1. #1
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    Default How would you deal?

    OK Gang, have a look at this..... a pretty run of the mill Derelict Building fire for us.... The Building was single storey Brick Built with a timber framed corrugated iron covered roof, 30 x 30ft, 100% involved

    Won't tell you what is inside as you wouldn't know but it is part of a run down second hand car lot that had just gone out of business.
    How would you deal with the fire, what risks would you be looking to encounter.

    I will post our response in a while.
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    100% invloved would be an exterior, defensive attack. 2 1/2" lines and get the stick ready.
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    IMO this is a good time to operate your deck gun through the window. The building is a complete loss because of the amount of involvement. Big fire means big water. Portable guns can be utilized for areas that a deck mounted unit can't reach. I be careful with positioning to close. This building could have anything stored in it. Propane tanks, paint, cars..... and the list goes on.

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    Definitely go defensive on this one. The structure looks like it was already kinda iffy before the fire, and if it is a known fact that the building is derelict and out of business, there's absolutely no benefit vs. risk. Let this one burn and chalk it up to urban renewal.

    Steve, by your comments I get a sneaking suspicion there's more to this scene than meets the eye.....some kind of surprise in that building?
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    Defensive all the way. I wouldn't do much except for protecting exposures. Maybe use the arial to keep embers down but I would leave that unmanned except for a Pump Operator. 2 1/2" lines or monitors through the windows if possible, but I wouldn't risk getting too close.

    If it used to be a car lot it may have crap like paint and primers in there. Did you have pre-plans?
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    Question More Information Needed

    Steve:

    I need a 360 view to make a better decision. What are the exposures? Is there any life hazard? How is the water supply? Any reports from bystanders about people in the building? Previous history at the location (i.e. previous fire).

    From the information provided this fire would be a defensive operation. There is no need to place our personnel in harms way for an abandoned building. Remember EVERYONE GOES HOME.

    Oh yea...the guy in picture 1 needs to don his breathing apparatus. With his proximity to the building and the chance of collapse of the exterior wall all protective equipment needs to be in place.






    Now throw us the curve ball that we are expecting on this scenario
    Last edited by BFDLT32; 09-30-2005 at 12:38 PM.
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    A defensive attack with deck guns and portable monitors. Establist a collapse zone, as the roof is likely to come down and the walls could collapse outward.

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    A deck gun would be a good idea but we probably would do just what you guys are doing - open up the building a little and hit it with a 2" or 2 1/2" from the street. Oh, and we would check that exposure behind the fire building, looks pretty close!

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    Hmm....let me think......this comes to mind....

    "Hey...someone get me a nozzle, we f'n melted this one".....

    But honestly.....given my companies rep....we would try a push....stupid to you all as it sounds (I think some can understand).....we would still try a push.....just speaking honestly.....

    To maybe explain why.....well....because my brother is going to do it......

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    Well,
    like I said, it was a nothing job, a regular derelict Building fire that is a frequent occurence for us. Yes, it was a no hoper, no internal attack as it was falling down around us (It is actually the same Building that caught fire 18 years ago that was my first fire on my first day out of Training )

    The exposure to the rear was a Brick Built House, it was checked from outside and within using a Thermal Image Camera. The job was hit using a couple of two and a half lines and was quickly put out.

    The thing I was looking for was partialy identified.... the risk of Cylinders...particularly Oxy-Acetylene cutting gear. Cylinders, once cooled will regain their tensile strength and be unlikely to explode. Acetylene, because it is disolved in a honeycombe inside the cylinder can continue to self heat and ultimately fail catastrophically.

    We have changed the way we deal with acetylene since a Ff in the UK was killed several hours after the fire when an Acetylene Cylinder failed. Our policy, on advice from the manufacturers is to leave in situ and cool for 24 hours with a 200 meter exclusion zone.

    Fine if you are in the middle of a field in the country...not so good in the inner city in back street car repair shops where most Oxy-Acetylene cutting gear is located. It is causing real problems operationally, with Officers having to compromise on Brigade procedures to stop 100's of people being evacuated for 24 hours while the Principal Officers threaten discipline for going against CFAO (Chief Fire Officers Assc) rules.

    This fire was typical of a job where Acetylene may be found, fortunately there was none and we were able to knock it out quickly with no further fuss.

    What are your procedures for dealing with acetylene cylinders?

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    Last edited by SteveDude; 10-01-2005 at 05:15 AM.
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    Many thanks Steve for starting this thread - I've definently learn't something new from it - I had no idea that acetylene cylinders posed a hazard hours after the fire was extinguished. I always wondered when reading the "World of Fire" threads on here why London Fire Brigade always seemed to find it important to mention "Cylinders Reported" in their reports - now I know!

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDude
    What are your procedures for dealing with acetylene cylinders?
    Funnily enough we don't have any procedures (that I'm aware of) for dealing with Acetylene cylinders - and considering we are one of the largest fire departments in the world with 1,768 frontline companies I would have to ask why the heck we don't have any info on the dangers posed by acetylene cylinders? I guess that this shouldn't really surprise me though as the department is renowned for not taking the slightest bit of notice of what other fire departments around the world are finding out - hence our highrise packs only contain 1.5 inch hose
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

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    Default 1st things first.

    The first thing I would do would be to order those fireman to put on a fire helmet!!

    Vinnie - I understand brother.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a
    The first thing I would do would be to order those fireman to put on a fire helmet!!

    Vinnie - I understand brother.

    LOL....they must have got there via motorcycles.....

    but anyway......after a quick attempt...we would probably end up in the street w/ the multiversal and a couple of tower ladders.....

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    q for SteveDude...who is the manufacturer of your gear. It looks real thin is it just shell

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    Quote by Vinnie:

    "but anyway......after a quick attempt...we would probably end up in the street w/ the multiversal and a couple of tower ladders....."


    I don't know think so Vinnie. Look at that last pic that Steve put up. The entire building looks no bigger than 30' x 30'. I have faith in you and myself, I am gonna say it would have been an easy job.
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    "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.

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    nbfc....

    The gear is made by a US Company Lion Apparel...and thank god no it is not just shell...not forgetting our structures are brick holding all the heat and we can't ventilate...that'd make for some pretty toasted Fireman

    When we got in in 1999 we went for a lease contract with Lion...our old bristol gear was taking such a hiding it becmae next to useless, so we have a contract now where after every so many washes an article gets replaced (they are all tracked through bar codes etc) some smaller UK Fire Depts will have a long life cycle, the large metropolitain Brigades such as London & Manchester that do a very high amount of structural Firefighting replace theirs more frequently.

    It was at the time about the best on the market.... thus it offerred excellent protection without being too cumbersome. There is much better stuff on the market now and the contract is up for renewal so we shall see..... as for the helmets!!!!

    My views on them are wel known on here!!!!
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    Mmmm Tower Ladders.... by the time you set them up you'd have knocked it down with a couple of hand helds....

    So come on gang...what about Acetylene?
    Steve Dude
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    Just two years on so I'd say stay outside,keep it from spreading and let it go to the ground.
    During overhaul,y'all can find out what started it.An building known to be empty isn't worth my life and I doubt it would be worth yours or your firefighters' lives either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDude
    Mmmm Tower Ladders.... by the time you set them up you'd have knocked it down with a couple of hand helds....

    So come on gang...what about Acetylene?

    Amen to Towers on a small single story buildings.

    I have an enormous respect for acetylene. Most people donít realize just how powerful and unstable it is.

    Fortunately we havenít experienced an acetylene cylinder explosion. Iíve heard them vent in several fires. Just about every farm around here has one.

    Do you know if European cylinders are of the same construction as those used in the US?

    Did the tank fail from heat or did the acetylene detonate?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a
    Quote by Vinnie:

    "but anyway......after a quick attempt...we would probably end up in the street w/ the multiversal and a couple of tower ladders....."


    I don't know think so Vinnie. Look at that last pic that Steve put up. The entire building looks no bigger than 30' x 30'. I have faith in you and myself, I am gonna say it would have been an easy job.

    opps.....I didn't see those....I stand w/ my first statment.....I was thinking taxpayers in my area.....

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    Sure,tower ladders Steve. If you're going to go defensive do it with big water. Also, if the building's a write off what's the hurry. Protect any exposures with a couple of 21/2's and take the time to set up properly. Any good tower ladder crew can be airborn in a few minutes, just about the time when there's a good water supply ready for them. You can't beat the versitility of a TL. Not only big water but it puts it where you want it.
    If you're not going defensive start out with the 2 1/2's right away. Don't half step with a smaller line then have to play catch up. What's the flow in your handlines Steve? Is there one main size or is there more than one size for building fires?
    Last edited by len1582; 10-01-2005 at 08:09 PM.

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    Did the tank fail from heat or did the acetylene detonate?
    No, it had been cooled for a couple of hours and then as per the old procedures the cylinder was then moved to be immersed in water for 12 hours. It had continued to slef heat and failed exploding as the Guys were carrying it...one was seriously injuerd the other killed. It is also a fact that 'shock' can start them off decomposing as well. We are assured by the Manufacturers that dropping one can set if the self heating.

    Yes tower ladders Steve. If you're going to go defensive do it with big water.
    Fair point Bro, but don't forget we have 11 aerials in London for 112 Stations and 300,000 runs.... we don't get an aerial on every call, most aerials are on request only. On that job there was no aerial on the PDA (Pre determined attendance), so the nearest, if it was available would have been 15 minutes from the scene plus at least 5 minutes set up time.

    The Station involved used to have an aerial until '92, but we really have never used them like you Guys on lower level Buildings...we were wrong. We used to have 30 odd aerials in London, but they got used less and less and no the old adage 'Use them or lose them' has come into play and the UK Fire Service has seen a very useful asset gradually diminish in the last three decades. Some Brigades have only one or two...and bearing in mind most UK Brigades are fairly large with anything from 100 Stations down to around 30 Stations, this is a poor result for those of us who believe in them.

    Our saving Grace in London is that many of the Crews in the very Centre of London, where they still run on most of the PDA's have the good sense to use them as much as possible.

    The handlines..anywhere between 130lpm @ 35 bar for the High Pressure Hosereel to around 800lpm @ 7 bar for a large smoothbore nozzle... at that job they used 450lpm Ackron Combi nozzles...because the bean counters took away our smooth bores!!!!

    let me convert...
    130lpm= 35gpm
    450lpm= 120gpm
    800lpm= 210gpm

    35 bar = 500psi
    7 bar = 100psi


    Anyway, we have digressed.
    Last edited by SteveDude; 10-01-2005 at 08:24 PM.
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    Didn't realize you guys don't have many aerial devices over there. I guess it's just something many of us take for granted, but still appreciate. You guys over there are another example of taking whatever you have available and making it work, despite the powers that be. My hats off to you. Also thanks for the conversion chart. Funny, we have liters of soda and you have pints of beer.

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    Len,
    Don't get me wrong.... as the Country has 100% Fire Cover Nationally funded, we have plenty to complain about but compared to most of the World we have excellent equipment training and PPE. You will hardly ever see a Fire Engine that is more than a decade old.... ever since National standards were introduced in the war we have been comparitively well looked after.... For example London like FDNY had 5 Rescue Companies...after 9/11 without a blink we went up to 10 Rescue Co's and they got 10 new trucks all with new equipment...this is being reviewed again after 7/7 because all 10 were used in the London Bombs and Rescue Co's from other Counties were brought in to cover the City.

    Most of our Fire Engines and equipment over 12 years old is donated to poorer commonwealth Countries.

    It is the weird way we work....we have some of the most up to date SCBA in the world, Thermal Imaging equipment of most Fire Engines, State of the art Hazmat and radiation detectors...yet London, the Biggest Brigade ddoesn't ahve halliagn tools???

    The aerial issue is purely down to us....firstly we only ever use them for rescue and Water Tower work, No such thing as 'Truckies' over here so they are not great big things full of equipment. There really isn't a need for the 2 to 1 Engine/Truck ratio that is common in the US.

    Secondly, more and more as time went on we stopped using them as frequently as we should.... We couldn't see further than the end of our noses.

    Now if you want to join us in a moan about the UK Fire Service we can moan about the pay, the changing pensions and the change of the much loved 2 day, 2 night, 4 off shifts.
    Last edited by SteveDude; 10-04-2005 at 12:34 PM.
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    Hi Steve.. What countries did the other Rescues come from to cover during the bombing?

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