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  1. #1
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    Default Cellar Fires - Training Information

    We have a live burn scheduled in a ranch with full in-ground cellar that has been divided into 3 rooms, central stairway from floor above, six small casement windows at ground level and a steel bulkhead from the outside.

    Even though I have managed several of these type of fires, I'm looking for any training materials about the tactics and strategies covering cellar fires.

    Any help or suggestions would be appreciated


  2. #2
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Default

    Please, please, please, keep NFPA 1403 in mind.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  3. #3
    Forum Member fireman4949's Avatar
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    Default

    Bones,

    My best advice is to follow 1403 to the letter. I am confident that you will.

    Limit the fuel load (class-A only), identify and secure multiple means of egress on each floor, no live victims, have a back up water supply and lines in place, and make sure communication (radios) is available to all crews. Also, only ignite one fire at a time. Remember this is only training. No one needs to get hurt.

    Most importantly, do a complete walk-through with everyone on the scene prior to starting the first evolution...NO SURPRISES!

    Luckily, basements and cellars are pretty rare in my area. I have however, been to a few cellar fires over the years. As I'm sure you already know, if the fire is in the basement, you'll take one hell of a beating making the stairs...Just be very careful!




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  4. #4
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    Default

    As everyone has said, follow 1403. I would say take out those small windows or at least a couple of them. Open the steel bulkhead and have your backup crew either waiting at the top of the bulkhead. If is of most importantance that the slack man (3rd guy on line around here) stay at the top of the stairs and jack hose down to the attack team. There isn't much worse then the attack team making the bottom step and having a coupling getting hung at the top of the stairs or a corner and now they can't get off the stairs or if they don't have enough hose to get to the bottom and make a turn once they get off the steps.

    Have your instructors make sure to watch the fire so that it doesn't circle around and get under the steps.

  5. #5
    OSD122
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    Default Cellar/Basement Fires

    As far as tactics for cellar/basement fires go, I recommend clicking on the link below and reading the article.

    Basement Fires

  6. #6
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    Default

    http://vincentdunn.com/dunn/newslett...LLAR_FIRES.PDF

    One concern I have is the basement having three rooms -- sounds like it's finished, which sounds like dropped ceilings to me. *If* you do live burns there, pull them out in advance.

    If it was me...

    And before you read this realize:

    1) I fully support live burns in acquired structures and believe they can be done safely
    and
    2) Some of the most phenomenal training I've had has occured in a cellar...of a Class A burn building...

    I wouldn't light a live burn in the cellar of a woodframe house. The egress, and the ability to ventilate it quickly should something go wrong is too restricted.

    Cellar fires are already the most dangerous evolution for a fire we didn't set. I don't see the risk/reward in deliberately lighting one in a wood frame.

    Although you won't get the heat, I would do smoke machine drills. What could also be very neat is doing FAST / Firefighter Rescue drills in the basement -- disentanglement from wires, etc. Could be a complete ***** and put a basement nozzle in on top of your favorite crew while they're working If the ceilings are dropped, it would be a neat exercise with a green crew to take them downstairs and have them practice knocking the ceiling down with the hoseline as an initial step -- to make sure there's no fire/explosive gases in the void waiting to trap them.

    Leave the live fire to the first floor rooms where you can do a bunch of room & contents, and if something does go wrong you have windows to bail from and/or vent to reduce the smoke very, very quickly.

  7. #7
    Forum Member TNFF319's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    If you feel that a fire in the basemant is not safe you can use smoke bombs. This will easily simulate the smoke it just will not allow crews to knock down an actual fire.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber plisken's Avatar
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    Default

    Follow 1403 to the T. If you are looking for new trng try peircing nozzles/ celler nozzles or distributer nozzles. These we use all the time (NOT!! never deployed one in 15 yrs) Yet ISO requires them to be carried on the rigs. Cellers can be bad news and using unconventional tools on the rig might give you some new tactics. Not only with breaching floors but with knock down information. It also gives the guys a little confidence using the tools (nozzles)we carry yet never come out of the rigs. You might have to talk to the old,old, old guys on how to use them. So dust thing in the engineers compartment off and give them a shot.

  9. #9
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    Default Thanks to all who replied

    My initial post purposely left off my equal concern for live fire and the risks involved in cellar fires. A department not to far from ours lost a firefighter in the cellar. I have always considered them one of the most dangerous situation a FF can encounter. Thank you all for re-enforcing my concern and support for non-live fire evolutions, the complete walk-through before any activity (we do this anyway), etc.

    Thanks again.

  10. #10
    Forum Member TCFire's Avatar
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    Default

    I would absolutely avoid conducting a live burn in a basement. Basement fires, under the best of circumstances, can be brutal. I agree with Dal regarding using a smoke machine, practice using piercing nozzles, cellar nozzles, protecting the interior basement stairs, cutting a hole in the floor and using mechanical ventilation out a first floor window. Discuss under what circumstances you would attack via the interior stairs versus coming in thru the bulkhead from the exterior. Good luck!
    In Arduis Fidelis
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