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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Martinsburg, WV

    Default House Fire; Today: Awesome Pictures

    House fire this morning 9-14-04 in Bethlehem WV, Click HERE for story and awesome pictures.
    Please visit http://www.wvfirefighters.com the source for fire / ems news and information.

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Sitting in my chair, listening to the scanner while the young kids respond

    Question attack question

    Could you advise on how the initial attack was done. From the pics it looks like 1 3/4 inch hand lines. With this much fire showing I would have gone with the two 2 1/2 inch preconnects and maybe a deckgun and hoped for a quick knockdown. Somehow that much fire doesn't translate into a small line for me.

    Stay safe,

    Pete Sinclair
    Hartford, MI
    IACOJ (Retired Division)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Martinsburg, WV


    I don't think a larger line was possible because of the terrain. I was not at this fire, but I understand from the submitter this house was built on a steep hillside, and was very difficult to access and no water supply was near. Below is what the local news paper printed about this fire.

    Water Woes Hinder Firefighters


    An Ohio County homeowner said because no water was readily available to fight a fire at his home, he and his family lost everything in the blaze Tuesday morning.

    The fire broke out at the Robert Conner family's home on 29th Street's West View which is located on a steep hillside road.
    Conner said he believes firefighters might have been able to save at least a portion of the home if a nearby fire hydrant had adequate flow. However, firefighters said live electrical lines that had fallen around the house water prevented them from getting near the structure until the power company could arrive and cut the power.

    "If they'd had water and time, they probably could have saved something," Conner said.

    According to Bethlehem Volunteer Fire Chief Paul Walters, his department was first notified of the blaze at about 10:30 a.m. He said the structure was "well involved" in flames upon their arrival at 5 West View Addition, and he added that lives electrical wires had fallen around the structure.

    The Bethlehem firefighters used water from their truck while they waited for additional water to come from 29th Street at the base of the hill. Walters said a nearby hydrant on Valley Boulevard did not have adequate flow to fight the fire, so department members instead tapped a hydrant inside the Wheeling city limits on 29th Street.

    Walters said two fire trucks were used to pump water from that hydrant to a third truck at the fire scene, requiring the use of an estimated 2,500-3,000 feet of hose.

    Walters noted that an additional hydrant was located in a wooded area up the hill from the structure inside the village of Bethlehem, but he said it would have been even more time consuming to tap that hydrant due to the steep terrain in the area.

    Walters added that the Wheeling Fire Department and Sherrard, Mozart and Stone Church volunteer fire departments all were called to assist.

    Walters said the home had been ruled a total loss, noting it was not insured. Conner said he was unable to obtain insurance because of the lack of fire hydrants near his home.

    Conner, a disabled U.S. Army veteran who works part-time for the American Red Cross and for a local trucking company, said he first noticed smoke emanating from the house at about 10:15 a.m., when he was outside working on his car. "It was just a wee little fire when I found it," he said, noting he didn't know what started the blaze.

    Conner said he waited about 20 minutes for the Bethlehem Fire Department to locate his residence and called 911 twice before they arrived. "I always worried something like this would happen," he said. "There's no hydrant up here."

    He added that he attempted to enter the home after he discovered the fire, but he said he was unable to step even a few feet inside because of thick smoke inside the structure. He did, however, manage to turn off natural gas service to the residence.

    Three family pets - a dog and two cats - were killed in the blaze. Conner said the fire developed within 15 minutes while he was outside the home, noting that he didn't hear a sound from the animals or from the smoke detectors inside the home.

    He noted that both his wife, Lisa, and his 9-year-old son, Fox, are full-time students. All the family members lost all their clothing, with the exception of what they were wearing. In addition, the family lost all their furniture, household goods and about $1,400 in cash, which included money from his most recent Army pension checks.

    "We don't have anything left, I know that ...," Conner said. "All we have are the clothes on our backs and our lives."

    According to Conner, Christ United Methodist Church at 1232 National Road, which the family attends, has made a small donation to them. In addition, the church is willing to accept donations from the public on their behalf. Fox wears size 12-14 pants, medium to large shirts and 5Ę shoes; Lisa wears size 8-9 pants and medium shirts; and Conner wears size 36 waist, 32 length pants and extra large shirts.
    Please visit http://www.wvfirefighters.com the source for fire / ems news and information.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Panorama, British Columbia, Canada


    Looking at the construction and location of that house, I'm surprised it stood long enough to get any water to it. Especially with a 3000ft double relayed hoselay. I think that one was doomed before the dept even arrived.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!


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