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  1. #1
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    Question Flue Fire Tactics

    I am curious as to what procedures different departments have in regard to the tactics employed on flue fires.

    What is your dept's choice method of extinguishment? Do you integrate PPV as part of your plan?

    I have always been taught (and have seen it work beautifully numerous times) to use a dry chem at the fire box after PPV has been established. This causes the dry chem to travel up the flue, rather than mushroom out into the room and make a huge mess for the homeowner. However, I was essentially called a moron by the chief of a department for attempting to employ such "rediculous" practices at a recent incident.

    Just curious what the rest of the world thinks.


  2. #2
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    Lightbulb Flue Season II

    Trust me,

    Don't let being called a moron worry you (though it say's a lot about the officer that used that particular terminology)...

    There are as many opinions about fighting flue fires as there are different types of flues. I personally feel that if dry chem is to be used, then from an extinguisher and up the flue would be my preferred way.. makes complete sense, especially if PPV is being used properly. However, if PPV is being used (and really this precaution should be taken at all flue fires) ensure you have access to all areas the flue travels through the structure and have properly equipped firefighters and a charged line standing by.

    I particularly hate the powder bomb method (again my opinion), you know, up on the roof dropping ziplock bags of dry chem, hoping the bags melt and the powder disperses in the chimney rather that exploding ineffectively at the hearth. I'm sorry, seen it done, my dept. loves it, but makes me shake my head every time.

    PERSONALLY.. my favorite, and the simplest IMHO is a little water spray into the hearth fire or smoldering embers and let the steam travel up the chimney via convection. Provided that someone doesn't crack the knob on a deluge gun, then trust me, you'll never see a cracked hearth or fire through the mortar/ seams of the flue.. again, little water spray, clean, quick and by jove.. effective. As for experience, I worked a firehouse (station) in Northern Scotland, locals love to burn peat in the woodstoves and fireplaces, nothing leads to more or hotter chimney fires.. if the water spray didn't work (which it did 90% of the time) then it was stirrup pump and rose nozzle up the chimney.. if access was an issue, then it was hosereel down the chimney.. and guess what.. holy frickin cow, still no cracked hearths.

    Anyway, whatever method you decide to follow, do some other research, and make sure you have the conversation about options for different methods with the chief in the privacy of his office, not on the fireground in front of civilians or other firefighters, cause then everyone looks bad.

    Cheers, happy flue hunting.


  3. #3
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Talking A What??........................

    Don't know that I've ever been to a Flue Fire, but I have worked a lot of Chimney Fires in my day. I know, I know, Different strokes........ Anyway, we use a 50 ft chain with a weight and brush on the end. Puts out the Fire AND cleans the chimney. Works for us. Personally, I don't care for Dry Chem in any form in a chimney. I will add a tiny bit of water if needed, but that's not often.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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  4. #4
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Default

    We have had a problem with flues inside metal chimneys that fail, causing some pretty serious attic fires. Remember to always check for extension on any chimney fire.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A What??........................

    Anyway, we use a 50 ft chain with a weight and brush on the end. Puts out the Fire AND cleans the chimney. Works for us. Personally, I don't care for Dry Chem in any form in a chimney. I will add a tiny bit of water if needed, but that's not often. [/B][/QUOTE)


    You extinguish the fire in the hearth and then cover the opening with a salvage tarp and you're ready to run your chain down the hole. It's some hard, dirty work but, if you want to give your newer firefighters some valuable experience doing roof work, you probably won't find a safer "working fire" situation. -bob-

  6. #6
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    Default FLUE FIRES

    IN MY CITY WE PUT A LITTLE BIT OF WATER IN THE FLUE. THE STEAM WILL PUT THE FIRE OUT. DON'T PUT TO MUCH THOUGH BECAUSE IT CAN CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE MORTAR. A FEW CUBES OF ICE FROM THEIR FREEZER ON THE FIRE IN THE FIREPLACE OR OIL STOVE WORKS WELL ALSO. HOPE THIS HELPS.
    JASONSFD LADDER 5
    IAFF L2801 WOODEN LADDERS AND IRON MEN

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber fyrmnk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flue Fire Tactics

    Is that you Scott?

    Overh here, we generally carefully extinguish the fire in the box with a can (very carefully to keep from cracking it), and set up PPV, then hit the dry chem up the flue. Works like a champ every time, never had any problems and quickly extinguishes it.

    Watt



    Originally posted by spriddy
    I am curious as to what procedures different departments have in regard to the tactics employed on flue fires.

    What is your dept's choice method of extinguishment? Do you integrate PPV as part of your plan?

    I have always been taught (and have seen it work beautifully numerous times) to use a dry chem at the fire box after PPV has been established. This causes the dry chem to travel up the flue, rather than mushroom out into the room and make a huge mess for the homeowner. However, I was essentially called a moron by the chief of a department for attempting to employ such "rediculous" practices at a recent incident.

    Just curious what the rest of the world thinks.
    FTM-PTB-RFB
    IACOJ

  8. #8
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Default

    Probably 33% of our "flue/chimney"fires result in a blockage of the chimney.That being so,ppv or anything at the base of the chimney won't work because: THE CHIMNEY'S BLOCKED! I've had them so plugged that we had to use a plumbers "snake"(sewer rod)to pound the blockage out from the BOTTOM.All the while you have a fire up top.That's why we use DC bags.Never water.We also do the clean/brush routine.And the way fuel prices are headed,I'm expecting a banner year.T.C.

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