Thread: Chimney Fire
01-12-2004, 10:47 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jan 2004
Hey all, I have been talking to alot of people over the last while and we have been talking at our hall about chimney fire techniques. We do not seem to have SOP's set out for this as it has been just kinda past down and past down and now people want to see it in writing.
What do you guys all do for this type of fire
I am looking for techniques and anything special that you do
01-13-2004, 06:19 PM #2
If it is still contained to the chimney and hasn't spread to the building /roof yet, we usually give the firebox a little squirt from the water can, close the door and any air inlets (if applicable) to exclude the oxygen and let the steam expand up the chimney. Follow-up with a good overhaul (clear out the firebox as necessary) and inspection to ensure there was no extension into the roof, attic, or walls.
If you have soda or foam extinguishers, they can help douse the firebox so it stops giving off heat and embers.
You can always drag a line inside if you have no other option, but you are going to make one hell of a mess. If it has spread to the roof, it is a structure fire now, and hit it hard and fast with your usual techniques.
Lastly, it is essential that the owners get a qualified contractor to clean and examine the chimney before they use it again. Most double walled systems can take a couple of small smoldering incidents and still function, but over time, the insulation between the cylinder walls breaks down and you lose the additional protection that they offer.Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!
01-13-2004, 08:04 PM #3
- Join Date
- Oct 2002
- Portville, New York
We seal off the room with the fireplace and using a Positive Pressure Fan get a draft going up the chimney and use a dry chem ext. in short burst.
It is essential to check for extention while doing this as not to push the fire into the structure. It is very effective and you don't place as many guys on the roof. Also don't look down chimney while they are doing this.
01-15-2004, 02:43 AM #4
As long as the fire is still contained to the chimney, we have a "home made" remedy that someonone from my dept. made up years ago (way before my time).... it's a normal Sprinkler head attached to one of our 38mm Couplings (1 3/4"???). Then we couple this to a 38mm to garden hose adapter (also home-made) and utilise the property's own garden hose connected to a garden tap. This is then lowered down the chimney from the top, snuffing the fire out as it goes (Similar to the solution given in the other thread).
The key with this is to properly protect the room/s to which the chimney operates.... large tarps and dams.... otherwise you end up with one very messy loungeroom.
P.S. Just out of interest, Do you guys run hot to chimney fires? We don't... usually our 000 centre (911...) will keep the caller on the line until we arrive and if there are noticeable signs of fire spread, we'll upgrade. How about you?
01-15-2004, 04:03 AM #5
Our department treats a chimney fire like structure fire until someone has arrived and can confirm what is burning. We do run hot to them, until advised other wise.
I also work as a dispatcher and when someone calls in a chimney fire we get the address, what they see and then tell them to leave the house until the fire department arrives. We see it as a liability for them to stay in the house, if the fire were to spread before someone arrives and they become injured we could be held responsible.
01-15-2004, 10:46 AM #6
We consider a chimney fire as a structure fire also, until arrival and we actually see what we have. We will ladder to the roof, check the fire box, and have a man at the cleanout. If there is substantial fire in the chimney, we will clean out the fire box, drop plastic bags of dry chem down the chimney,(after closing the fire box ) along with cleaning the sides with a chain. The man at the cleanout will clear the fallen debris from inside the chimney, to away from the structure, where we will usually dampen it with a hose.
If any extension is found in the walls or roof areas, it has become a structure fire."The uniform is supposed to say something about you. You get it for nothing, but it comes with a history, so do the right thing when you're in it."
Battalion Chief Ed Schoales
from 'Report from Ground Zero' pg 149
01-27-2004, 10:03 AM #7
Usually we will have a crew head into the attic area to check for extension and one set to go up on the roof.
A tarp is placed in front of the fireplace, if there is still a fire in the firebox area of the fireplace a metal container is used to remove the wood and then a couple of quick squirts from a dry chem fire extinguisher are used inside the chimney.
We try to use every option other than water unless we have no other choice. If that chimney liner is hot appyling water will crack it.Brian S. Jazudek
Moon Run VFC
01-27-2004, 10:51 AM #8
- Join Date
- Dec 2001
- Lusby, MD
We respond as we would for a house fire, until the first unit gets on scene and reports. Assuming that there is not obvious extnsion, we put a salvage cover in front of the fire place and remove any fire left in the firebox. We also send a team to the roof and check the attic and/or any other part of the residence that we need to. To extinguish the fire we close off the fire box and drop chimney bombs (dry chem in sandwich baggies) from the top. We also chain the chimney as necessary. I have yet to use water on a chimney fire that is contained in the chimney. It just gets too messy for the home owner.
01-30-2004, 11:35 AM #9
- Join Date
- Dec 2003
Our Dept Utilizes A Large Chain With A Spike Like Driver To Break Up Any Blockages In The Flue.....Then We Use The Brushes To Sweep The Burning Coles Off The Chimney...If We Need To We'll Use Chimney Bombs,Which Are Just Dry Chem In Plastic Baggies,Very Good Little Devices....Or We'll Use Our Stored Pressure Water Extinguishers... We Try To Stay Away From Lines On The Roof Etc
01-30-2004, 11:38 AM #10
- Join Date
- Dec 2003
Chimney Fires Pt 2
As For Responses As I See Some Are Writing About...We Use Pumper,Rescue Due To TIC Being Onboard That Apparatus,and Usually Have Our Pumper/Tanker # 3 In Close Vacinity On A Hydrant...If The Flue Extend's To High Above The Roof As it Has Before and We Do Not Feel Safe Utilizing A Ground Or Roof Ladder To Reach It, Or Do Not Feel Safe Going On The Roof Period Obviously We'll Bring The Ladder Truck In
Otherwise Members On The Roof Full Bunkers and BA...Members In The Basement Same Deal Until Basement Is Cleared Of Smoke If There Is Any
01-30-2004, 12:07 PM #11
Chimney fire response:
Respond hot, our department only. That's 2 Engine Tanks, 1 Engine, 1 Ladder, 1 Heavy Rescue so we have enough to handle extension & partition fires. Units response can be downgraded based on size-up.
Structure fires receive a full 1st Alarm that includes two additional departments on automatic mutual aid. If the caller reports extension or partition, etc the call will receive the 1st Alarm response.
I'd be hesistant to go cold to chimney fires, far too many I've seen bordering on extension. OTOH, I wouldn't necessarily object to only having the first one or two pieces (say 1st due ET and Ladder) roll hot and everyone else with traffic unless upgraded.
Close the dampers
Drop the dry chemical chimney bombs (darn Chimfex flar factory burned down a few years back!!!)
Clean out the fire box
Clean out the chimney with chains
Advise homeowners to get chimney checked out
-- Size-up the damage and situation. If the homeowners (against code) have their oil furnace venting through the same flue as the woodstove, and the flue's cracked/compromised with have a CO situation.
-- A key question to ask them is if they have another source of heat other than the woodstove. We'll try to leave the woodstove in service if it's their only means (i.e. oil tanks empty, furnace doesn't run well, furnance can't keep up when it's zero out like today, etc) But if the Chimney isn't safe, you have to make sure they know it and start other measures ranging from Red Cross for shelter to keeping pipes from freezing.
My only caution on the PPV technique goes along with the two above -- don't want to accidentally drive fire out a cracked flue (size-up), or needlessly blow frigid air into a house that's just lost it's main source of heat. It sounds like a cool tactic that I keep in the back of my mind, just like everything size-up the whole situation.IACOJ Canine Officer
01-30-2004, 07:41 PM #12Originally posted by resqtech70
We try to use every option other than water unless we have no other choice. If that chimney liner is hot appyling water will crack it.Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!
01-30-2004, 09:58 PM #13
- Join Date
- Mar 2002
- Waynesboro, VA, possibly relocating to Virginia Beach in the near future!
Water is very very bad for the mortar and brick, so we don't even put a line on the ground. We have two small canvas bags, a house bag and a roof bag, the house bag contains things that will be needed inside the house (a small shovel, mirror, brushes, a small dustpan) and the roof bag has the chains and chimney bombs. The chimney bombs work very well if it's a straight shot down the chimney, but if it has any angle at all, you'll find you run out rather quickly, and still have fire. We've had this occur before and we dropped the chains to break up the burning material, extracted it from the bottom and placed it into a salvage bucket, then it was taken outside to be extinguished with a water can.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.
Johnny Greene: 2/3/45-5/2/04
Forever in our hearts
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