1. #1
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    Default First thing to do at a Trailer Fire

    You arrive on scene of a trailer fire, What is the first thing that you would do?? First piece of equiptment??

    Lets say its a Double wide, or a single?

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    The best thing is to get water on the fire as quickly as possible. With their cheap construction, these things go up incredibly fast.

    Here's an excellent article on this subject:

    The Dangers of Mobile Home Fires
    Last edited by WTFD10; 12-04-2003 at 07:29 AM.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    Get water on the fire ASAP, and of course attack from the unburned side to try to save some of the owner's possessions. If you attack the fire from where you see it on the outside you will push the fire throughout the trailer and will burn down the trailer...

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    Be careful not to stretch lines under the cars...they could fall off their blocks and cut the line

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    Put water on the fire, fast.

    From the unburned side, if there is one.

    Most of our trailers are located in a neighborhod that takes 10+ minutes to reach from our station, so there usually ain't much to work with by the time we reach them.

    The ones we do have something left to work with are because they've put on one or more woodframe additions over the years -- little bigger structure, and a bit better supported. Be careful, 'cause they can have a really confusing layout compared to either a standard trailer or a standard home.

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    Whatever local building codes you think apply---forget it! They only have to comfrom to HUD standerds which are pretty low!
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    Be wary of propane tank BLEVE, and very often an elderly's O2 tanks and/or O2 generators going off, it doesn't appear surviving a rupture is likely, and they can go off surprisingly early in an incident.

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    Take the sides out of them, if you have to. It's easy to make extra doors in most of these things. If someone is trapped or lost in a trailer, rip the sides off the cheesy thing. Big water, fast.

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    find out what part of the house they keep the gas cans in. belive it or not one of the first things i have found out is that at least 60% of these people keep gas cans in the house . lots of water fast .
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    Here's an "after" photo of a double-wide that was fully envolved when Engine 1 arrived on scene. It took crews seconds to remove the siding, allowing much better access to the fire. A 2 1/2" line was used in the initial attack, flowing 250 gpm. It is very easy to remove the siding on most homes like this.
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    I agree with most of you, in that it is important to get big water fast. But you have got to open them up! Often times, without venting, as soon as the lead guy opens the door to the trailer, BOOM!
    You can get away with that tactic for houses, but a trailer? It's like a big tube.
    Don't become complacent during over haul. Lots of little booby traps to watch for here. And yes; I have seen cases of motor oil, gas cans, paint cans, gas grills, gas furnaces, kerosene heaters and more in these "inexpensive living quarters".
    They are a danger. Treat them with respect.
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    Originally posted by E229Lt
    Be careful not to stretch lines under the cars...they could fall off their blocks and cut the line
    ROFLMAO, That is #1 around here, well, that and making sure you don't trip over one of the 150 hound dogs that ran out from under the porch.
    "The more we sweat in training, the less we bleed in battle."

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    They ALLOW dogs at a trailer park?
    CR
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    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

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    I always enjoy the chipboard flooring. After water has been on them for a few minutes, they turn to mush and you go right thru them. This has happened on almost ever major trailer fire we have been on. Just makes the mopup more interesting.

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    Thumbs up

    I will start off by saying I disagree with a few of the posts here. Manufactured homes are awfully scary things! We have a very large "manufactured home" plant about a mile from my station, and I've seen how they're built and what's in 'em! That said....

    Assuming no life threat and heavy fire/smoke conditions, I'm gonna' be punching a window with my stream (booster tank....not even gonna' hit a hydrant...if I need more than 1000 i'm screwed) as I advance on the building and knock this thing back a bit before I enter (1 3/4" crosslay with a fog nozzle on a straight stream -fog nozzles not my choice...it's the depts :-( ). I'm not usually a big fan of the transitional attack, but here time is of the essence even more than usual. I want to get water onto this fire as quickly as possible. I know I may push the fire and smoke/heat back into some of the unburned, but that problem should be quickly alleviated by following with an immediate aggressive interior attack and simultaneous coordinated venting. The point of all these ramblings is this: If you don't cool that thing down very quickly, you might as well let it burn...there will be nothing inside worth putting anyones life at risk. If you DO get there and cool it down quickly, you take care of all the other problems (within reason )like BLEVE, smoke explosion (think of how likely that is in this small contained space), etc.

    Stay Safe, Have fun....always
    Last edited by mcleoud151; 12-04-2003 at 01:33 PM.
    "The more we sweat in training, the less we bleed in battle."

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    Originally posted by waterboy1
    I always enjoy the chipboard flooring. After water has been on them for a few minutes, they turn to mush and you go right thru them. This has happened on almost ever major trailer fire we have been on. Just makes the mopup more interesting.
    Yep. I wasn't on but my buddy and his partner were making I/A on this double wide a few years ago when they both went through the floor. Thankfully, the backup guys were both huge and yarded them out by their collars! They both got some decent burns, but nothing real serious.


    Stay Safe. Have Fun.....always.
    "The more we sweat in training, the less we bleed in battle."

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    Originally posted by ChiefReason
    They ALLOW dogs at a trailer park?
    Allow them? Around here, I think they MANDATE them.

    Good points by all. The post about propane tanks is very valid around here. Many homes have tanks very near the trailer so it may get the first line.

    We also pull the sides off if needed and like CR said, if it hasn't vented on its on, make sure you handle that before you send someone inside.

    Be VERY careful around older trailers. Newer ones are built to a much higher standard than those 20+ years ago. Having said that, the old ones may just be safer for us. They're usually gone when we get there.

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    I usually kill the juice first--- trailers have a lot more conductors than a stick built house. Most places mandate an outside disconnect on trailers, so that helps. We use our piercing nozzle a lot.

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    Hey Nozzleman...tell us more!

    Any special technique to "peel" back the sides like that, or just whack a halligan/pike pole up near the top and pull???

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    Ya, How would you go about pulling the side of a trailer?

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    It never seems to fail at trailer fires we have that there is usualy some sort of ammo cooking off. Snap, crackle, pop.

    I dont think it is as dangerous as it sounds, but it is nerve racking to have 12 gauge shotgun shells makeing like fire crackers.

    Found out the other day at a trailer fire that you can actualy put your fist through indoor kitchen ceiling with very little effort. I was feeling around for hot spots after the wood burning stove caught the wall on fire, I was the nozzle man so I didnt have a tool with me. I just reached up and put my fist right through the cieling, it was some sort of funky cardboar/plastic crap.

    Trailers are horrible fire traps. I realy hate em.
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    We go in with alot of water early, assuming we get there in time to save anything. Typically we dont get there to see anything that would be savable. Those that we have we grab the 1 3/4 and hit it hard. Now that we have the Piercing nozzle I think we may make a shift to utilizing that right off the bat until a water supply is established.

    BTW did I mention that the trailers in our first due are in an unhydranted area? Lots of junk cars, and too many dogs.

    LMAO @ Artie! Good one!
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    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

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    on an older single wide there is usualy a peice of colored
    "trim" around the top of walls where they meet the roof
    this piece of metal acts as flashing to cover the top of
    the siding and keep rain out. Take your pike pole slam the
    point up and under the "trim" hook top of siding with pike
    pole pull down. When on a corner, knock corner "trim" off
    pull down or sideways wich ever you need. On some """Wood"""
    sided double wides the sides will pull off from the bottom up.
    short pike pole under overhang on bottom of wall, snatch up and
    out, then pull loose panel sideways to rip it loose on top
    2 other things to worry about, STEPS most trailers around here
    have flimsy 1/2 rotten or loose cinder block steps. Also we have
    had two calls were the entire trailer was getting its power from
    the trailer next door!!! extension cords run on the ground pluged
    into a wall socket. killed the main disconnect an still had
    hot power in side. I hope I explained this right. I got
    interrupted 4 time with phone calls. LOL

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    First thing to do at a mobile home fire is:

    Remove the pink flamingos to a safe location.
    http://www.sanantoniofire.org

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    Pat's pretty well describing it. If you can't get a purchase point at the top or bottom, sometimes there are thin strips running vertically down the side of the trailer that cover overlapping sections of siding. Snatch the trim off, jam the pike pole through a section near the joint, and you can peel it back by pulling so that the section rolls back on top of itself like opening a can of sardines.

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