1. #26
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    George, how do you think i would feel? losin a brother in any fashion is very sad, but if it were because of my stuff, i would probably be devastated.

    I just want to make sure that everything possible is being done to save the peoples property (to the point not to risk firefighter safety)

    probably woulda had some different opinions if i actually made that job

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  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by PFDTruck18
    Well Gerorge,

    There is a huge unknown as to the contents of your average everyday dwelling fire. There are no requirements for placarding. There is no requirement that the tenant declare their contents. There is no requirement that the owner demand no hazardous materials. But guess what, we go in ANYWAY! Why? Because thats our J.O.B. We take an oath to protect life and property. You may fail to realize that many people store their entire livelyhood in these places and as has already been pointed out, some DO live in these places.

    What also makes ME sick is FF who refuse to take any risk in a job that is risky from the bell, they are complacent and anti-aggressive. Its one of those things that kill firefighters.

    BTW, under 5. But Im sure your enlightened self has fought hundreds of these incidents. Obviously with a huge dollar loss to the community.
    There is no comparison between a fire in a self-storage building and an "everyday dwelling". The difference lies in the construction. The building will be what kills fire fighters.

    And you can spare me the self-agrandizing lectures about taking risks. My post is not based on fear. My posts are based on a solid knowledge of these buildings and an understanding that they are not built, in any way, shape or form, to withstand fire.

  3. #28
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    Of course you want to save some stuff, but discussion about interior attacks are pointless, for the most part they are impossible. People rent the smallest space possible in which to store their stuff. A good stream can easily penetrate the depth of any storage unit. The construction is flimsy at best, At this fire it was running rapidly and never vented through the roof which suprised me. The steel deformed and pushed out almost every pillar holding up the roof and door assembly. Each steel crossmember on the roof rested on 2 "C" channels bolted to the floor and on the outside, a column made of a single course of block. I had expected that these were decorative with steel behind them, but that was not the case. Tie in at the top was minimal and several of these columns fell during overhaul.

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    In my experience the last nthing ya want to be is aggressive on a fire in a self-storage facility. Sure, move down the line 5 or 6 units in each direction, open them up and cutoff the fire there, but opening up the units that are burning ... hell no!!!

    The department I am currently on has developed a very conservative policy for operations at the many self-storage facilities in our area ever since we sat and watched someone fill 4 units top-to-bottom with fireworks at the facility across the street from one of our stations. They were being stored there after New Year's until at least the 4th of July. We did some research and found this was a very common practice with many of the fireworks vendors in the area.

    Have also run into large amounts of pesticides, chemicals, aerosol cans and even multiple propane cylinders in these types of buildings. My previous department also changed it's policies after suffering 3 injuries at a fire in a
    a unit containing pesticides. Stuff is just stuff ..and when it comes to stuff, the risks we take should be extremly minimal.
    We have been talking about personal responsibility a lot in another thread. It's not our fault that many folks don't insure the contents, and it is certainly not something that influence how aggressive we are.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 03-04-2006 at 12:45 PM.

  5. #30
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    Has anybody had experiences with fires that are in the self-storage facilities that resemble apartment buildings? In my area, a popular design is to put the storage lockers inside (as in it is a structure within a structure) and go up several stories.

  6. #31
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    We haven't had a fire in one, but there are two facilities just as you described. in my community. One is sprinklered, the other is not.

    Posted by PFD truck 18
    There is a huge unknown as to the contents of your average everyday dwelling fire. There are no requirements for placarding. There is no requirement that the tenant declare their contents. There is no requirement that the owner demand no hazardous materials. But guess what, we go in ANYWAY! Why? Because thats our J.O.B. We take an oath to protect life and property. You may fail to realize that many people store their entire livelyhood in these places and as has already been pointed out, some DO live in these places.

    What also makes ME sick is FF who refuse to take any risk in a job that is risky from the bell, they are complacent and anti-aggressive. Its one of those things that kill firefighters.
    Apples and oranges, brother, apples and oranges.
    In a dwelling fire, you have life hazards to the occupants.

    In a self storage facility fire, you have "stuff" that people have no room for at their present home. Some of these people are pack rats and cannot bear to throw anything away. Once a month, there is a legal notice in the newspaper announcing that there will be a sale of contents from a self storage facility because of non payment for the bay.

    Risk a lot to save a lot.
    Risk little to save little.
    Everyone goes home!
    ‎"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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  7. #32
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    I've had to deal with a bad one of these and it wasn't fun. And yes, I had things in one of the units, so it was a bit personal. We tried to get a few units down and srop it, but with all the wonderful items that turned out to be stored in the facility (you'll love these) ammunition, black powder, gasoline, full propane cylinders, fireworks and a few vehicles chock fulla fuel... needless to say, the results weren't pretty. The construction was uninsulated steel framing with 2, metal sheathing outside and thin particle board on the interior. Minimal load bearing capability from the top (we don't have to worry about snow or ice) and once it started, it just took off. 3 Departments were dedicated to providing coverage to adjacent structures alone.

    The OIC has to make a call... we can armchair quarterback that decision all day long, but life safety has to take precendence over the material value of the fuel, no matter what. If we can knock it down in the incipient stages then great, but once it's roaring, the decision has to be made whther to save what we can and let the primary go or to take the further risks of trying to save a lost cause... Do we want to have a funeral over "stuff"?

    Not over my stuff, no matter what the value.

  8. #33
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    Has anybody had experiences with fires that are in the self-storage facilities that resemble apartment buildings?

    No.

    But we have one built into a convert dairy cow barn

  9. #34
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    Meth Labs....
    If you are from the midwest you know what I am talking about. There alot of people that use these things to make their meth. Just a consideration to go along with all of the unknowns in these buildings.

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    trying to post pic buthaving trouble
    Last edited by newbomb; 03-06-2006 at 11:43 AM. Reason: having trouble with pic

  11. #36
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    This is pretty much how we did it with just 5 guys and a quint and engine till the off duty guys got there. Thats me on the nozzle with a guy off the quint and a guy got way ahead of us and opened the roof off a ladder in case it made it that far.We just forced and drown each door on down the line.

  12. #37
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    I'm no chief, so I feel like keeping my mouth shut. However, I will be an officer in a few short years, so here is my opinion. We did have this fire 6 years ago, except it was Summer. The chief decided that the roof wasn't sound and there was nothing in there worth a firefighters life. We put up two aerials and drown the middle of it, and when it was out we used a hand line for hot spots. We did a lot of water damage, and content damage. If I was in charge, based on what I saw and what we did, then I would say he did the right thing. There are just so many possibilities of chemicals, drug labs, and unknowns. Mission statement: Life, property, environment. Number 1 is life, including our own, and that means no aggressive attack on this one.

  13. #38
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    i know i made that suggestion in my first post, get a couple units down and prevent the spread any further. maybe it was misunderstood when i said place an attack line at/in that unit (if i said in, then that wouldn't be a too smart thing to do) Just place the line close to the opening, and make it so that the fire can't move down any further.
    In no way would I write of the whole place, but you have to choose your battle say fire unit and 1 or 2 units to each side depending on how involved the initial unit is. I hate to say it, but some of these s&it built townhomes are similar. Depending on conditions you may have to pick an amount you are willing to lose to save the rest. There's a point where you have to say if I focus my efforts on stopping spread to the north then I can only lose what's to the south if I split my efforts I can lose in both directions.

    You can go ahead an jump me if you want, especially the macho newbies, but I am not saying that as an everyday tactics, I am saying that based on volume of fire, amount of involvement, known crap construction. There is a time where you have to give some to get things done. Its not easy, but it has to be in your head as an option.

    Its that line in the sand thing. I am willing to give you up to this point, but damn you if you try and cross it.

    Do me a favor and go into these self storage units either under construction or empty... lightweight construction at its best... errr worst!

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