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  1. #1
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    Post Fire Attack on Dumpster Fires

    Kind of curious to how the rest of the fire service attacks your common dumpster fire found in apartment complexes.

    Our department has deployed the use of deck guns for the past few years. We used to pull preconnect lines with SCBA for years until we started using the deck gun. Our belief is that since there is no life safety factor to deal with and it is only a "trash receptacle", then there is no need for attack lines with SCBA. We simply have our engineers pull within 100' or so from the dumpster and have a firefighter at the deck gun with another acting as a spotter (keeping them upwind of the burning dumpster).

    We will dump anywhere from 750 to 1,000 gallons of water into the container. Fill it up and your done. No hoses to clean, no airpacks to fill and a much safer operation. Generally we like to fill the container at least half way with water or until all the items (that are left) are floating.

    Just curious if this is inline with the rest of the fire service.

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    We typically use a 100 ft trash line off the front bumper for most dumpster fires. Exception would be those large construction debris containers. If we have no exposures, we'll use the deck gun. Also, we have alot of industrial shops that have metal debris dumpsters (magnesium shavings). I have only had one of those type of fires and we used a DOT tractor to dump lots of dry sand into it.

    Our SOP for any dumpster fire is full PPE with SCBA. Too many unknowns in the trash these days.

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    1.5 handline, SCBA/PPE, attack from distance, work your way in to about 20ft, fill with water..pretty standard around here for smaller trash ones, bigger than that gets a deck gun.
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    We have a slop line that gets pulled 1 3/4 with 125gpm fog nozzle. The hose is Nitrile rubber much like LDH 100' long, so after the fire it just gets put back on.
    In Addison we don't have a deck gun (it spooks the horses)
    Other places I've used the deck gun or just turned the elbow on the discharge and lobbed water in.

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    We wear full PPE and pull a booster line. We knock it down and then just float the dumpster (fill it with water till everything is floating).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADSNWFLD
    In Addison we don't have a deck gun (it spooks the horses)
    Huh? You still have horse drawn apparatus?
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    Mix. I like the deck gun. Fill it up from a distance. Walk over with a pick head axe and put in some drain holes. Find the nearest hydrant and fill up and back in service we go.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Huh? You still have horse drawn apparatus?
    We would have less problems with the rigs.

    We have never had deck guns, and have been able to put fires out without them so why get them.
    I hope you sense the sarcasm, that is the answer we are given every time we are going to get a new rig.
    The attached is a 1950 Ford and except for a front suction our current rigs can do no more then it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86
    Mix. I like the deck gun. Fill it up from a distance. Walk over with a pick head axe and put in some drain holes. Find the nearest hydrant and fill up and back in service we go.
    Hey, just so your aware, 99% of dumpsters have drain plugs in them. The company who owns them could persue legal action against you for un-neccessary destruction of property.


    ADSNWFLD, I see the sarcasm....I find it interesting that you do not have deck guns, what about portable monitors? Or do you consider that a 2-1/2 with a 1" smoothbore tip?
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    Are the drain plugs accessable? I haven't taken a close look at a dumpster recently. Also, would the runoff be considered a haz mat? God knows whats in the dumpster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pfd4life
    Hey, just so your aware, 99% of dumpsters have drain plugs in them. The company who owns them could persue legal action against you for un-neccessary destruction of property.
    Oh yeah. I forgot. We always use the drain plugs in the dumpsters.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    No official "policy". Some CO's use deck guns, some use handlines. Im in the deck gun camp.

    Drain holes? We leave the water in it. That way we dont get a rekindle.
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    I also an a proponent of the deck gun on a dumpster fire. Fill the dumpster up. As Dave 1983 said, filling the dumpster with water prevents a rekindle.

    Hit it hard and fast... and no SCBA to service afterwards!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfd4life
    Hey, just so your aware, 99% of dumpsters have drain plugs in them. The company who owns them could persue legal action against you for un-neccessary destruction of property.

    Cause I'm really gonna' spend my time diggin' around looking for the drain plugs. Odds are, the dumpster's gonna' be trashed anyway. If not, they can patch it.

    That's assuming we were gonna' drain it. I'd agree with most of the previous posters and leave it full.
    "The more we sweat in training, the less we bleed in battle."

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    Hi All,

    We attack the fire with a "wet" CAFS, 1 3/4" handline. Once the fire is knockdown, shut off the air to the CAFS line and switch to a "MADDOG" mid-X aspirating nozzle. Cut our gpm flow down to about 35-40 gpm and inject Class A foam at .5%. Makes a very "wet" finished foam product that flows like lava and fills the dumpster with bubbles. Use less than 500 gallons of water and a little more than a gallon of concentrate. Works great! Bubbles drain for hours and water absorbs into the contents of the dumpster.

    Hope this helps.

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    When I was a Lieutenant on the 3 Engine, we were dispatched to a report of an "outside fire" in the rear of the Executive House Condominiums, In my FD, an outside fire is a single Engine response.

    As we pulled into the driveway and entered the rear parking area, I saw that we had a dumpster fire.

    My radio report was as follows...

    "Fire Alarm, Engine 3 is off at the Executive house condos... I have a solid steel windowless structure with heavy fire venting...using 3's deck gun to extinguish... Engine 3 is Executive Command..."

    "Engine 3 from Fire Alarm... do you want to strike the box for this?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcleoud151
    Cause I'm really gonna' spend my time diggin' around looking for the drain plugs. Odds are, the dumpster's gonna' be trashed anyway. If not, they can patch it.

    That's assuming we were gonna' drain it. I'd agree with most of the previous posters and leave it full.
    It's about a 2-4" plug on the back, of most dumpsters, not hard to find at all. I'm not saying you need to drain them...I never have, or will, that's the waste companies problem. Just don't go making holes if you do decide too. It would be a pretty trashy(pun intended)thing to get sued, or billed over
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    As we respond to most still alarms with a truck; yes I know, a truck with a pump, hose, and a water tank is sac-religious, it's usually just a jump line and fill the dumpster. And yes, I wear my SCBA, it is amazing what's in those things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86
    Oh yeah. I forgot. We always use the drain plugs in the dumpsters.
    I would advocate letting the property owner or the dumpster company do the draining afterwards.

    If someone's going to get a ticket for contaminated runoff, let it be them. We just put the fire out.

    And:

    1. Yes we use the deck gun when the container is big enough.
    2. Yes we always use SCBA when working in close.
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    Default Now that you mention it......

    Now that I think about it, I can't recall going on a dumpster fire. At least not in our district.........Not many around here except for the ones brought out for construction/demolition.




    Have been to a fire in a doghouse, BBQ pit, and a few other oddities though....no kidding...

    I can say that it would be a 1-3/4 crosslay.
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    Default 20 Yard Dumpster

    Try this for a dumster fire.......A 20 yard dumster full of bags with filters from a spray booth at a cabinet manufacturers building. Then mulitply that by nine times last year and also 2 times in the last week. Also, its almost always about 3:00 AM because 2nd shift gets done at midnight. First one of these a few years back became a 4 hour hazmat incident. Now we just knock it down fill it with foam and go home. Its hard to complain to them as they just donated custom cabinets to the new addition to our fire station.

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    Default deck guns & fires

    Haven't used a deck gun on an outside fire since used on brush fire. Officerdidn't want to stretch a line up the small hill. He couldn't see over the top and when he charged the deck gun he hit the ***. Chief. Have learned " Asst. Chiefs don't like to get wet"

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    Talking Deck guns on rubbish fires

    I agree with this tactic.
    I currently work as an Engineer on an Engine. I also work for a Department on a Military Facility..... a rubbish fire for us could contain Hoffman Devices (simulators for tanks shooting, vehicles being hit with antitank rounds, etc.), cases of M.R.E.s (may not be thought that they are dangerous, but stand next to a case as they explode..... your change your view) or several cases of 1 gallon Coleman propane tanks..... so needless to say, we let the situation dictate what tactic we use, however if it is needed we won' t hesitate to go "big guns."
    Try to remember, as long as all the personnel goes home safely and the fire goes out, then the tactics were sound.
    Just my two cents.



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    About 6 weeks ago we had a 40 yard dumpster going......these types of runs only bring 1 engine.....we started with a 1.75.....then a tower ladder who had seen the smoke and thought the building was on fire, pulled around the corner.......the bosses decided why waste time....we stopped the 1.75, and stretch 2 lengths of 3.5 to the tower ladder....and that's what put out the fire.
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