Fire Watch was Necessary?
Reno Firefighters Stop Wooden Pallet Facility Fire
April 1, 2003
Reno firefighters remained at the Nevada Pallet Co. overnight as a fire watch after crews extinguished a blaze in the pallet company's yard that broke out at about 2:37 p.m. Monday afternoon. Because of the volume of materials involved and the nature of the fire, Reno command officers felt the fire watch was necessary.
The fire watch paid off as firefighters from two engines poured water into a deep pile of wood chips stored against a building adjacent to the pallet company that was probably the result of an ember from the pallet fire next door. The pile of chips began smouldering at about 11:30 p.m., after tired crews that had worked the fire throughout the afternoon and evening had knocked down the fire and returned to their respective stations at about 11:00 p.m. At one point while working on the smouldering chips, smoke appeared to be coming from the roof of the structure above the pile prompting additional response from a ladder company. Using a thermal imaging device, firefighters on the roof were able to determine there was no fire and that it appeared wind gusts had blown smoke around the building and over the roof.
About 40 firefighters with seven engines and three ladder trucks fought the blaze at the pallet yard, using heavy streams of water to control flames being pushed by gusting winds through most of the afternoon. Firefighters indicated they initially had difficulty hooking large diameter hose lines to a fire hydrant on Kuenzli Street due to the volume of vehicle traffic on the street. Heavy smoke and flames estimated at 60-70 feet high could be seen during the blaze at the corner of Manuel and Kuenzli Streets. The Reno firefighters quickly extinguished fire on the roof and interior ceiling area of an adjacent building reportedly used for fabric storage, as well as a spot fire that broke out in a firewood storage area across Kuenzli caused by embers from the pallet fire. Because of the nature of pallet storage, the fire worked its way into hidden spaces in the storage piles causing firefighters to play water on burning materials throughout the facility late into the evening. The burning materials were spread by heavy equipment from Q&D Construction Co. working in coordination with firefighters on the ground using hose streams. The fire consumed about two-thirds of the pallets and wood stored at the facility and downed power lines cutting electricity to some businesses in the area.
The firefighting operations caused closure of Second Street for a short period of time, while Giroux, Kuenzli and Manuel Streets remained closed throughout the evening. The streets are expected to reopen for the morning commute period, although some delays on Manuel may be experienced in the early morning as two pieces of heavy equipment are moved from the scene.
Potential witnesses were being interviewed by fire investigators Monday afternoon. Investigators said the cause of the fire remains under investigation, and indicated the pallet facility has experienced other fires over the last few years.
I posted the article to pose a question.
Does your department have a policy about fire watch after knock down and overhaul.
If so who makes the call and what do you base your decision on.
What resoures do you leave on scene a engine company vs single resource.
Reno command officers felt the fire watch was necessary.