Thread: Garage Fires

  1. #51
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    3200 Gallon tanker, side view
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    I agree with most. Blitz attack with 2 1/2" minimum or a deck gun to quickly cool the seat of the fire. Do this quickly then shut it down with a rapid advance of an interior team to find and stop extension.
    The first pic most likely has extension into living quarters. Especially if the door into the house from the garage is wooden. As is the case alot of times in our area. A wooden door would breach easy under theses conditions. A view of the rear would be helpful to determan extension. Still I believe a quick cooling of the garage and then basic interior ops pushing extension back out garage.

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    Thumbs up

    Bump.

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    I have to disagree with the blitz attack. If, like many are assuming, the rear garage door didnt hold, then a blitz attack probably just killed anyone left alive in that building. Different departments do things differently, So i wont critize what works for certain departments, but I cant imagine NOT searching that house. The conditions on the floor above are obviously going to be sh*tty, but from what little we can tell with that first pic, there doesnt seem to be much extension yet. The fire has already self vented out the garage, so stretching the initial line in the front door and down the few steps would be the best way to protect any life remaining in the house, as well as the brothers doing the search.
    An agressive interior attack would protect the open interior stairs, protect any remaining life in the house, and most importantly, protect the brothers making that search.

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    nyckftbl
    After reading your prior post on--A VES Scenario thread, I had a hunch wed agree upon the employment of similar tactics.

    Stay Safe.
    Last edited by tjsnys; 07-13-2005 at 03:19 PM.

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    nyckftbl,

    I agree as well.

    My view is that stupid concept of a "blitz" attack must come from fire chiefs who haven't done much fire duty or are looking to avoid it at all costs. They just added the tough and aggressive name "blitz" to sound more palateble to the masses in the trade mags and justify (to themselves if no one else) that they were performing their duty appropriately.

    Here is why I say that.

    Next time your Dept. has a house like this to burn do the following:

    1. Set up a large fire like this in the garage area.

    2. Send a crew in and have them sit at the top of the stairs after leaving the door to the house open(many times occupants will invesigate the fire opening the door, finding a large fire they will flee and the escaping flames will prevent them from closing the door).

    3. Then once the fire has reached this point as shown in the photo...open your Large caliber stream (master stream, deck gun...etc.)

    Now at this point you are probably going to say "FFFred we don't use master streams from the outside unless all Firemen are out of the strucure or to an area of safe refuge."

    Well if you wouldn't spray that stream from the outside with firemen inside...what makes you think it is a good idea if civilians might be in there?

    Life is the first and foremost priority at a fire. That includes the search for any life. I know it seems many of you and your departments are looking for a written invitation develivered via a strip-o-gram...however most times that isn't going to be the case. Most times there will be conflicting information and you will have to find the vicitms.

    That means a quick, rapid search.(If you are serious about finding viable vicitims...you won't take a hose line (but maybe a can) it just isn't practical or realistic if you intend on removing anyone who will be viable.

    Spraying any stream from the outside into the structure is more likely to force fire, smoke, and steam up and into the structure in areas where people will likely taking refuge or seeking to escape.

    I would have the first line to the main entrance to protect the main staircase and the door of leading from the garage. They can confirm if it is closed or if open they can attempt to close it. If that isn't possible they can begin the attack from there pushing the fire back into the garage area.

    Now I'm sure many of you will claim this might allow the fire to extend farther than it would have otherwise. You are probably right...however once again LIFE is the most important factor to consider...as long as we were able to search for and remove any life from that building we could burn it down and I wouldn't care. However if you failed to perform a search in a timely manner and used streams which caused fire,smoke and steam to shoot into the interior of the house unchecked and it killed or injured anyone that person should be removed from their position of responsiblity.

    Don't think keeping the burst of water to only 5 seconds or whatever will prevent this. It only takes one breath of superheated smoke or steam to sear the lungs and kill a civilian. There is no excuse for anyone who causes this situation to occur.

    This is one of those jobs that no one likes, the Engine guys will take a beating, unfortuneately they might get some burns, but the potential for life above the fire in the living areas of the PD dictate that we hold the fire back and make a search of the area before streams can be applied from outside. This is what we get paid for and if done right...you will save any persons still trapped and probably conserve most of their property as well.

    FTM-PTB

    PS= My comments are in regards to a Suburban or Urban fire situation...not a rural area with limited staffing.

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    FFFRED, I have great respect for your knowledge and experience but I must respond to your comments. First, we use "blitz" attacks here on occasion. And I can assure you it has nothing to with Chiefs and their lack of or willingness to conduct interior operations.

    I will stick to my first post. A blitz attack WITH a smaller line to the unburned side. I didnt mention a search in my first post as that is standard here and is assumed.

    Dont take offense, but have you ever done a "blitz" attack FFFRED, or perhaps you had a bad experience with it?
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    we try to attack garage fires from the inside and push it out the door for reasons FFFread stated.
    One problem with a blitz attack is that if you dont have a water supply established do you want to commit a crew inside? Do you have a hydrant close? Did you tag it coming in or is the second engine going to do it? How far out is 2nd engine and is the hydrant operational?

    We have a 1000 gallon booster tank but some departments only have 500 or 750 so you could be pushing it on water.

    Ok I fully admit that I didnt read the whole thread so this may have been brought up but...Look at the original picute in this thread and check out the driveway. Whatever water you put in the garage be-it blitz or from interior its going to flow down the drive way. DO NOT park your engine infront of the drive way. If there is a car or any other flamable liquid source in the garage your going to make a nice river right under your rig which is probably not a good thing unless you need a new piece of equipment.

    you also have power lines going to the house(left side) that you need to be aware of. Again from picture on first page there are about 2 or 3 guys that I can see that are standing directly under them.
    Be aware of your surrounding and be aware of what effects your actions are going to have.

    stay safe
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    Originally posted by cdemarse
    Whatever water you put in the garage be-it blitz or from interior its going to flow down the drive way. DO NOT park your engine infront of the drive way. If there is a car or any other flamable liquid source in the garage your going to make a nice river right under your rig which is probably not a good thing unless you need a new piece of equipment.

    you also have power lines going to the house(left side) that you need to be aware of. Again from picture on first page there are about 2 or 3 guys that I can see that are standing directly under them.
    Be aware of your surrounding and be aware of what effects your actions are going to have.

    stay safe

    Great points!
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    Yes, good points. Everyones situation is different and what works for one wont for the other. I answered the original question based on my situation. We get three engines and a quint on the first alarm (all with at leat 3 FFs), our hydrants are no more then 500' apart (with good pressure), we use 5" LDH, 750 tanks (400 on quints)and each pumping apparatus has at least a 2.5" with play pipe (most have quick attack portable monitors) pre-connected. So we are set up for "blitz" attacks and use it once in a while with (so far) good results.

    Let me say that when I first looked at the photo I considered time of day and considered that the building was evacuated. I know thats not always the case, and a search is still priority. And while 99/100 times we would attack only from the unburned side, there is alot of fire here. So from what experience I have with "blitz" attacks and how well they can work in the right situation, its what I decided to do. Let me add that if the photo was from the middle of the night I would have worried more about occupants and acted accordingly with a different tactic
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    Great post FFFRED, said it a lot better than I could.

    Just a quick note, that first pic, looks like a lot of fire, but could be very quickly knocked down with the proper placement of a handline. Because of the big vented area (garage door opening) the fire looks a lot worse than it actually is. just my opinion.

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    All very good posts, if i was the ic i would have a 2 1/2 stretched to the garage to knock down the heavy fire, and 2 1 3/4 line stretched to each level of the home to mop up. This is a fire taht the truckies will enjoy. Lots of truck work will be needed. Make sure that a truck co is with the company going in with the handline and "open up" while going in.
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    If I could get access to the back of the garage area or thru the house to the garage I'd go there and push the fire out the already open front overhead door area.A blitz in this scenerio will tend to push heavy fire into unburned areas.And how much water do you have to sustain the blitz?In some areas of town there isn't much besides what we carry.Watch for failing trusses in the garage area. T.C.

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    Hit it with a CAFS line, short work will be made

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    Thumbs up Blitz it

    I would blitz it from the front overhead door while the truck opens the rear entrance door to the garage and takes any windows out in the rear. My second line would go to the kitchen through the front door to check for extension. Keep the door between the garage and the house closed. A quick roof hole would help to minimize the mushrooming effect and help to hold it to the garage.

    Attacking from the rear door if one exist might be a good option as well. But by the time you get setup in the rear, you might have a serious extension problem if the kitchen door doesn't hold.

    Mark

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    1st line (2") throught the front door and around to the left to hit the garage from the inside (kitchen area I pressume). 2nd line (2") to the second floor becuase its already up there throught the auto-extension up the side. 1st Truck Co. splits between the roof to open it up and to the 2nd floor to start pulling ceiling. Next line (2" or 2-1/2") to back up the 1st floor line. Next line (2" or 2-1/2") to the stairways and where it is needed from there. If that hasn't gotten it yet, next line (2" or 2-1/2") to cover exposure "B" (Or Side 2, the left side, etc.)

    No deck gun or blitz attack from outside/ Hell its gotta vent point that being out the door and dwon the driveway. I would be surprised if the door to the interior of the 1st floor is still intact. No sense knocking down weakened sheetrock and doors to guarantee it gets into the 1st floor ground level areas.

    Just some thoughts.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    I guess I am a little late on this one, but better late than never!

    I will use my previous department's manpower (Illinois) and response for this fire since most departments are not pulling up with 6 people on each engine and truck. For this scenario all companies will be arriving with 3 members (1 driver, 1 firefighter & 1 boss).

    If I am pulling up on this one and making tactical decisions I am going to opt with an interior attack.

    My first due Engine is going to pull up to the front of the building and stop just past the fire building. While the firefighter stretches a 2 1/2" hand-line off of the rear of the engine the chauffeur will be looking for a hydrant. Normally, the hydrants in my response area were only 300' - 500' apart. As a chauffeur, most of the time you wouldn't be more than 250' from a hydrant. This makes it pretty easy for the 1st due chauffeur to secure his own water source.

    The officer would immediately start his walk-around. On arrival to this job I would probably transmit the next higher alarm due to the large body of fire present. After the walk-around the officer will help the firefighter get the 2 1/2" line stretched and in position. The 2nd due Engine would not enter the fire block until the 1st due truck arrived and took position. If at all possible the 2nd due Engine would take one of the corners of the block. The firefighter & officer of the 2nd due Engine would team up with the 1st due engine and either finish stretching the line or start the attack. The 2nd due Chauffeur would help the 1st due Chauffeur in establishing a water supply.

    Engine Ops:
    At this fire, the entire building is the fire area. The line must be flaked, charged, bled, and ready to operate before the line crosses the threshold of the front door. Lay the line out in the front yard. Leave at least 1 length (50') or 2 lengths (100') to cover the building. I would want the 1 1/8" or 1 1/4" solid stream tip for reach and punch. From the looks of this fire, the door from the garage to the rest of the house is closed and still holding. If that door fails, expect a heavy fire condition to be present almost instantly rolling through the kitchen and hallway (most likely to the left near the garage). To the right, you probably have a bedroom or two and a bathroom.

    Our first rule is to locate and contain the fire. Locating it is not a problem here. By stretching the line to the front door you are containing it to the left side of the house. Later (in truck ops) you will read that you are also protecting the occupants and the truck crew searching for those occupants that might be trapped in the living spaces on the right. As the line moves into the house, all of the members (1st due & boss and the 2nd due FF & Boss) are making sure that a smooth advance is made to the seat of this fire. Chances are in this house, there might be two corners, maybe 3 to get to the "man-door" entrance to the garage. The front garage door is obviously already open/failed so ventilation will not be a problem at all. Open the line when you see fire, knock it down and advance. Be careful when you get into the garage area. There might be flammable liquids, propane cylinders or anything else stored in the garage area.

    I have seen just about everything stored in a garage. Remember that usually above the garage is storage also. I once saw an entire car engine stored in the rafters above the garage area. How they got it up there was beyond me, but it was there and presented a real injury possibility. As we all know, sometimes garages do not have finished ceilings. Extension into the attic/cockloft is more of a probability at this job judging by the amount of fire present on arrival. Work the stream well to the front of you and into the overhead and occasionally sweep the floor as you move in. After you make the "man-door" to the garage the entire fire should be able to be knocked down from that position.

    The 3rd & 4th due Engines would stretch a 2nd line but probably would not enter due to the congestion in the house. The fire will probably already be knocked down at this time, and the truck companies will be checking for extension. At this point, the line doesn't even have to be charged. If extension is found, this line can be brought in to that location to mop it up.

    Keep in mind that just because you stretched the 2 1/2" line to knock down the heavy body of fire on arrival doesn't mean you need to overhaul and wash down with it. Usually the stacked tips will spin off to an 1 1/2" threaded connection at the bale that conveniently will attach to 1 length of 1 3/4" hose. As soon as the main body of fire is knocked down, have the chauffeur bring 1 length of 1 3/4" line with a nozzle to the front door for overhaul. There is no use breaking your balls when the majority of the fire is gone. On the flip side. If heavy fire is still present in the attic/cockloft the 2nd line should still be a 2 1/2". NEVER backup a line with a smaller line. That isn't a back-up line!

    Truck Ops:
    The truck will take a position directly in the front of the building pulling up as close to the far corner as possible. This will leave room (dare I say it?) for a 2nd truck to get into the front of the building also (even if he has to back down to get the turntable to reach). As for the fire, our first concern is how to get into the place. This one doesn't look very formidable so it shouldn't be a problem. A simple door pop of a locked door with a halligan will probably do.

    Expect an extremely heavy smoke condition all the way to the floor upon entry. Chances are, the truck is going to be followed VERY CLOSELY by the line since the stretch is pretty short (200') from the engine. The truck "inside team" (FF & boss) should move quickly. Entering the door, quickly move to the right, down the hall and search the bedrooms and bathroom (locked bathroom/bedroom means a higher chance that someone is in there). The 1st truck chauffeur should team up with the 2nd truck chauffeur and get around to the rear and open up the rear door for egress and to get a quick VES of that area and get out. A sweep with a 6' hook should suffice for the search.

    When the primary search is complete, get into the kitchen area (or whatever room/rooms are next to the garage) and start dropping the ceiling. If you find fire in the attic here, the engine must drop back to this point to contain the fire to the left portion of the house. The trucks must then drop back and keep popping inspection holes in the ceiling until they don't find any fire. When they find the end of the extension, the back-up line can be called in and the rest of the ceiling dropped back to where the 1st line is operating. If extension in the attic is found, then a 3rd line might have to be stretched to control the fire in the garage. Remember, we are there to locate, confine and extinguish. If we knock the fire down in the garage, then burn the roof off of the rest of the house because we didn't find the extension, we didn't do our job!

    Another tip that I have learned over the years is to poke a hole in the ceiling at the door an inspect the type of construction present. If there is a floor above you, you want to know if there are wooden I-beams or floor trusses above you and if there is any fire present. If it is a roof over your head, you will want to know if it is truss or "cut" construction.

    I am probably going to opt out of roof ventilation at this job. By the time the ceiling is pulled and the fire exposed it will be knocked down. Most likely a roof hole will not be completed until after all operations inside are done or very close to it. If there is a heavy body of fire in the attic/cockloft then a hole will have to be made. At the beginning stages of the fire I don't think that roof ventilation is necessary. If it is needed later, then an extra company can be sent there to do it.

    Anyone else have anything to add or questions?
    Good Luck, Stay Low & Stay Safe

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    Why charge the line BEFORE you cross the threshhold?SOG? Much easier to work a "dry" line into position and then charge it.No conditions in the main house that I can detect that would cause me any concern to take position this way.Of course we've got 1000+ on every first due Engine so I'm not quite as dependant on the secondary source as someone with 500 or less.Then "blow" it out the front like Larry says,check for extension,pack up and go home. T.C.

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    I guess it is considered our SOG, and the SOGs of the 2 departments I worked for previously. It is my opinion also that in a private dwelling the advances are not that long to warrant stretching a dry line to the seat of the fire then charging it.

    Even if the fire was in a 2nd floor bedroom I think I would still charge the line at the front door. In private dwellings, I was always taught that the entire building is the fire area. Obviously it is different than a multiple dwelling where we will stretch 12 lengths up to the fire floor, wait behind a closed door, charge it, bleed and then attack.

    We might not have the luxury of a closed door (from the garage to the house) at this fire. The front door still looks closed, so I am going to assume on the side of safety that the smoke is banked down to the floor making visibility 0. As an Engine in zero visibility I don't think you should be making entry without a charged line.

    Just my thoughts to backup previous comments.
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    Nd,Thanks.We run short in the early minutes with a good amount of help arriving in just a few more.I'm not very big(160)so I like to keep things "light"as long as I can.And our Sog's allow us that flexibility.Nothing wrong with early water, just makes things a little harder to wind around common household objects.As far as visibility in the house goes,you'll know that as soon as you open the door(I assume you looked in a window and felt the door first).If I've got smoke to the floor,you can bet my battle plan just changed.No evidence of that here.Just shows how different outfits have different ways of doing the same job. T.C.

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    agreed
    Good Luck, Stay Low & Stay Safe

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    We are trying a policy of blitzing mobile homes with the deck gun on the tank while the hydrant man is getting his hookup done.
    Of the 4 trailer fires I've been to this summer,we've stopped the fire where it was 3 times.The fourth,yesterday,was so far gone it wouldn't have mattered.
    The bad thing about mobile homes is they go so fast it isn't saying much that"We stopped that sucker dead,man!".Plus the floors go bad very early in the fire,especially electrical fires because the wiring is usually underneath and fires there can go undetected for a long time before showing.

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    I can understand why you'd want to delay charging as much as possible. If it's a commercial structure or a multi-family dwelling, we'll delay till we're at the fire. If it's at on the second,(or, with increasing frequency in our area) third, or fourth floor(We have four of em!) of the single family home, I'm going to wait until I'm at the base of the stairs.

    Then again I'm 230, 6' even, and not fat


    As an interesting side note, a former chief was a monster. I've never had someone pull ME and the line through the house. He literally drug me around. Here I am, the wide eyed 18 year old on his first fire, being drug around on his stomach.....
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

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    Guys,

    I think I need some clarification. When you say you are "stretching dry until you reach the fire" are you saying that you are going to pull a dry line into a store that is on fire (say it is in a rear store room) in a commercial fire?

    I am just curious.

    I would stretch the line dry to the fire occupancy in a commercial fire situation (say it is a row of stores) but before I enter the front door I am charging the line.

    With high ceilings concealing the real conditions and the huge fire load, rapid fire extension is very possible. This could overrun your dry line before you can get it charged.

    I am not bashing anyone's/departments tactics, I just wanted to throw that out there for discussion. Can anyone throw a couple of examples out there?
    Good Luck, Stay Low & Stay Safe

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    I personally would not enter that building with out the line charged, its just to much risk. Even if you had good visibility and the inside garage door was closed with that amount of fire failure is very close, I would not want to be there with a limp hose. Even if you got it charged fast you still have a hose full of air, and good knows how many kinks. IMO not worth the risk.

    Single family residence in general whether one or two stories get the line charged at the front door.
    Last edited by cdemarse; 07-27-2005 at 07:04 PM.
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