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  1. #1
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    Talking Basements and cellars

    Here's a simple topic that came up for discussion this morning. In an "URBAN" setting what are the distinct differences between a basement and a cellar. I recently read an article about this, either in Fire Engineering or Firehouse magazines on this subject but can't find the issue. I thought that the article described a cellar as a below grade enclosure that is 3/4 below grade while a basement is not. Is this correct? If not, can someone relate the correct descriptions please?.
    "Never trust a smiling dog"
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  2. #2
    Forum Member Lewiston2FF's Avatar
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    This came from a previous thread:

    FDNYRR wrote:

    For Bones; A Cellar is described as sub-terranium, a basement not quite. If your window line is high, and the actual room is more than 3/4 below ground....it's a cellar. Just some info.......and your right most true cellars have little or no ventilation, and most one means of egress only. A basement on the other hand sits higher, has larger windows, and sometimes has a second means of egress, usually one from the interior, and one from the exterior.


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    Lewiston2Capt wrote:

    I am assuming (I know how dangerous that is! ) this building would be refered to as having a basement according to the criteria set up by RR. I guess it is typical of the Brownstones.


    And this would be classified as having a cellar using the same criteria.

    If that is the case. You would have a hard time finding basements in this area, and an even harder time finding a secondary outside entrance to the cellar.

    It ends up being either gut it out and make the interior stairs with a line to protect them or get out the piercing nozzle and poke a hole.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

  3. #3
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Smile It's All In Your Location

    In Maryland, it's a Basement in P.G.County, and it's a Cellar in Allegany County. No defining characteristics for either one, just what you call it in your locality. My Funkin' Wagnalls Dictionary uses the same definition for both terms "Partly or Wholely underground, the lowest story of a building, under the main floor" For cellar, they also mentioned wine, but I'm not going there. Stay Safe....
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  4. #4
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Here in New England, the term is interchangeable...as in...

    Who were the Chief officers at the fire last night?

    Basement Bob, Parking Lot Pete and Cellar Hole Sam!
    ‎"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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  5. #5
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    Lewiston2Cap-Thanks that was what I was looking for. Never enter a kitchen discussion unless you're armed, I say.

    Capt Gonzo, you wouldn't be talking about the C.H.A.O.S. theory now would you? hehehe. Chief has arrived on scene.



    Stay low.
    "Never trust a smiling dog"
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  6. #6
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
    Here in New England, the term is interchangeable...as in...

    Who were the Chief officers at the fire last night?

    Basement Bob, Parking Lot Pete and Cellar Hole Sam!
    Don't forget Swimming pool Stan
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