Thread: Question

  1. #1
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    Recently, my department had to battle a basement fire. The fire began to spread using the walls around the chimney. I'm very interested, how do you fight a fire that is traveling in the walls? Can you tear down a wall above it, if there is one, and drown it? What are the proper tactics?

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    -Tim
    Floral Park Fire Explorers
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    Floral Park, New York
    www.explorers129.com

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    Good question, I have wonderd the same thing. If it is ballon framed construction that fires takeing off. I think this is when the Thermal Imagers are nice to have.
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    we had one of these fires last winter. it started out as a chimeny fire. the first seargeant on scene reported 15 foot flames comming out of the chimeny. luckley it was just down the street from our main station. we got on scene and found out it was a ballon construction, so chief imedilety called for mutiual aid. the fire spread between the walls. i belive you can tear down the wall and drown it. i am pretty shure that is what we did.
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    My advisor, in our truck company said he went in and began to open up a wall, when the fire shot out of it...Dunno what you would do when that happens.

    Also, I just put up some photos of the fire on our website. Explorers 129 go to pictures and go to hawthorne fire, just a few after shots, i didnt really have time to take them while the fire was goin =$
    Last edited by Explorer129; 12-11-2003 at 06:15 PM.
    Floral Park Fire Explorers
    Post 129
    Floral Park, New York
    www.explorers129.com

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    You keep taking the wall apart until you find wall without fire

    Baloon frame construction is very bad for this. There was a fire in a baloon framed home a few months ago here. When they though it was out, one of the guys slipped on the stairs and when trying to break his fall, he punched a hole in the wall. Fire shot out the hole he punched in the wall. It is not good.
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  6. #6
    GFDSlappyRob
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    In a balloon frame construction you can tear out the outside walls or use a piercing nozzle. In a basment fire I would think since the fire is going to travel to the first floor you fight it buy taking out the first floor wall right above the fire and then knocking it down.

    That is my 2 cents

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    If the fire originates in the basement, don't only check the first floor walls, check the upper-most floor (possibly attic or crawlspace) as the heat will rise until it is stopped and mushrooms. The accumulation of heat at the top can be much greater than at lower floors.
    Marc S.
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    Solon Local 2079

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    In a balloon frame construction you can tear out the outside walls or use a piercing nozzle. In a basment fire I would think since the fire is going to travel to the first floor you fight it buy taking out the first floor wall right above the fire and then knocking it down.
    DON'T TEAR DOWN THE EXTERIOR WALLS! You're just creating excessive damage, and the object of the job is to get the fire out with as little damage as possible, so the house can be inhabitable once again. Besides, some exterior walls provide support for the structure itself or for additions to it. Go inside with a closet hook and pull interior walls until you don't find fire. I was always told to check for extention from a basement fire, go to the attic and start looking there. The balloon frame does a chimney effect, and there will more than likely be more embers or fire in the attic than on the first floor.
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    You know what I meant. If you tear the house all to hell just to protect the property, are you really protecting anything? I don't know what you were taught or how you do things where you are, but what works for us may not work for you, and I would appreciate it if you would not bash the way my department does things. If it works, why change it? We haven't lost a house in a long, long time, we extinguish our fires without tearing everything to hell, and we haven't had a civilian fatality in over 2 years, so don't bash the way we do things, just because it differs from your opinion.

    Your strategy for fighting basement fires (where no men enter) may or may not be effective, but I'll bet you won't be on scene anywhere near as long if you sent in an aggressive, but not overly aggressive, team down on the attack line. And I can also bet you that there won't be near as much water damage.
    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.

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