1. #1
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    Default Tactic question-What would you do? (picture)

    Happen to come across this picture from my question
    about Hilton Head, SC. As I looked, I wondered about
    going interior or is it too late? Access might be a
    problem? Looks like ventilation could be but I see
    some self ventilating.

    What would you do?

    After thinking about it more, looks like night time
    so resident rescue is a factor. Looks like the guys
    in the picture are going to be exterior or just
    waiting to go in???

    What would you do?
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 11-12-2002 at 02:13 PM.

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    Default Heres the picture...

    Opps..hada problem uploading it. Will try again...
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    I know that at my station and my crew this is still in interior attack fire, but again like I said my station and my crew. How long it stays that way depends.
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

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    I see a few things worth mentioning, so I edited Mr. Photo and highlighted the points I wanted to bring up.

    -The blue vertical line appears to line up with the separation between two groups of units. Although there is smoke from the attic (blue arrow), it appears tenable enough to evaluate further for possible entry for rescue attempt to the right.

    -The two pairs of parallel lines show sidewalks. I thought that would be relevant when I drew them, but it's really not.

    -The two white ovals show where lots of bad stuff is happening, specifically some heavy fire damage. This would lead me to suspect the second and third floor units are not likely to contain survivors, at least not that we could access very easily.

    -The first-floor unit actually looks tenable there, but the risk seems prohibitive based on the likelihood of a collapse. I would be concerned about these balconies dropping on my head, since the railing from appears to have already done so (circled in green).

    So based on that stuff, I would evaluate further the possibly of making entry on the right side...maybe using a piercing nozzle to hit the fire, in the unlikely event that my blue line does not coincide with a fire wall. I would want that attic checked ASAP, however...that smoke doesn't look all that threatening, but it can fool you.

    Some judicious use of hand lines could darken down the exterior to allow for some further evaluation of the involved units. It's a funny looking fire, really. That top oval shows the heaviest fire involvement, but the rest of it looks sort of superficial, like it might be primarily in that exterior wall without getting very deep into the structure. It almost looks a little bit like an interior attack is hitting from side 3 and has already brought the fire down a couple notches.

    Speaking of side 3, what's going on there and in other locations out of view can sure temper what I've thrown out here.

    Good photo!
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    The decision wether or not to enter, in my opinion, depends on one's knowledge of the building. The members of my company, and most of my department, try to know as much about our buildings as possible. This is especially important in multi-family dwellings. Presence and location of fire walls, roof mounted HVAC untits, etc. must be known before an educated decision can be made.

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    I agree with alot of what EastKYFF said. Especially the part about a lot of that fire looking like its on the exterior. I'd also like to know how far to the pictures left that building goes. They may need a trench cut up top if there is a lot of building left unburnt.
    The only way to tell would be to go inside to see what its like.
    Either way, I wouldn't say that that should be an exterior attack. There isn't that much smoke and I can see lots of structure left that is still not burning.

    Scott

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    Stand there and wish you had a CAFS pumper 'cause 500gpm of CAFS on that right now would bring this incident to rapid conclusion?

    Seriously, I'm thinking, "Stop the cooking action" I don't think the fire is in the 1st/2nd floor -- that's outside extension a small CAFS or 1.5" line can handle.

    A quick, hard hit with a master stream while crews are gaining entry and stretching lines up 3 stories to the third floor would do a world of wonders -- work it parrallel to not push fire towards B or D side, pretty well vented so I don't think steam will be an issue for 20 or 30 seconds of application.

    Crews get to third floor of B & D sides, pull ceilings, see what we got. Fire looks pretty well vented out the middle, so I don't think we have much mushrooming. If we don't, then the crews should be able to hold the attic fire from extending, and other crews can push in on the fire seat. Looks like a four line minimum fire to me -- 1 1.75" to B, hold attic 1 1.75" to D side, hold attic 1 1.75" to D side, attack, 1 1.5" outside knockdown. That's your biggest challenge -- getting enough manpower quick enough to deploy those lines, do the truck work to support them, plus do the truck work to primary search the rest of the building. Can you say Manpower Depeletion.

    If you pull ceilings and have heavy fire that's taken hold of the trusses, evacuate and bring the ladder pipes to bear -- probably drop it right down to the eaves and blow the fire out of the attic

    This isn't a fire to screw with -- you're either gonna get a lot of medium-sized lines in place quickly to cut it off and kill it, or you need to retreat and haul out the heavy artillery to knock it down.

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    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    If you pull ceilings and have heavy fire that's taken hold of the trusses, evacuate and bring the ladder pipes to bear --
    If you pull the celling and find heavy fire why not send a guy up there and put it out. If you all ready have a line inside use it. In most small attic spaces like this one looks like it has, a 1 3/4 can kill a lot of fire quick, if you put the fire out and the roof is still standing there is a less of a chance of it coming down
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

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    Lightbulb Thanks...

    For some reason, this picture really perplexes me.
    I must remember that a photo is really just half a
    second in time. As I drove home today, I thought
    more and more about the picture. (I dont know why)

    I was thinking, why not atleast quickly knock down
    the outside stuff and then re-eval. Someone else
    agreed with me on that when they said "Stop the
    cooking."

    I was also thinking about strip cutting the building
    on the left side of the picture as well too.

    Other than those extra thoughts, thanks for the feed
    back. Please remember this question was NOT to slam
    anyone or department, just more of a knowledge
    quest...
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 11-12-2002 at 05:23 PM.

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    The fires on the ground floor and 2nd floor appear to be drop-down spot fires. Those would be failry straight foward to knock down with hand lines.
    A quick deck gun blitz into the small window along side the patio window would darken t it down effectively. Coordinate that with the crews making entry from the rear or sticks to other apartments on the 3rd floor.
    I agree with the concern with the fire getting to the roof members. It appears to be a mansard roof with fire breaks, so horizontal travel SHOULD be contained. But that is based on the itegrity of the fire walls (ie holes for cable, new phone lines, piping, ect) I would start by pulling the cielings in the room to the right of the well involved little window. Going to be a lot of grunt work for the truckies, so an extra alarm with an additional truck would be in order.
    The most important aspect of this fire is going to be communications- if the fire has a good hold in the trusses and people don't get the word to get out...
    IC needs to have continuous updates and operations/sectors need to know where their people are.
    If rescues are not required, remember a few important things- It's just a building, it's not our problem. We are there to protect exposures and limit spread, not get anyone killed. It will go out sooner or latter..
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Boucka

    Take a close look at the second floor window on the right, curtains are drawn and intact.

    Fire appears to have vented from top floor and dropped rubble as SPFD said.

    A further look shows the third floor left hand window intact as well, the potential source point being the third floor right hand side.
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    Originally posted by SPFDRum
    It's just a building, it's not our problem.
    SPFD I thought the reason people called us was to make their problems our problems....hmmmmmm just a thought.
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

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    I thought the reason people called us was to make their problems our problems

    hfd838; how correct you are!
    Just don't want their problems consume us to the point of tunnel vision...
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    ahhh how true......they prblem with tunnel vision is it gets dark in there and i'm afraid of the dark..hee hee hee
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

    "YOU'RE KILLING ME ROOK"

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    If you pull the celling and find heavy fire why not send a guy up there and put it out. If you all ready have a line inside use it. In most small attic spaces like this one looks like it has, a 1 3/4 can kill a lot of fire quick, if you put the fire out and the roof is still standing there is a less of a chance of it coming down

    If you can do a quick kill, great.

    My experience in truss attics is they're hard to hit "horizontally" -- all those trusses break up the stream and make it tough to get a good shot at the fire. Getting a couple guys up in a attic scuttle usually isn't easy or elegant (most of ours don't have pull-down ladders, grrrrrrr). You eventually get enough water on it, but it ain't pretty.

    Going from underneath by pulling ceilings gets water direct on the fire quicker.

    If you brought a piercing applicator with you, those can be the cat's meow. Unoccupied, poorly vented space...smother it in steam.

    My guess looking at the building is there's minimal extension to the B/D attics, so you can control it with a handline easily.

    Bottom line IMHO -- discretion. If an 1.75" knocks the fire out quick and effectively, great. If it doesn't, don't stay under burning trusses.

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    DAL, you are right about the cafs. I still had a lot of reserves about cafs until I saw it put out a major attic fire. Big house the attic was fully involved with a slate roof. The fire went out with a 2" line. We only used 180 gallons of water. It was amazing.
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    It ain't blowing out the windows, I'll be inside.
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    Default fire photo

    Inside out was the basic tactic taught to me 35 years ago and in this instance it still holds true.
    But, stretches must be made and made quickly. If you don't have the companies and/or the man power to accomplish this then go to a deffensive attack. This must be determined, obviously, by the officer in charge. There is a good chance for a save here but what is on scene apparatus/ man-power wise as this photo was being taken?
    If this was my city - and I am not bragging here - just trying to make a point - we would go for an aggressive interior attack because we run 3 engines and 2 trucks and a heavy rescue and a paramedic rescue on all first alarms with 3 to 4 members on each rig except the paramedic unit which has 2 members, 2 and 1 on the second, 2 and 1 on a third and then mutual aid kicks in with surrounding cities.
    Hydrants are good and plentiful in my city and all engines have 4 preconnects of varying lenghts and diameters so I think we would have a chance at an interior knock-down. But, this looks like crappy truss construction so cooling must happen like NOW! Otherwise they are outta there after a primary search.

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    We have only one multi (3 level) story building in our district so this type of exercise is great for me. I have some questions/concerns regarding the original photo though.

    I noted in the first photo that (and you must refer to EastKyFF's photo to see the line) where EastKy drew his vertical blue line, I see that there appears to be a "drop chute" or tube draped over the edge of the building from the roof. At first glance it appears to be Trash chute that a contractor might use to send scrap down into a hopper. This makes me wonder if there is any other equipment on top that we should know about.

    Something else too... I took the liberty of saving the pic and exploding it to 200% and have noticed that as was pointed out earlier this appears to be mostly a superficial burn. The upper floor right side window seems to be bearing the worst of it, but the two balconies don't appear to have a lot of deep damage to them.

    For tactics, as I pointed out earlier, we don't get to practice with this sort of structure very much, so mostly I think I am in agreement for darkening down with hand lines to see what is really there. However, I am also concerned about the time of day, and occupancy - an interior will have to be done to be sure that all is clear, and also for inner spread containment to protect the remainder of the structure.

    Further input from what is happening on the other sides would be really great about now too. Past that, I don't really know what else to say. The two guys in the pic seem to be doing what we are "doing" - observing, I don't see hoselines anywhere in the photo, so it would appear that they are doing some kind of size-up of the situation also.

    One last observation: at 400% blow-up you can see grey in the righ side middle window, the lower level at the balcony and in the left side lower level as well. Also, the main fire point on the top level seems to be coming through the wall, between the window and the balcony; the window is further to the right, and all the windows are in a vertical stacked manner. Could this be the origin of the fire?
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    after reading all of the posts i have a question for the thread starter.... how many f/f were initially at the scene, were there more than the 2 in the picture. Also is this a paid or vollie company (only asked this to find out ease of getting more manpower),, also how far is closest M/A Town.

    Looking at the photo i have to agree that the fire looks to be mostly exterior, and that an interior attack must be attempted, darken down the outside while the interior crew is preparing then let them go at it, get at least one back up line in the door ASAP with more to follow when ,manpower permits.

    Just my 0.02


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    Default Worth a thousand words!

    If the building goes a ways to the left and if the fire is not in the cockloft and if fire stops are part of your building codes and if the roof is not sagging on the uninvolved side and if you believe that there may be people still inside and if you have the manpower, go interior with everything that you've got. If not, surround and drown.
    They can build another one.
    Oh and attempting anything from that right corner could be too risky. Fire could travel that short distance very quickly.
    And anyone that is outside; stay out of the collapse zone.
    Dibs on safety officer.
    Excellent photo for a class on tactics!

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    "Something else too... I took the liberty of saving the pic and exploding it to 200% and have noticed that as was pointed out earlier this appears to be mostly a superficial burn. The upper floor right side window seems to be bearing the worst of it, but the two balconies don't appear to have a lot of deep damage to them. "

    I'm not sure...both hand railings on the second and third floors have burned loose and fallen to the ground. Are these decks cantilevered into the structure? I can't tell from the pic. These decks could be a collapse hazard, especially if the trusses are hung in those little metal saddles. I've noticed multi-level homes and buildings built around here where the decks are added on after the main structure is built, sort of like one would add a new patio/deck to an existing house. I'd probably knock the fire down with a heavy, but brief, exterior attack and re-evaluate the situation. Is this the rear of the structure? I don't suppose this is the only photo you have, is it?

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    Without knowing how this was reported or any additional information…It looks like it started on the 2nd floor balcony, spread to the 3rd floor balcony and attic via the eves. I don't see enough smoke being issued from the either the 2nd or 3rd floor to indicate those apartments are fully involved. I'd say the fire has gained acces to the attic via the soffet in the center of the pic. The smoke coming from the eves of the 3rd floor apartment on the extream right portion of the pic would indicate there is a great deal of heat being generated in the attic. I’d ladder side 4 and get some holes in the roof over the uninvolved apartments concurrent with an initial attack through the front doors of the 2nd and 3rd story units. (I’m assuming Side 3 is the “Front” of the structure I.E. stairs and front doors.) If the Truckee’s find fire in the attic over the uninvolved units to the right of the pic I’d say the attic over the fire had more than enough time to cook off any truss plates and be ready for collapse. Pull the interior attacks back to a safe point and go defensive. No Fire in the attic, (Or the apartments on the 2nd and 3rd floor...) Aggressive interior attack to knock down the fire and people pulling the ceilings getting into the attic soonest. Does anyone know what was actually done?

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    On Arrival I would lay a 4" supply line and pull past the building to leave room for a ladder truck, the first in pumper would prepare for interior attack, the truck company would enter and do a primary search of the apartments for victims, I would call for a second alarm for additional pumpers and manpower for attack and one more truck company to get in and search for victims and open up the walls and ceilings, your going to need a minimum of 3 EMS units one for your personal and two for possible rescued victims. The last in unit would become a RIT team if possible due to the size of the incident.

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    Forgive me if I missed it. If an interior operation is called for, this building needs the roof vented ASAP. The circled smoke indicates a cockloft fire which may be well into the smoldering stage due to the loss of oxygen.
    Idication: Backdraft/Smoke Explosion.

    A cockloft explosion can be devistating to everyone operating on the top floor. If the ceilings were to be pulled prior to roof venting, I would place the probability of this happening at high.

    A roof man opening up and finding smoke issuing under pressure and igniting a few feet above the vent hole has, indeed, lessened or prevented a cockloft explosion. In this situation, I would strongly advise the vent be made from an aerial platform.

    Just my opinion, but I think this fire is ripe for the above.

    As said above by others, this appears to be a top floor fire with lower fires caused by falling debris. Much of the debris seems to be building material, indicating a fire which has burned for quite some time. The newer construction features, shown in the picture, should make you assume lightweight construction. This combined with an advanced fire of suspect duration should send you into an immediate (risk/reward) train of thought.

    Another observations:
    I think this photo was taken from the rear as I don't see any entrance doors. Does the IC know what he has here? Most members operating/entering in the front will have no idea of the extent of this fire....Communicate!

    If this IS the rear, lines should be taken to the top floor of exposure 4 (left side of the photo) to cut off the fires advance. Exposure 2 appears to be the end of the building.

    When the time comes to pull ceilings, don't pull the hallway first. Open a top floor apartment door and pull the apartments ceiling. If it does blow down, you can contain it by closing the door. If you pull the hallway you may find yourself in a retreat mode.

    Life, exposures, confine, extinguish.
    Don't mix up the order on this one.
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    Last edited by E229Lt; 11-14-2002 at 03:26 PM.

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