and pallets out of 1403, what do you use then

    I don't think we need to go that far.

    But I don't think it would be beyond reason to actually use facts and not gut feeling in running training burns -- to require heat & CO meters in place before burning that can go into alarm with extreme heat, with sudden rises in temp, or with excessive CO levels (indicating incomplete combustion). The costs I'm guessing would be competetive with building not-so-realistic burn trailers but with greater portability. (Trailers have their place, so do burn buildings. IMHO Acquired structures are much better for realistic scenarios)

    This isn't just for acquired structures, but for concrete buildings to. And it's consistent with trends in the fire service to push technology like CO meters and heat-sensing PASS alarms were we used to just guess at it.

  17. #37
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    Default The science of fire

    I am troubled by any live burn session that results in injury let alone a death of one of our brothers. Like others I will wait until more information becomes available before I comment regarding the specifics about this incident. I will, in my limited way, try to help those who read this thread understand what I understand about basic fire behavior based upon scientific observations.

    1. Fire exists in two modes; glowing/surface combustion and flaming combustion.
    2. Glowing/surface combustion fires consist of fuel, heat and oxygen in sufficient quantities. For glowing combustion to take place, at least 15% oxygen is required. Less than that, and a fire in will not be able to continue to propogate after a period of time.
    3. Flaming combustion, is a little more complex, since it involves not only those elements listed under glowing/surface combustion, but it also involves a chemical chain reaction.
    4. Flaming combustion unlike that of glowing/surface combustion requires that fuels be gaseous in nature, as our collegue Mr. Grimwood has enlightened us all. If the fuel is a solid, such as appears to be the case in OCFS incident, then the fuels must be pyrolized. (NFPA Handbook, 14th edition, pg 2-23). Liquid fuels, only need to be evaporated. Some liquid fuels will vaporize at standard temperatures and pressures such as gasoline (petrol as Mr. Grimwood likes to state). We refer to that point at which a liquid gives off sufficient vapors for a flash to occur as a liquids "flash point".
    5. But we cannot forget that when any material burns it does so in combination with oxygen. Most of the time the oxygen exists at 20.9% in air. Sometimes it is assisted with other materials such as hypochlorites, nitrates, etc. But we also must understand that oxygen need not only be present, but it must be mixed with the fuel (read vapors) in proper amounts. We know that when we adjust a carborator of an auto or lawn mower engine that if we have too much fuel and not enough air the engine won't run. It's too rich. If we have too little fuel and too much air, it won't run because it's too lean, or has insufficient fuel. But get it between its Upper Explosive Limit (UEL) and its Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) and bingo, you've got what you need, a controlled explosion inside a sealed container.
    6. During a compartment fire, we will run through a series of steps that go from incipient to free burning to smoldering, that dependent upon the stage of the fire will have differing concentrations of heat, fuel and oxygen. These levels can be different dependent upon various factors. Where you might have sufficient heat, and fuel you may lack suffcient oxygen in the upper levels for flaming combustion to occur. But beware when those free fuels (vapors) find sufficient oxygen, like at a window or door. This is what Mr. Grimwood explains to so many on his site.
    7. Let's look at only one gaseous vaporized fuel given off by any fire involving an organic material like, straw or hay. Carbon monoxide; LEL - 12.5% to UEL - 74.2%. While we all know the health affects of CO we frequently neglect the flammable component of CO, despite the fact that research as early as 1933 indicated that CO was and continues to be a major contributor to rapid fire spread. (NFPA Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 2, Oct. 33).

    Understand that this is not a discussion to whack those in Florida, but simply an educational opportunity to those who read this. Understanding basic fire behavior and physical fire chemistry should be paramount in any fire fighters and officers knowledge base. NFPA several years ago produced a fire behavoir video, which is very good. Every fire fighter should see it. I believe that it was simply entitled, "Fire Behavior". I hope that I have helped in just one small way.

  18. #38
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    LEL - 12.5% to UEL - 74.2%. While we all know the health affects of CO we frequently neglect the flammable component of CO, despite the fact that research as early as 1933 indicated that CO was and continues to be a major contributor to rapid fire spread.

    To add just a bit, LEL is the lower explosive limit in air, i.e. 20.9% O2 @ standard temperature & pressure.

    In a fire environment you'll have less O2 which would generally increase the concentration needed to burn/explode, but at the same time much more heat which would generally lower the concentration needed to burn/explode.

    So you end up with hot gasses much more likely to burn but lacking oxygen. When O2 is found...

  19. #39
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    Dalmation90,
    Thanks for pointing that out. Although I believe that most of the time the reason that we may have a free burning fire in a compartment that does not light off the CO and other freed gases and products of combustion in the smoke, is that the concentration of those gases and particularly the levels of CO are so high that they are above their UEL, not below their LEL. I don't believe that the heat of the fire changes the UEL or LEL of any gas, but the heat of the fire with less oxygen makes a fire more efficient than one with less heat and the same level of oxygen. Less heat, less oxygen makes for a very inefficient burn and the production of higher levels of CO and other fire gases. The more prevalent the gases, the more likely you will achieve the necessary LEL of any gas and therefore make it easier for ignition of those gases to occur.

    This is consistent with smoke that doesn't light off until it hits a window, door or other point of ventilation. If that opening or rate of oxygen influx is higher than the rate of gases escaping from the opening, the bouyant superheated flammable gases and smoke will ignite back to the original fire. If the opening or rate of oxygen influx is less than the rate of gases escaping then the fire will continue to burn on the outside where sufficient oxygen can combine with the gases.

    George,
    I just read Harry Carters article and it is a great idea.

  20. #40
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    Once again, Dr. Carter has share with us some of his wisom and insight and has presented a very innovative idea.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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