1. #1
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    Default WWYD: It's only a single story, not even a basement!



    On arrival you find
    -- Heavy smoke & fire showing from both garages
    -- Note that it has only a crawlspace, with nothing showing in the cross vents for that
    -- Both sides are charged with heavy smoke, not really pushing under pressure yet, just pretty thick and low to the floor
    -- Smoke starting to push out of the eaves

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    Duplex, fires in both of the garages, crawl space foundation.

    Request a second alarm assignment with special calls if needed to mirror the 1st alarm assignment. You have to treat this as two separate structures on fire.

    I noticed that the water heaters are in separate "closets" off of the garage. If they are gas fired, I am suspecting a problem with a pressure regulator that has affected the entire gas main in the street. There probably was a pressure surge, causing the burners to flare up with great intensity, starting the fires.

    Shut off the flow of gas to both sides of the duplex.
    Call for the gas company with a push to check out the area, as we have the potential for other fires due to the same problem.

    The water heater has to vent somewhere, so the fire is following the flue pipe up into the attic spaces.

    The fire door to the water heater rooms have already failed, hopefully the fire doors leading into the kitchen are from the garage are still holding.

    Rescue company does a quick primary search of both sides.

    Have the ladder company vent the garage roofs.

    Have the engine companies use their chain saws to cut "access doors" into the garage doors and begin fire attack.

    When the second alarm arrives, have them take lines in, looking for the attic scuttles. Using pencil ladders, gain access to the attack and search the areas with a thermal imager for extension.

    Call the State Fire Marshal and the Department's arson team to begin an investigation.
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    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
    Have the ladder company vent the garage roofs.
    quick question about this. why would you ventilate just the garage roofs? from what Dal said, you had thick smoke, and it was starting to come out the eaves of the building. sounds like you got smoke in the entire building. wouldn't you want to vent the roof at the highest point on the building, to get all the smoke and superheated gasses out of the entire building (well, as much as you could)? if you vented just the garage, woudln't you have to vent the rest of the building anyway?

    I'm not expert in ventilation (in fact, it's something I want to learn more about), so I'm not trying to say your wrong, but rather asking if you can explain why you chose this action.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    I noticed that the water heaters are in separate "closets" off of the garage. If they are gas fired, I am suspecting a problem with a pressure regulator that has affected the entire gas main in the street.

    In thinking up the scenario, I was trying to figure out something other than arson that could cause this too, and I too focused on the water heaters.

    But we don't have city gas in my district so I don't have a lot of experience with it...but I have seen electrical feeds to houses short and blow out the electrical panel in the house starting a fire. And I'm betting the electric panel for each side is in the same closet as the water heater!

    Of course, other things can happen to. You could have a fire start in one, exposing the nest of a bunny, and a flaming rabbit run under the crawl space to the other side before expiring

    I have my answer for Dr's question, but let's see if anyone else wants to take a stab at it!

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    I'm curious about the venting of the garage roof only, as well. Unless your thinking is that by venting the garage, you will tend to pull smoke and combustible gasses away from the living quarters?

    My thought is that it depends greatly on exactly how this structure was roofed. Typically, this type of structure will have astandard gable roof running the length of the building. The Garage roofs will typically be hip roofs. If it's older construction, they may have framed this all as one unit, so you have one big attic space. However (this goes back to a variation on the McMansion theme), with recent (cheap) construction, they will sheath the main roof, then add the hip roofs right on top of the sheathing. While they are not totally sealed off, it could breakup the venting. It seems to me the water heater vent would run through the attic area over the living quarters, therefore venting the highest point of the Main roof might be best.

    Am I off-base?

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    Simple, a line to each kitchen. If only one line available, the kitchen of the dwelling with the highest life potential. Barring any life threat, the kitchen of the building with the most exposure threat.

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    why would you ventilate just the garage roofs?
    Vent over the fire. Venting elsewhere will draw the fire that way. Once the fire is contained, then you may want to vent elsewhere.

    Had the same thought as Gonzo, gas problem. Years ago, we had a surge in one area of town, pilot lights on the ovens were about 12" high.

    Lines from living room into garage.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Lines from living room into garage.
    No garage entrance from the livingroon. Garage door is in the kitchen.

    Most building codes require 2x 5/8" drywall on all walls and ceilings in an attached garage. I'll assume it.

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    My bad...meant in Living room, through kitchen, into garage.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    How many guys on the line, where do they position themselves, and/or how do you flake your hose inside before opening the garage door?

    Remember, you're making probably making about 210 degrees of turns -- the door and to the right a bit, then 90 to the kitchen, then another 90 into the garage...

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    how do you flake your hose inside before opening the garage door?
    Two words Dal: Vertical Loop

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    Two words Dal: Vertical Loop

    Mon Dieu Lieutenant, you just knocked off some serious dust from the recesses of my brain! It wasn't what I was thinking of, but a great idea!

    While you need flow, it's even more critical IMHO to get a nozzle in a position to actually hit the fire. And this house layout just screams to me that it would be very easy to open that door, then find out you can't advance any more line easily/quickly because of the series of fairly sharp bends it would take if you just crawled from the front door to the garage/kitchen door.

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    While you need flow, it's even more critical IMHO to get a nozzle in a position to actually hit the fire.
    I'm not sure. Is this a reference to the loop?

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    I just want to make sure I am thinking the same thing as others, please clarify the vertical loop.
    One other idea I had and would probably make life a little easier in the longer view, why not cut a doorway in the closet immediately inside of the living room entry door. My thinking is remove entry door from hinges, go in with chain saw and cut an access point, that way hose goes in and has to make one 90 turn and voila there you are. It may be a little time consuming in the first few minutes but my thinking is if the manpower is limited it would take just as long to make the stretch to the kitchen/garage door.
    Thoughts on this?
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

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    The Vertical Loop:

    In a confined area adjacent to the fire room, if you don't have the room to flake your line behind you so it will feed itself as you advance, create a loop in the "charged" hose about 6' high. Be sure the nozzle end of the loop is towards the fire. This loop will give you an easy feed for a rapid advance.
    Most often used in a line which will be advanced down a staircase for it's rapid payout.

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    Default Re: Vertical Loop

    Thats what I thought. Just making sure.
    Shawn M. Cecula
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    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

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    I'm not sure. Is this a reference to the loop?

    No it's not E299Lt -- what I could see happening if a crew isn't thinking about what they're doing, they go in, make a few quick turns, open door, start to knock down the fire.

    What they haven't done is take the moment to do a vertical loop, or flake a few feet (10, 12') from the kitchen to dining area, or position a layout man (if they have one) back at the first turn to the kitchen to feed them hose. They open the door, knock down the fire nearby...and discover they can't advance, but fire "around the corner" -- somewhere not in direct shot of their stream now has even better ventilation and starts to grow.

    I like the Vertical Loop since it keeps it closer to you and a less prone to snagging like a flake say back to the dining room that could pop under a table leg, or if you're just pulling in extra charged line you loop it over a table w/o realizing it and similiarly find yourself short of hose.

    If it's only a 2-man hose crew, they're now scrambling to have someone get back out of the kitchen to feed the single nozzleman -- not as easy and not as safe as it could've been by taking a second to make sure you had extra hose ready to go!

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    Even with limited manpower if you take enough hose,and THINK about what you're doing as you flake it out,an engine company with any kind of ability should be able to reach and hit this fire.It's only on the first floor.Also I don't go for the chainsaw plan,leave it for the truck crew to open the roof if need be. Relax,take some time to see where you need to end up with the nozzle(size up?)and work on getting it there.If you're off with what you need,better an extra 10 feet in the living room than 5 feet short of the fire room door.

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