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  1. #1
    Assistant Chief 911brad's Avatar
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    Unhappy Fire in our firehouse...

    Yesterday, October 28th 2004, at around 11:00 am we had a fire in our firehouse.

    EMTís from Sullivan EMS were working across the parking lot at the EMS building when they noticed heavy black smoke coming from the roof of the firehouse. One of the EMTís that is also on the fire department quickly ran over to investigate while another EMT called 9-1-1 to report the fire.

    The first firefighter/EMT on scene tried the door to the office but found that it was too hot to gain access. He was able to get in the firehouse through a side entrance only to find that the entire firehouse was filled with a dense black smoke. It should be noted that we are currently renovating the firehouse and that the front three bay doors are blocked off by construction. Only one rear door is still in service.

    Crews from the construction company working on the 45 foot addition hadnít noticed the smoke until the firefighter came running to the side of the building. With the help of a couple construction workers, one firefighter and a couple EMTís the bay doors were opened and the apparatus was able to be driven from the building. Only 4 our of our 6 trucks were in the firehouse due to the remodeling.

    Some of the EMTís and construction workers also were able to slow down the fire some with the extinguishers off of their work trucks. While other firefighters arrived on scene to help remove gear from the firehouse other firefighters were able to get water on the fire and knock it out. The fire was eventually contained to a 14x12 office space. The fire was traced to an electrical outlet the computer had been plugged in to. The outlet and a nearby breaker box had been worked on the day prior.

    Everything within the office was a complete loss. Due to the renovation it was also be used for some light storage. Included in the loss was our new RIT pack purchased with FEMA grant funds, all paper files, maps, radio base station, desks, computers, office electronics, file cabinets and the list goes on.

    The trucks were not damaged but did receive a ton of smoke build up that came off with some good old elbow grease. Of course, all of the windows on the trucks were down and the insides had to be detailed as well.

    Had it not been for the worker crews at the building and the EMTís nearby the fire would have been a lot worse as it was evident that it had flashed in the office. Another stroke of luck was that the normally open office doors were all tightly closed up because of the construction. We barely had the money to do the front addition and we had not planned on being able to do any of the interior. It looks like our insurance (or the electricianís insurance) will be picking up any cost to replace and remodel the inside of the firehouse which was damaged mostly be very heavy smoke. It only took us about an hour and we were back in service for calls.
    Brad A. Ingersoll
    Assistant Chief
    Maple Bluff Fire Department
    Blooming Grove, Burke, Maple Bluff EMS

    Badgerland FOOLS
    EGH-PTB-FTM


  2. #2
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Unfortunante............and yet lucky ! Glad you were able to at least salvage equipment, and no one got hurt.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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  3. #3
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    In your renovation plans, I hope there were plans to install a fire suppression or fire detection system. If it wasn't then, is it now?

    This is another vivid example of how we will put millions of dollars of equipment that is the community's first line of defense against natural and man-made disasters and place them in a building that does not contain the minimum protection that we require of someone in their own home...a smoke detector.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber jaybird210's Avatar
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    After years of harping on our trustees for a new station, we had a fire in ours about two years ago (massive lightening strike). We broke ground on a new building last month. As bad as the fire was, it made one thing much easier: there was no pushing for a sprinkler system. One trustee flat-out said, "I want sprinklers."

    I read somewhere (maybe it was these fourms-- maybe it was George who posted it) about the idea of building a small, secured shed out away from the station, and stocking it with a minimum of equipment: a couple of air packs, a couple rolls of fire hose, nozzle, basic forcible entry tools, for just such a case. Not enough stuff to mount a huge, aggressive interior attack, but some minimal stuff to hook to the yard hydrant and knock a fire back until the help arrives. Not sure how practical it is, but for those of yoou without sprinkler systems or alarm systems, it may be cheaper than retrofitting....
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  5. #5
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    I read somewhere (maybe it was these fourms-- maybe it was George who posted it) about the idea of building a small, secured shed out away from the station, and stocking it with a minimum of equipment: a couple of air packs, a couple rolls of fire hose, nozzle, basic forcible entry tools, for just such a case. Not enough stuff to mount a huge, aggressive interior attack, but some minimal stuff to hook to the yard hydrant and knock a fire back until the help arrives. Not sure how practical it is, but for those of yoou without sprinkler systems or alarm systems, it may be cheaper than retrofitting....
    It wasn't me who posted it. Its a ridiculous idea.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    I believe it was an article from firehouse magazine. I won't say it's ridiculous, but I would agree there are easier/better things to do.
    "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?

  7. #7
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    Once again.... George makes a point that really can't be argued with. Here we are preaching about fire prevention and in many cases pushing for alarm systems and sprinkler systems in new buildings (and in some cases older structures as well) and less than 5% of our nation's firehouses have ANY automatic fire protection/detection at all.
    I can proudly say that my main station in Vermont had an alarm system and a full sprinkler system .. wish I could say the same for our main station and crew quarters here in Louisiana.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 10-29-2004 at 10:24 AM.

  8. #8
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you were able to salvage some of your equipment......

    And go for an alarm system and/or sprinklers

  9. #9
    Assistant Chief 911brad's Avatar
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    Originally posted by firenresq77
    Glad to hear you were able to salvage some of your equipment......

    And go for an alarm system and/or sprinklers
    This has been brought up to me from some other people. Unfortunately we're a small volunteer department with an annual budget right around $15,000. After paying for the necessities like diesel fuel, PPE cleaning, air for the cascade etc, we just don't have money to pay for off site monitoring. The smoke detector in the office probably was going off for while before it melted to the ceiling, but nobody standing more than 5 feet from it would ever have heard it. As for sprinklers... I wish. Trust me, I'm all for them, but there's no way that we'll be able to afford it, or that the village will foot the bill.

    Here's the artical from the local paper: http://www.dailyunion.com/this_week/thisweek.html

    Brad
    Brad A. Ingersoll
    Assistant Chief
    Maple Bluff Fire Department
    Blooming Grove, Burke, Maple Bluff EMS

    Badgerland FOOLS
    EGH-PTB-FTM

  10. #10
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Brad, who does your dispatching? Is it possible for THEM to monitor the alarm?

    When our new station gets built, it will have the alarm system, but it will be monitored by our dispatch center so we don't have to pay for 3rd party monitoring......

  11. #11
    Assistant Chief 911brad's Avatar
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    Originally posted by firenresq77
    Brad, who does your dispatching? Is it possible for THEM to monitor the alarm?

    When our new station gets built, it will have the alarm system, but it will be monitored by our dispatch center so we don't have to pay for 3rd party monitoring......
    The county sheriff does our dispatching. I work for them part time and full time for another dispatch agency. Both of us got of of the alarm monitoring business for liablity reasons. Good suggestion though.

    Brad
    Brad A. Ingersoll
    Assistant Chief
    Maple Bluff Fire Department
    Blooming Grove, Burke, Maple Bluff EMS

    Badgerland FOOLS
    EGH-PTB-FTM

  12. #12
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    Default Glad to hear everyones ok but........

    Those sprinkler systems and automatic fire alarms we cram down peoples throats really paid off for ya, huh?
    Last edited by stm4710; 10-29-2004 at 10:05 PM.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

  13. #13
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    What about a deal with the contractor for them to include this in the reparations?

    What about fundraising and adding this into a grant application?

  14. #14
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    How about simply having an outdoor speaker that sounds with the smoke detectors?
    "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?

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by 911brad


    The county sheriff does our dispatching. I work for them part time and full time for another dispatch agency. Both of us got of of the alarm monitoring business for liablity reasons. Good suggestion though.

    Brad
    Well thats rediculous. Someone just didn't want to be bothered.

    I just wrote a fire act prevention grant. You can find monitoring (not ADT etc) for $8-9.00 per month. Do a GOOGLE. Our dispatch has agree to monitor.

    The outside alarm is not a bad intermediate idea. Hook detector up to a relay and trigger your siren.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    When I first joined, the station fire alarm (as well as the Town's schools) where tied into our siren. Trip the fire alarm, big loud thing on the roof went off.

    Schools went to "Panel Alarms" monitored at the dispatch center, which were fairly expensive as they required leased lines, plus the dispatch center didn't want to be bothered calling key holders, etc.

    Today the Firehouse as well as the schools are hooked up to ADT (Two brain-dead monkeys would probably do better...but I digress). Didn't get the sprinklers pushed through on the last addition, but at least it trips a fire alarm. The system is also wired so a low-temp alarm (40 degrees) trips the alarm into trouble if we have a boiler failure and/or someone leaves the door up during a bitter cold nighttime fire.
    IACOJ Canine Officer
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  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber Heretic's Avatar
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    (Thread derailing warning!)

    Just a side note about ADT Security... I work for a dispatch center, and dispatched the FD to a working structure fire. Fifteen (count 'em) minutes later, ADT called to advise us of a fire alarm at the residence I had dispatched units to.

    (Back to thread)

    Sorry to hear about your 'house. Hope everything goes fine with the insurance!

    -H
    "The uniform you wear was given to you. The respect that comes with it must be earned."

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  18. #18
    Forum Member ffexpCP's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Fun Fact

    ADT is owned by the same company as Simplex (Simplex-Grinnell), Scott and Ansul.

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