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  1. #1
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    Question How would you attack this fire?

    How would you guys handle this fire (engine and truck assignments)? [Note: This happened in my department 3 years ago. This fire was caused by a short in a wire to Christmas lighting on the downstairs deck outside of the house. It ignited the deck in the back of the house, which then extended into the basement of the house, then up to the 2nd floor, attic, and through the roof. Luckily it was in the middle of a workday, so no one was home.]

    Scenario: You get dispatched to a structure fire, middle of a workday, pull up on a 2 and 1/2 story residential wood-frame colonial, finished basement. Flames are through the roof in the back of the house. The basement, 2nd floor, and attic are well involved in the back part of the house, also the downstairs deck (point of origin) outside the house is burning as well.

    How would you attack it?
    Last edited by chrisdurkin44; 11-24-2005 at 09:29 PM.


  2. #2
    Forum Member BerwynFD's Avatar
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    Assuming you have hydrants, and that the exposures are not in imediate danger.

    Once truck has cleared the rooms available, or confirmed the res vacant. Engine hits the involved side hard. Shut down once the fire is knocked down then PPV the front and hand line overhaul the:attic, bas 1st 2nd. Of course that is if the stairs and structure are safe. The Attic may need to be opened via roof. If a second Engine is on scene before the house is cleared they may be able to attack interior first. Most involved, attic then other floors.

  3. #3
    Forum Member MEck51's Avatar
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    Depends how far advanced the basement is. If there is any type of signifigant fire, I would probably just do life safety, exposures and write the house off. With fire in basement that will limit work on the above floors due to not wanting to work above the fire.

    If you had some pic.s it would help greatly. I am not able to get a good feel for the fire load or layout of the house by your post. Also it seems as though you are asking for assingments for 1 truck and 1 engine, is this the case and if so what kind of staffing.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BerwynFD
    Shut down once the fire is knocked down then PPV the front and hand line overhaul the:attic, bas 1st 2nd.
    I would consider that the structure was balloon frame if the fire went from basement to attic before the FD's arrival. The relevance here is that using PPV in balloon framed construction can be disasterous. Actually not even truly a PPV tactic if you're waiting until after the knockdown. Though this is what we do also, as we stink at PPV and are not convinced of its true value. I just heard an interesting point on PPV also:

    PPV is most easily traced to LAFD years ago. Ask them if they use it now. Sure they have the fans but we were told they only use them for pressurizing stairwells.

    FTM-PTB

  5. #5
    Forum Member BerwynFD's Avatar
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    Default re

    I'm not saying that the fan would be used as part of a pressurized attack.

    The fire is already venting.

    The fan would make it a lot easyer for the teams going in. The place would be a mess of steam and smoke after hitting the other side. Getting to the attic asap is right. There is where the fire could hide a long time.

    It might have extended there from the external eaves. The fire was started outside, and moved into the lower floors from the patio.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    What Im not understanding is, was the deck with the tree below/equal with the level of the basement? If not, how did the fire burn down?

    BTW, Im not going to suggest a mode of attack as, being in Fla, I have no experiance with basements.
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  7. #7
    Forum Member BerwynFD's Avatar
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    Sorry, I was assuming that it was a walk out basement, with a patio that was the origin.

  8. #8
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    The deck/patio was at ground level. The fire started outside on deck/patio then worked its way into the downstairs of the house, then to the second floor, then finally the attic. It was confined to the back part of the house.
    Last edited by chrisdurkin44; 11-25-2005 at 02:43 PM.

  9. #9
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    From what you have described, with only the back of the residence being invloved, I would do an aggressive interior attack. Being that it's the middle of a workday, I would definately, without a doubt immediately call for mutual aid, probably from at least 2 or 3 departments right off the bat. (FAST teams, pumpers with manpower).

    Since the fire already vented itself there would be no need for vertical ventilation, so no one is going on the roof which is badly compromised anyway by flame impingement. The truckies would their normal jobs: forcible entry, search & rescue (even though it's the middle of a workday you can't automatically assume no one is home), ladder the 2nd story windows, and horizontal ventilation at the back of the house as needed.

    I'd have 2 hose teams enter the house through the front door to begin the attack and protect the stairs, inch and 3/4 line upstairs, inch and 3/4 line downstairs and go to work. Your 2nd due engine or a 2nd arriving mutual aid engine would lay in to the nearest hydrant to supply your attack pumper. A third hoseline, possibly even fourth hoseline (if manpower permits) would also be deployed to back up the 1st two attack lines. After your hose teams get the fire knocked down upstairs and downstairs, your truckies immediately begin aggressive overhaul. Since the fire was in the attic that's where you begin 1st, all ceilings upstairs would have to be aggressively pulled, all basement ceilings pulled, all walls opened up, all window casings opened up, etc. It would obviously have to be a very extensive overhaul to check for conceled fire, and hitting of hot spots by the hose teams. The outside patio where the fire originated would also have to be extinguished and overhauled.

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    MembersZone Subscriber SteveDude's Avatar
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    Clearly, we don't have a lot of timber construction in the UK...but anyway. It would be an interior attack, 2 man BA crew with a 1.75 line from the front and another similar crew, similarly equipped, hitting the fire from the outside to reduce the risk of radiated heat exposing the fire then pushing into the Basement. A subsequent crew would then make an interior attack into the loft (as described in my previous post)

    These comments are obviously made looking purely at the fire attack without considering if there is any collapse risk etc...
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    My first concern would be getting those lines into the house and knocking down the 2nd floor, basement, and patio fires ASAP. The next concern would be extinguishing that attic fire. That's why I emphasized immediately pulling down all of the ceilings on the 2nd floor of that house, then hit what's above with your handline. Getting those walls opened up right away is key also. Once you get that attic fire out, then you can concentrate on overhauling the downstairs. It would have to be a very, very extensive overhaul because that fire almost certainly got into void spaces in the walls and ceilings.

  12. #12
    firefighter7160
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    ------------
    Last edited by firefighter7160; 11-15-2007 at 10:53 PM.

  13. #13
    Forum Member BerwynFD's Avatar
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    "all ceilings upstairs would have to be aggressively pulled, all basement ceilings pulled, all walls opened up, all window casings opened up, etc. It would obviously have to be a very extensive overhaul to check for conceled fire"

    WOW

    Either you don't live where there is much insulation and vapour control, or your crews need to drink less coffee. Once the roof is vented an internal crew can access threw the hatch and FOAM the attic floor and involved structure.

    A TIC or even an IR heat detector saves a lot of time ripping crap apart.

    Again a .01 to .5 percent class A foam in overhaul workes wonders.

    Why work that hard and get that dirty when we have the tools to avoid it.

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber SteveDude's Avatar
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    Since the fire was in the attic that's where you begin 1st, all ceilings upstairs would have to be aggressively pulled, all basement ceilings pulled, all walls opened up, all window casings opened up, etc. It would obviously have to be a very extensive overhaul to check for conceled fire, and hitting of hot spots by the hose teams. The outside patio where the fire originated would also have to be extinguished and overhauled.
    Forgive me...but is there any point in putting the fire out? We are not here to put fires out for the fun of it....surely we put fires out to save property? We have a strange custom here in the UK...it comes after the first priority 'saving life' and is known as 'protecting property' the idea is...the Fire does £5000 worth of damage it is up to us to keep the damage caused by Firefighting as near as nothing as possible...no waterfalls cascading through the house...no unecessary missing ceilings or walls. £50,000 worth of Firefighting damage on top of £5000 worth of fire damage just wouldn't cut it over here.... we'd soon be looking for new jobs...but I don't think the A-Team needs 60,000 recruits.
    Steve Dude
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  15. #15
    Forum Member PattyV's Avatar
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    why not just use TICs to see if you need to pull the wall or the ceiling?
    "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.

  16. #16
    Forum Member BerwynFD's Avatar
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    Default Wood frame construction

    Stevedude the reason we have to do so much overhaul is EXACTLY the difference between your fire resistant and our wood frame construction.

    Unless you are either careful or excessive(depends on who your talking to i guess) there can be rekindles days later. Since the building will now be vacant the rekindle won't be noticed very quickly, and the house is no longer able to compartment the fire.

    The folkes being excessive do risk the wrath of ther insurance company though.

    TIC's save a lot of time and damage. I wish we could talk the insurance industry into buying them for us.

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber SteveDude's Avatar
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    Berwyn,
    Of course I realise that and see your point entirely But I was just adding comment to the post I quoted... it seems to me that the whole point of being there...to protect the property...had been lost with Firefighters acting more like Demolition Crews?
    Steve Dude
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  18. #18
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    I would put two or three teams with 1 3/4 lines on int. attack with a truck team with them to conduct s/r while i have my ladder comp. fighting the 2nd story from the windows and another crew working the back of the house. i would call for mutual aid and have all aid crews begin a full attack on the attic through the gable vents if possible and if not have them standing by to begin asap. as for overhaul we have a tic so we would try to cause as little damage as possible. We to have limits to how much we can get away with and without the tic we would have to conduct a MAJOR overhaul.

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    "I would put two or three teams with 1 3/4 lines on int. attack with a truck team with them to conduct s/r"

    "i would call for mutual aid and have all aid crews begin a full attack on the attic through the gable vents if possible"

    And if I was one of your interior crews that just got burned by playing water thru a gable while you had companies inside, I would exit the dwelling and kick your butt infront of the rest of your men.

  20. #20
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    You'd use an exterior attack through the 2nd story windows and the attic gable vents while you also have hose & search teams working inside the house?! Are you serious?!

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