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  1. #1
    Forum Member snowball's Avatar
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    Default Vehicle Fire 101

    Approach from the sides.
    If the fuel fill is burning put it out last (or it will just re-ignite several times)
    Be careful of the bumpers, the gas charged shocks can become projectiles when heated.
    Hood and trunk assist struts can explode when hot and become projectiles.
    Macpherson struts can go off as well.
    When cooling down a hot engine do not force water down the oil fill hole, the hot oil will react with the cool water and send a guyser of boiling oil at you.
    Be careful of magnesium, it does not like water when it is hot.
    Pay attention to where your water is running off or pooling, it could contain gasoline and ignite.
    Don't use anything less than an 1 1/2 to extinguish.
    Always use full PPE and SCBA, complacency kills.

    Did I forget anything?


  2. #2
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    Red face

    Getting the hood open is always the toughest part for us.

    We've tried all the tricks like using the Halligan fork to twist the cable, etc. and none of them ever seem to work. We always seem to end up prying up the four corners, knocking down the bulk of the fire and then prying, pushing and pulling until we can break the rear hinges and flip the hood forward or twist it off the front.

    Anybody else have any good tips for getting the hood open? I'm tired of looking like clowns at every car fire
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  3. #3
    Forum Member snowball's Avatar
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    Default

    You've just about covered it. You could try punching out the radiator with a pike pole. Most newer vehicles come with plastic fender wells the engine compartment is just on the other side. Try spraying a 60deg fog over the top of the tire, make sure the tire has either blown or is not highly exposed.

  4. #4
    Forum Member RyanEMVFD's Avatar
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    Default

    Don't park downhill from the vehicle fire.

    As for the hood, once the fire is knocked down to be able to do this, we'll A) use the fork on the halligan to twist the latch and break it or B) use the recip saw to cut the latch.

    I've seen others use a saw such as a K12 and cut the corners were the hindges are.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
    IACOJ Attack

    Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

  5. #5
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Default

    I've used the sawz-all before on a very stubborn hood at the latch. I've heard some people say they use their hydraulic tools...... I don't think I'd go that far, though unless absolutely necessary
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
    IACOJ

  6. #6
    Forum Member RescuHoppy7's Avatar
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    Default

    Looks like you just about covered it, another option for the hood is to get a piercing nozzle, we have had one for about 4 years it does the job and works fairly well for us... Stay Safe!
    NYS FF1/AEMT-CC
    IAEP Local 152
    "You stopped being in charge when I showed up"

  7. #7
    Member Hobbitt's Avatar
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    Default

    To open the hood, I like to get the K-12 started, make a quick hit on the fire with a hose line, then move in quickly and make a triangle cut on the hood with the K-12. The latch mechanism stays put with a small area of the hood and the rest of it just opens right up. Takes about a minute from getting off the rig to putting the fire out.
    Marc S.
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    Solon Local 2079

  8. #8
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    Thumbs up

    All of the above....I like to have one of my guys quickly access cab and pull hood release (obviously dependant on level of involvement), halligan through the grille, quick sawzall (one of the greatest tools ever invented) or purchase point access in the center of hood and dous the hole, or go in through windsheildwipers, really, if its a good engine fire, any water in those hole will steam up and extinguish quickly. Good discussion! Those damn hoods can make you look stoooooooopid after a good knockdown made you look good. O well. Stay Safe

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber arhaney's Avatar
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    Default

    Like RyanEMVFD said, Don't park downhill from the vehicle fire.

    Also, try to park upwind.

    Also don't forget the biggest killer of all............being struck by another vehicle! Pull your line from the protected side of the apparatus! Too many of our brothers are being killed or injured every year like this.

    For truck fires please don't forget to check the placards, you may not want to be in the same county with it!

    2nd line in place for dangerous cargo.

    Hope this helps,

    Alan
    Chief
    Wren Volunteer Fire Department
    IACOJ
    Southern Division

    http://www.wrenfiredepartment.4t.com/

    In Memory of:
    FireFighter/Pilot James Archer
    1946-2005
    "Rest in peace James, you now have the ultimate set of wings on you."

    Thanks, LeuitEFDems

  10. #10
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Default

    99.9% of the time... a vehicle fire will be written off by the insurance company as a total loss... so why kill ourselves over them?

    Of course, the exceptions to the rule are life hazard and exposure problems....
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 01-28-2005 at 10:43 PM.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  11. #11
    Forum Member RyanEMVFD's Avatar
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    Default

    Also the most dangerous vehicle we have traveling through our district is a Wal-Mart truck.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
    IACOJ Attack

    Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber arhaney's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
    99.9% of the time... a vehicle fire will be written off by the insurance company as a total loss.. so why kill ourselves over them.

    Of course, the exceptions to the rule are life hazard and exposure problems....
    Right on, Brother!
    Chief
    Wren Volunteer Fire Department
    IACOJ
    Southern Division

    http://www.wrenfiredepartment.4t.com/

    In Memory of:
    FireFighter/Pilot James Archer
    1946-2005
    "Rest in peace James, you now have the ultimate set of wings on you."

    Thanks, LeuitEFDems

  13. #13
    unrepentant fool ranahan's Avatar
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    Default

    Another option for fighting fire in the engine compartment:
    When it comes to making access underneath the hood, sometimes it's easiest to take the Halligan and pierce the metal near one of the forward corners of the hood. You can then use the tool to pry up that corner, making an opening big enough for the nozzle to work in, but not much bigger.

    Benefits to this approach:
    --> Limited opening helps to keep the fire contained and reduces the amount of fresh oxygen it receives.
    --> Keeping the hood closed initially leaves no place for the steam to go...except on the fire area.
    --> The attack team can stand off to the side of the vehicle, near the corner, and reduce the possibility of injury should one of those bumper shocks decide to turn into a projectile.

    It's not the answer for every vehicle fire (there is no such thing, as we all know), but it's just another technique to keep available.

  14. #14
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    Default

    The vehicle fire. The engine compartment is burning away. Two guys are fighting the hood with a Halligan and an axe, whaling away, trying to get access. The old guy steps in, reaches in through the drivers window, and pops the hood. New guys step back, old guy walks back to the pumper....
    "We had trouble putting out the fire because the house and everything in it was burning at the time"---The Chief while speaking to the press--no lie

  15. #15
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    Default

    With a large percentage of vehicles down here running on propane, using the deckgun to knock down the bulk of fire, especially in the passenger compartment and trunk area is rapidly becoming the tactic chosen (providing you have a deckgun). After that is done then we'll move in with handlines and finish the job - much safer - if you've ever seen what's left of a car after a propane tank has BLEVE'ied inside you'll understand

    We also have a piece of strong wire about 2 feet long with a handle bent into one end, and a hook on the other which we put in under the front edge of the bonnet and pull the bonnet latch.
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

    ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

  16. #16
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by PeteThor813
    The vehicle fire. The engine compartment is burning away. Two guys are fighting the hood with a Halligan and an axe, whaling away, trying to get access. The old guy steps in, reaches in through the drivers window, and pops the hood. New guys step back, old guy walks back to the pumper....
    Provided the cable hasn't burnt through up front yet...
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  17. #17
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    Default

    Ask the driver what's in it, even a Yugo. Calcium Hypoclorate and PH Shock for the home pool don't mix well in a burning trunk!!

  18. #18
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Default

    Dont forget the old punch out a headlight and stick the nozzle in the hole trick

    Ive also seen a tool which is a small piercing nozzl and hose that you put on a CO2 or ABC extinguisher. Just punch a hole in the center of the hood and discharge the extinguisher.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

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    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  19. #19
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Car fire with no exposures in Memphis gets 1 pumper, 4 guys, no airpacks, 1 booster.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  20. #20
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MemphisE34a
    Car fire with no exposures in Memphis gets 1 pumper, 4 guys, no airpacks, 1 booster.
    Hmmm, lots of NASTY stuff involved in a car fire. You may want to re-think that SCBA policy.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

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