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    Default Where would you VENT?

    Fire during the early hours .... two storey house .... fire in a second floor bedroom on the C side has self vented providing post-flashover flaming from the window. Two occupants reported believed trapped on the second floor. Attack line reaches top of the stairs and just enters door to bedroom on right (see plan) .... zero visibility and high heat conditions.

    200' x 1 3/4" pre-connect
    Crews committed interior for seven minutes so far and have rescued one occupant from bedroom on left at top of stairs - all other windows intact and closed ....

    Do you ask for ventilation from the exterior? If so where?

    The building was a two-storey, non-sprinklered residential structure that was constructed of wood framing with an exterior stucco finish. The roof consisted of wood rafters with asphalt shingles over wood boards The photo shows the D side and the burnt away roof was over the bedroom where the fire originated.
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    Last edited by PaulGRIMWOOD; 07-12-2007 at 08:51 AM.

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    Thumbs down

    Awesome.

    Thousands of fires every year.

    But you have to post one that resulted in a LODD.
    Co 11
    Virginia Beach FD

    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

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    Paul show a little respect for the Lt. that was killed in this fire. Are you trying to second guess the IC, Lt. (LODD) or others that were involved in this fire.

    As Doc said, of all fires to pick.

    T.J.

  4. #4
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    With deepest respects but we have been critiquing LODDs and NIOSH reports on this forum for many years in 'Fireground Tactics'.

    No attempts to second guess and always an acknowledgment that what decisions are made on scene are exactly that! Made under stressful conditions without the benefit of hindsight.

    Having said that, there are lessons to be learned at ALL incidents and NIOSH reports are published for exactly that reason. So that firefighters can attempt to establish what lessons we can take away to prevent future LODDs. That's what these forums have been about for years. To agree or disagree on tactics. If you don't want to take part in any such debate nobody is criticizing you for that.

    This is an open question to debate venting practices inline with fire location. It is not an attempt to place blame or criticism. If there are mistakes made at a fire (I am not suggesting any were in this case) that does not mean we should not take every opportunity to debate and learn from them.

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    whats the Niosh link? Id like to read the entire story.

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    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Thank you for the link.

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    Simply unbelievable...

    Nice one once again Paul.

    Simply stated, I wonder why you have this crusade lately to post US LODD's. All the problems of the English Fire Service solved?

    Don
    Last edited by FyredUp; 07-12-2007 at 12:16 PM.

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    Do you ask for ventilation from the exterior? If so where?


    All windows on side C. Possibly the roof as well, depending on conditions.
    "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?

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    Guys, most of the time I agree with you all. But this time I think we are being a little hard on Paul. Should he have said up from that this was a real incident with a LODD and not something he made up, yes but he didn't. Just because there was a LODD does that not mean that we can't learn from it, No. It has been over a year since this brother was laid to rest, we aren't disgracing him or forgetting him. But enough time has passed that I (no I am not an authority) believe that we can now discuss this event intelligently so that we can learn from it especially being that they NIOSH report has already come out. This brother was a Company Officer, don't you think that he ever looked at other LODD's and said "hey guys lets kick around some ideas and see what we can take away from this so that it hopefully won't happen here". I think that if we can learn from this incident and take something away from it then are we are honoring this brother not spitting on him.

    Paul, after looking over part of the report that being what the availible manpower was I will answer some of this. I have not read any further yet so as to not appear as an armchair quarter back.

    I believe that the second window to the fire room could have been taken, and in this case looking at the picture they probably could have vertically vented this house. By taking that second window in the fire room from the outside it may have helped somewhat or at least helped the interior crew locate the fire room. With there being a second floor to this house it doesn't appear that they would have been much attic space so you wouldn't have had to worry about the homeowners putting down plywood for storage. They could have vert vented as close to over the fire room as possible.



    Ok I am ready to be flogged by the masses now. While I wait, I am going to go read the rest of the report to see what actually was done.

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    Actually, until you guys posted it, I was unaware of this being a LODD that had a NIOSH report. We study these in our basic FF1 class. I see no harm in discussing them.
    "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?

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    from the report:
    At 0452 hours, R1 arrived on the scene and was instructed to vent and ladder the D-side of the building as T9 shut off the gas.
    I'm not sure what you are getting at, am I to point fingers and 2nd guess the IC and on-scene crews with a would've, should've, could've? Sorry I can't do that, as 1) I wasn't there 2) there tactics appear sound to me 3) all occurred in a 10 minute time frame
    From the report:
    Note: In this incident, the victim had a 23 percent CO level in his blood at the hospital. Witnesses stated that the victim donned his mask once in the structure. When he responded to the IC that he was on the second floor, the dispatch tapes indicated that he had his mask on and was coherent. At sometime during the incident, while the victim was in the small bedroom, apparently the victimís mask became temporarily dislodged for an unknown reason, accounting for the high concentration of CO in his blood.
    Where would a tactical change concerning venting prevent the victim's mask from being dislodged?
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    OK just a couple of points .... I will state once more that we have (for several years) critiqued LODD fires based on NIOSH and other official reports. I have looked through some of these and I see several FDNY brothers, along with many other 'long serving' posters (including you FyredUp), who have commented in these threads quite constructively. In fact, some of these threads have gone for 2-300 posts. In the end there have been many lessons learned by all I am certain.

    Now I will state further that there appears to have been a transition of late in how we do this publicly. Discussing these incidents and debating alternative approaches or individual actions within the four walls of a firehouse training environment is a lot different to discussing for the world to see. At the same time, there is greater coverage because you must be aware that these threads are observed by firefighters from all corners of the world. If certain individuals feel this is distasteful I would suggest you open another thread elsewhere and we can all debate the morals of whether this an acceptable approach or not (could be a good debate if certain individuals can stop fighting like a bunch of kids)!

    I am NOT looking to debate the entire fire here ok. I have taken just one element of it .... ventilation by firefighters. I could have pointed out this was a LODD but I didn't, rightly or wrongly. I wanted to detract from the overall fact that this was a LODD. I am more interested in how we might vent (or not) this type of scenario as I feel there is some opportunity for reasoned discussion in that area specific. I could have made up the same scenario with my own plans but then maybe you would have accused me of a situation being too much like a recent LODD incident!

    The fact that there was a tragedy might make us look at this with more conviction. From the plans posted it seems obvious to me (maybe not to others) that this is a NIOSH report as it is in their style. There are clear lessons worth learning here and it is not an attempt, in any way, to second guess IC decisions. In the process we might discuss the way this fire was handled but not with any reason to condemn their approach or assign blame.

  14. #14
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    To those that have posted constructive opinions so far .... thank you.

    Bones42 ....
    All windows on side C. Possibly the roof as well, depending on conditions.
    GFDLT1 ....
    I believe that the second window to the fire room could have been taken, and in this case looking at the picture they probably could have vertically vented this house. By taking that second window in the fire room from the outside it may have helped somewhat or at least helped the interior crew locate the fire room. With there being a second floor to this house it doesn't appear that they would have been much attic space so you wouldn't have had to worry about the homeowners putting down plywood for storage. They could have vert vented as close to over the fire room as possible.
    Both opinions in agreement here .... venting the C side and possibly the roof as well.

    SPFDRum .... is in general agreement with the tactics as implemented which in terms of venting actions .... came on the D side of the structure.

    OK if we consider certain points here -
    1. When we ventilate a window WHY do we do it? I mean, we must have an objective right? What might the 'objectives be here?
    2. How do we know which windows to vent? For example, will a specific window fit in with our objectives?
    3. Do you think, looking at the layout, the D side window would serve the C side bedroom?
    4. What reason or objective might we have to vent the D side window?

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    This could certainly be a good candidate for PPV, as long as at least two windows were vented in the fire area before the blower is started, to ensure a large enough exhaust opening. Once the line is in position and darkening down the fire, other windows on the 2nd floor can be taken to increase ventilation to facilitate the primary search. If necessary and manpower is available, roof ventilation is the next option.

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    I'm with Paul here. A reasonable amount of time has passed and we do not have to point fingers at the IC to learn from this tragedy. We owe it to all fallen firefighters to learn from their deaths to prevent any future LODDs. It will be difficult from your side of the magic box to conclude every aspect of the incident and we will undoubtedly not have all the information, chaos and time constraints the IC had, so we can evaluate what we know without automatically finding guilt with what took place.

    I have got to say, with regard to placing blame and learning from LODD's, I was not thrilled to read the Charleston Chief's comments that he wouldn't change anything about the way they do things. I beleive when you have a LODD you ought to have a deep hard look at every part of training, responses, size-up, tactics, etc. before you decide there is nothing you could do differently. I don't know either way how things were done in Charleston, but I do think its too early to have taken a true introspective look at the dept's overall handling of the incident and have decided nothing should be changed.

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    Remember, these tactics and all tasks associated where based on a known trapped victim situation.
    The object here, if believe, was for horizontal ventilation, especially ahead of the fire. As side C self vented, looking at the picture and diagram, it appears to me venting side D would also accomplish that task. All this being deduced without the benefit of a handy floor plan. Even with out the floor plan, you sure are not going to vent side A, behind the crews. And reading initial report of the fire location, it would appear that side B would have also been behind the crews.
    Again without the benefit of the nifty floor plan diagram. So not having the benefit of being there, I again think their tactics where sound based on what they observed.
    Again, this being a rescue situation, horizontal ventilation is a quick and effective method to accomplish the job.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    Remember, these tactics and all tasks associated where based on a known trapped victim situation. The object here, if believe, was for horizontal ventilation, especially ahead of the fire. As side C self vented, looking at the picture and diagram, it appears to me venting side D would also accomplish that task. All this being deduced without the benefit of a handy floor plan. Even with out the floor plan, you sure are not going to vent side A, behind the crews. And reading initial report of the fire location, it would appear that side B would have also been behind the crews. Again without the benefit of the nifty floor plan diagram. So not having the benefit of being there, I again think their tactics where sound based on what they observed. Again, this being a rescue situation, horizontal ventilation is a quick and effective method to accomplish the job.
    OK thanks see where you are coming from .... but, what are our 'objectives' when we have ventilation in mind? We can't start venting without at least one in our mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by erics99 View Post
    This could certainly be a good candidate for PPV, as long as at least two windows were vented in the fire area before the blower is started, to ensure a large enough exhaust opening. Once the line is in position and darkening down the fire, other windows on the 2nd floor can be taken to increase ventilation to facilitate the primary search. If necessary and manpower is available, roof ventilation is the next option.
    Would two windows be necessary as outlets?

    How do we know the 2nd window on the C side (if intact) served the same room?

    Would you utilize PPV if you were not able to confirm status of fire spread into the attic?

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    Default No disrespect to the LODD ................

    Well I know what I would do ..............call Too Hott To Trott and THEE National Standard for it. I mean he has got to know it ....right ?
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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    It seems to me that we have a second story fire with extreme heat and zero visibility which are stalling efforts to search for a possible reported victim. In this case I'd like the line to stay at the head of the stairs and any and all second floor widows to be taken. The line can stop the fire from being drawn downthe hall and if it flares up and gives away its location they can advance on it. Meanwhile the vents should allow some heat out and lift the visibility some allowing the search to progress quicker. Given the conditions are oppressive to our guys in PPE and SCBA the victim has very little time. Any vent will help if we can search further and get the line to advance on the fire.

    As for PPV: If I was to use it, I certainly would say that one window would be enough for the exhaust. Its the only one guaranteed to not bring the fire where it hasn't been as well as needing a smaller exhaust to maintain pressure. Given our poor experiences we would not use PPV on the initial operation. Though a second floor fire with a failed single window seems like bread and butter PPV stuff!

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    Default A Few Thoughts

    First - Selection of the Case

    a) Any significant fire provides a good opportunity to study our craft. b) Studying incidents where mistakes were made (this would be most incidents) is a more effective way of learning than simply studying incidents that went well (supported by research, not just my opinion). c) Not attending to the potential lessons from LODD is far more disrespectful than examining these incidents in detail to ensure that we do all we can to ensure that other bother and sister firefighters do not fall victim to the same situation.

    In addition, having worked with Paul for a number of years, I can attest to the fact that we both use cases from the UK, France, and a number of other countries in addition to those from the US. However, in the US we have the advantage that information on firefighter fatalities is disseminated widely rather than kept under wraps.

    Second - Strategies & Tactics

    Purpose: Venting for life (provide a tenable environment for the victim and firefighters and if possible limit fire spread)

    Direction: Horizontal (given the urgency of the situation, small size of the structure, and time to complete a vertical vent, I would opt for horizontal ventilation).

    Location: Exhaust opening - two windows of Side C (examine the smoke, air track, and heat indicators at the windows to verify that the intended openings are in the fire room, a TIC could also be used from the exterior to locate the fire compartment).

    Method: My first choice (if entry had not yet been made) would be Positive Pressure. This choice is based on the rapid reduction in temperature and improvement of visibility outside the fire compartment achieved by this tactic. If firefighters had already made entry, I would be hesitant to use PPV (unless firefighters were withdrawn from Floor 2 until PPV had been established).

    Sequence: As noted above, given visible indicators, my first choice would be to vent and establish PPV prior to entry. However, if this was not an option, I would vent concurrent with fire control and search operations.

    Other Thoughts: Unless there were backdraft indicators from the extremely small attic space, positive pressure ventilation could have significantly improved conditions on floor 2, but would have intensified the fire in the compartment of origin. This should not be an issue with a 1-3/4" line (given the small size of the building).

    These observations and thoughts are based on information contained in the NIOSH Death in the Line of Duty Report 2006-19.
    Ed Hartin, MS, EFO, MIFireE

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    im sticking with "hesitant" doing horizontal ventilation on pre-flashover conditions with crews operating in proximity to the fire. vertical vent would be ideal
    Last edited by LeatherHed4Life; 07-12-2007 at 11:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulGRIMWOOD View Post
    Would two windows be necessary as outlets?

    How do we know the 2nd window on the C side (if intact) served the same room?

    Would you utilize PPV if you were not able to confirm status of fire spread into the attic?
    After doing a decent amount of research and reading regarding using a blower in coordination with fire suppression, I have learned that it is better to have too much of an exhaust opening rather than too small of an opening. Bad things happen when the vent opening isn't large enough to exhaust the products of combustion. As long as the fire area is vented, fire spread to adjacent rooms shouldn't be a major concern initially. Of course it's recommended that the blower be in operation before the crews are upstairs. I'm still on the fence a bit with PPV. I have read some very promising things but still lack some real life experience with it in regards to using it with heavy fire.

    In regards to fire extension to the attic, that would be the least of my concern with suspected occupants trapped. The blower can rapidly improve interior conditions, however it intensifies conditions at the exhaust opening, sometimes making things on the outside look worse than what they are inside.

    The bottom line is, a line needs to get upstairs ASAP to protect the occupants and the searchers, and ventilation needs to be done to assist with the search and the potential for survivability, at least at floor level.
    Last edited by erics99; 07-12-2007 at 11:42 PM.

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    Vertical ventilation would be ideal, but with this being a known rescue situation and both trucks committed-horizontal would be the choice for speed and quick effectiveness. Also with coming up to the second floor, you have the ability to cool what you can from below floor level on the stairs. So even with horizontal venting, you can cool the gases, hopefully eliminating the flashover potential outside the room of origin.
    The indication I read is the 2nd window side C self vented.
    PPV, I would not care about fire spread to or in the attic, I'm in rescue mode. If I make the rescue and the place burns down because of my vent fan, well so be it. As hartin said, we are venting for life, all else is secondary.
    Just my thoughts on what is presented. Like I said, I thought their tactics where sound and correct for the situation presented.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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