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  1. #1
    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    Default Tactical pics from FH.coms story......is this even RIGHT??

    I am not an expert on tactics, and am not even going to pretend to be.

    That said, ventilation holes in the roof, made by firefighters, naturally, or by the fire, are there for a reason, right? To let the smoke and hot gasses escape. Applying water to/through them disrupts the thermal balance, and makes fighting it that much harder.

    In addition, when fire is BELOW the roof you are working on, you make the cuts, get off. QUICKLY. That just does not seem to be in effect here.

    That said, here are the pics.

    This is not a "well, they messed up, hows about we Monday Morning QB them" This is me trying to learn if there is a legit reason for doing this, so do NOT accuse my of doing so.
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
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  2. #2
    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    and more pics.....
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
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    This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber swarmy's Avatar
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    BLS Boy-
    I don't know much about the situation. I haven't seen the article. Do you have anymore info?

    My guess:
    There is a firewall in the attic space connecting the two buildings. It "appears" that they are not spraying water into the vent holes. It "appears" that they are sprying on the unburned portion of the exterior roof. It also "appears" that nobody is getting water on the seat of the fire. Can't tell if the Tower is protecting exposures or putting water interior (although it still appears no water is hitting the fire).

    My thoughts:
    Don't know enough to comment.
    "...there isn't a firefighter in the free world who is forced to join this profession." -John Norman

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    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Ok, wasn't there. But in the pictures, there is 0 smoke from anywhere below the roof. And in the 1 shot, it looks like a bucket (possibly tar) on fire. It may be that the roof was being tarred and it's roofing materials that are burning and that's all. That might be one reason they are putting water there. They may not be vent/burn through holes at all.
    "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?

  5. #5
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    Arkansas Church Burns
    Lightning suspected in blaze

    Updated: 08-07-2007 01:42:37 PM
    E-MAIL THIS STORY PRINT THIS STORY

    Rusty Gartrell
    Firehouse.com User-Submitted Photostory

    Only July 20, the North Little Rock Fire Department responded to a church fire. The call came shortly after a thunder storm came through the area.

    Witnesses in the area reported lightning close to the church just prior to the fire being reported.

    The crew of E-6 reported there was heavy smoke showing upon arrival. Responding to the scene were the chief, assistant chief and battalion chief, Fire crews dispatched included those from E-6, E-8, E-3, E-9, E-7, E-1, R-5, T-7.

    The fire marshal's office sent three personnel.

    Neighboring departments Maumelle and Sherwood each sent a truck. It took about three hours for the fire to be brought under control.
    "If you put the fire out right in the first place, you won't have to jump out the window."
    Andy Fredericks,
    FDNY E.48, SQ.18
    Alexandria, VA F.D.

    Rest in Peace

  6. #6
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Ya, i was just looking at pictures. Once I read the story, that threw my thought out the window.
    "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?

  7. #7
    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    Woops, sorry about not including the story. Ran our butts off last night.
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
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  8. #8
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    i just postd this and then saw this thread... d'oh.

    whenever i see an entire operation hosted off a roof top squirting down into vent holes it tends to raise some questions.

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    Blsboy, I don't pretend to be an expert either and can monday morning quarterback my own screw ups without having to trash someone else. that being said always use extreme caution when fighting church fires. When the building is not occupied fires can go undetected for quite a while, add that to construction type, large open areas...vaulted and cathedral ceiling, means that interior operating time may be greatly reduced, and roof operations are hazardous.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber AC1503's Avatar
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    I'm not so sure that it is a bucket. It appears to me that there are some turbine type roof vents that have fire shows from them.

  11. #11
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Default Why is everyone beating around the bush??

    The answer is NO - even without being there this was obviously not the best choice in tactics unless you are trying to ensure that you burn the roof off.

    Additionally, if they were scared to go in it, using the same thought process, they should not be able to justify being on top of it or vice versa. If they thought it was safe enough to be on top of, they should have been inside pulling ceiling and putting the fire out.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 08-09-2007 at 11:29 AM.
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    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  12. #12
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    At least - as far as we can see - no one knocked down the obvious fire and then blasted a stream straight down into the interior space. I've seen that done a few times in the hour or so preceding a foundation-clearing loss.

    Remember, too, that this is a church. The interior ceiling might be 20 to 30 feet or more above the floor, making from-below access to the attic kind of tricky.

    But to answer your question BLSboy, a from-the-top attack through the vent is very nearly a universal no-no.

    Generally I think it is advisable to withold judgment until able to get the scoop from the OIC, who may (or may not) have a legitimate reason for this tactic in this fire.

    Anyone feel up to contacting NLRFD?
    Last edited by ElectricHoser; 08-09-2007 at 12:14 AM.
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  13. #13
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricHoser View Post
    Remember, too, that this is a church. The interior ceiling might be 20 to 30 feet or more above the floor, making from-below access to the attic kind of tricky.
    Another good attempt at defending a poor choice in tactics. That is not the case at this fire. Go back and look at the pictures. The fire is coming from the attic space over a single, standard story portion of the church.

    Everyone seems to want to get in the mode of "this is a church with a wood truss roof so we can't go in there." That rule only applies to the area of the sanctuary where there are no interior walls creating a large open span under that roof section.

    The attic space involved in fire in these photos are not unlike any attic space in most new residential homes. They are created with wood truss roofs too you know. Who knows, maybe they don't go in those either.
    Robert Kramer
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  14. #14
    Forum Member kprsn1's Avatar
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    From the one picture you can apparently make out the top of possibly an engine. That suggests to me that it is indeed a single story with a peaked roof. Possibly over the sanctuary? Crews need to be inside the univolved portions preventing extension to the attached buildings. I'm not sure what the tactic on the roof is all about. If we would put water through a vent hole it would be on a defensive attack with master streams or monitors and not men on roofs. What do we know about churches and their construction? Most churches in our area are centered around a sanctuary with rooms and construction off to the side or around. Maybe with a basement. New churces with lightweight long span truss contstuction? Old churches with heavy timber? A peripheral or transitional offensive/defensive attack from these add-ons would be well within our tactical objectives IF the fire is in the sanctuary. I agree with Memphis, if it's safe to be on the roof, it's safe to be inside. If the fire is in a portion of the church other than the sanctuary, my attack tactics would definitely include prevention of fire extension to that area while also accounting for firefighter safety working in the sanctuary. Pre-planning your churches is an imporant first step in deciding on tactical strategies and objectives. As far as putting water into vent holes during defensive attacks, I still prefer to use gable ends to access the attic space (rotary or chain saws can make a pretty big opening) or come from underneath whenever conditions permit.
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    Everyone seems to want to get in the mode of "this is a church with a wood truss roof so we can't go in there." That rule only applies to the area of the sanctuary where there are no interior walls creating a large open span under that roof section.
    Kprsn said it, but I'll say it again. If you don't want to be under the roof, why would you want to be on it. You can't see from the pictures, they may have people inside, but if that's the case, why do you have hose streams on the roof?

  16. #16
    Forum Member kprsn1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    You can't see from the pictures, they may have people inside, but if that's the case, why do you have hose streams on the roof?
    Exactly, Cardinal Rule of Firefighting #32. NEVER, EVER, EVER put water into a vent hole when people are operating inside or below.
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  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber swarmy's Avatar
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    Okay...I was trying to be a litle PC in my first post because I didn't have ANY details. In my first post, I did point out that nobody was hitting the seat of the fire (evident by the presence of large red flames and the lack of fluffy white steam).

    It still appears that the hose on the roof was not shooting water in the hole. By the looks of the weak stream, half open bail and extremely wet roof, I would say that they were protecting the unburned roof. Regardless, it was not the best idea. If you look at the progression of the pics, you can see more and more smoke building up behind the firefighters on the roof. Essentially, they were letting the fire progress right under them (just as bad as letting it get over your head.

    Although they may have had a large volume of fire in the chapel area (unknown) that prevented them from going into the chapel, the hallway (where they were on the roof) looked like an excellent place to go interior and cut off the fire.

    I still don't know why they were hanging out on the roof. AND if they were putting water in a vent hole, that's a no-no.

    Here's a link to a similar fre where there were some LODD's in Texas.
    CHURCH FIRE 1999: http://www.firehouse.com/news/99/2/15_texas.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    Another good attempt at defending a poor choice in tactics. That is not the case at this fire. Go back and look at the pictures. The fire is coming from the attic space over a single, standard story portion of the church.
    I have been slightly misunderstood. I was not defending the tactics that seem to be in play in these pics, I was only providing a possible explanation for why someone in charge made decisions which resulted in these pics.

    I agree, looking back it is obvious they aren't far above ground level.

    I wish we had the full story, because I agree that it seems fishy.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kprsn1 View Post
    Exactly, Cardinal Rule of Firefighting #32. NEVER, EVER, EVER put water into a vent hole when people are operating inside or below.
    This may have been a Re-roof or a rain roof where a second roof was built over an existing one. This may be the only way to make access to the fire with water. I think the biggest point to make here is,

    If your not going to operate under a roof, dont operate on top of one. Roofs fall DOWN.

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber JohnVBFD's Avatar
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    Ya know, I have a different kind of beef with these photos. And I find it more funny than upset by it. I think it proves my point.

    Disclaimer: I think roof ladders are worthless. I can't stand them nor do I like the time wasted deploying them.

    If your department is one that does use it, use it. There is one roof ladder up there and I think it is up there just because someone HAD to put it up there.
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    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

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