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  1. #1
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    Question 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.




    QUESTION

    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.
    Last edited by coldfront; 05-11-2005 at 10:42 PM.
    Always a day late and a dollar short!

    Hillbilly Irish!


  2. #2
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    Well when it comes to fire watch a couple of things come to mind. Most people think that a fire watch is only done after a big fire to watch for flare ups well it is. But there is a more important reason that fire dept. should use fire watches is so that they don't lose control of the scene. Because if you leave at least one fire dept. offical there it is still considered your scene, as soon as the last person leaves the scene the home owner can now go in a do whatever they want and they don't have to let you back into their residence. So in my opinion i would urge fire depts. to think about their SOP's on when they use a fire watch, if you think that it is suspisous leave some one there. As far a leaving a single resourse or a engine company, i would have to say what are you trying to acomplish, are you trying to control flare ups, then leave an engine because you just never know what may happen, or are you just simply protecting the scene then leave a single resource but don't make them stay there all night, may be for only like 4 hours or so with the understanding that nobody i mean nobody is to enter the structure unless they are with the fire dept. or the state fire marshals office.

    Stay Safe

  3. #3
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Our local big city department uses a fire watch procedure, usually done at one hour intervals upon the last unit leaving the scene, they can go on for as long as each crews going to the fire watch asks for. As for criteria, I dont know, they ahd a fire yesterday that came in at 1336 with fire watches until 2242, they then went back today on some smoldering materials and did 2 more fire watches. I will try and get the criteria posted here tomorrow.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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  4. #4
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    We need to do a better job with fire watches locally.We are quick to return to the station after fires.In some case this gives a arsonst a window to return and finish the job.The Kentucky State Police is chartered to investagate arson fires in Kentucky.This duty is a low priorty for the state police.This cause real delays in there response to scenes.

    The second need for fire watch we do a little better job with,however if we have a large troublesome fire, police on patrol and neighors usually watch for flare ups.This could bite our A** if there much of a delay returning to the scene.We do not have a clear policy on the use of fire watch.
    Last edited by coldfront; 05-12-2005 at 12:10 AM.
    Always a day late and a dollar short!

    Hillbilly Irish!

  5. #5
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    I've been taught that there is no such thing as a rekindle. Instead, a rekindle is a fire that you didn't extinguish the first time. With that said, my department will remain on scene for an unusual amount of time to insure that there is no hidden fire and to eliminate conditions that could allow a "rekindle" to occur. However, we have no written policy on establishing a fire watch. Doing so would be the decision of the IC.

  6. #6
    Forum Member PattyV's Avatar
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    I personally think that keeping a few people on scene is the least you can do. Even if it involves waking up a few people and getting them to watch the place with a hose running from a hydrant in case of a rekindling.
    Bush/brush fires this is also very important, not only is it extremely dangerous leaving a fire that can flare up, it gives a ****ty reputation to the brigade when a rekindling starts a bigger and more destructivs fire.
    "There are only two things that i know are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And im not so sure about the former."

    For all the life of me, i cant see a firefighter going to hell. At least not for very long. We would end up putting out all the fires and annoying the devil too much.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    We use a firewatch pretty regularly. The level of attention, or even whether or not to set one is totally up to the IC. Normally, we will do just like Weruj1 described - someone is detailed to check the scene every hour.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    We stand by at least untill the investigation is done. As someone else said, once we leave, we know longer have a right to be there.

    We had a fire last week that involved a lengthy invest. When the last engine was ready to leave, we brought a reserve to the scene and pulled some lights/cords off.

    Avoiding rekindles is where a TIC is handy. During overhaul, you can find the hot spots and deal with them right then.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

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    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  9. #9
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    got some clairification........when TFRD gets a working fire they must have 1 mandatory fire watch from the time the last unit leaves the scene, any subsequent fire watches are at the discretion of the crew leaving the first fire watch, and done at one hour intervals.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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