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    HOw in god's name are you going to know every building and how it was constructed..for get that one!
    somebody needs to ge out into their distric a little more often...
    My first die has 40,000 people in it and I can honestly say I don't know every single house in the district, but I do know the area well enough to know when the houses where built-60 to a hundred years ago- and how they are constructed. But more important, I know every new home that has been built with light weight trusses.
    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 Motorhead90 View Post
    They pulled the ceilings on the second floor but they also cut holes at each gable end of the house, extinguished it with lines and tore out insulation. Is this a good method, or a last resort for attic fires?
    What you saw is pretty common in my area. In the old farm houses, they take the roof; while newer construction usually means take a gable. Remove ALL of the insullation, ect.... More often than not, we have to deal with flooring in the attic so pulling the cieling becomes a "AFTER IT IS WET AND RUINED" type of thing.

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    I haven't worked an attic-only type fire yet, so this is a good discussion with good info.

    In our area, theres been a few old houses that were rebuilt with lightweight trusses. The old roofing AND rafters were removed and new lightweight common trusses installed. Why, I don't know. but done.
    When remodeling our old farmhouse, I saw some old original actual 2x4 hardwood rafter work and aging that would cause me some concern if I had to vent the roof during a fire. Just because it's old and actual dimension doesn't guarantee it's going to hold up to fire and high heat.

    I could see where having no roof or gable venting woild allow smoke, heat and flame to bank down on FF's pulling down ceiling below the attic fire.

    Another option: Make sure you have window(s) below ceiling vented before opening ceiling and have hose ready and/or going as ceiling pulled? Pushing out smoke/fire if it comes down through ceiling opening.

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    1. 4X4 hole in the gable opposite the wind direction.

    2. Attic ladders suck, we use a little giant style step ladder, much easier to stand on for fighting attic fires.

    3. When one truss fails they all come down.. Absolutely false! When one section of a truss fails, that truss is no longer structurally safe, I have seen many truss roofs with half of the trusses standing and the other half inside the second floor.

    4. If I wont put someone on the roof because of a section under intense fire conditions, I will still allow firefighters under a DIFFERENT section of that roof that has it's structural integrity in place.

    5.Most roofs in our area have at least ridge vents, or gable vents combined with soffit vents, read the smoke conditions if smoke is venting, then pulling the ceiling should be fine.

    6. I agree that if you pull ceiling without venting or cooling the area above first, you will have smoke and hot gases bank down and give you bad mojo. Remember a few years back when some brothers were killed when the fire above a drop ceiling was given oxygen, and it flashed?

    7. This is actually a very informative thread, people do things different, keep an open mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BLSboy View Post
    When a truss roof collapses, they ALL come down. What good is that roof ladder gonna do ya then?
    I have first hand experience to know this isn't true. Maybe I just got lucky, or perhaps physics doesn't always work the way we think it does.
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    Default Piercing nozzle

    We keep it pretty simple and it works like a charm.

    We use a digital thermal detector and locate the seat of the fire. Then we shove a piercing nozzle through the ceiling and hit is with 150 gpm with foam. This works even better if it hasn't vented, so DON'T vent yet.
    As soon as we knock it down, we vent, lay tarps and pull ceiling.

    A lot of guys bag on the piercing nozzle, but after using one, you will eat your words.
    These things are amazing, but you have to break one out and use it.

    Imagine 150 gpm and no fire blowing back down on you. If it is a smoldering fire, you remove the chance of a backdraft because you are not introducing air,,, just a butt load of water. Then when it turns to steam, it gets into the nooks and crannies and before you know it, the sucker is out.

    You still have to get some one up there for overhaul, but no one gets their butts kicked in the process.

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    I can't really comment on the piercing nozzles, because I've never had the chance to use one. They certainly seem to work well... but I have never actually used one.
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    Default Learn to survive!

    I think most of you forget that we bury over one hundred firefighters every year. NIOSH as well as numerous other authors have made it very clear that two of the most dangerous places to operate are directly over or directly under a fire. Why anyone would make it routine to go to the roof to vent an attic fire without first checking for the presence of lightweight construction just does not make sense. They have proven that they fail quickly and without warning. How many firefighters must die before we learn how to survive.

    As most of you have said an attic fire isnít complicated, that is if you have had any training since the time you first received your fire card. Just because you have always done something for 15 years doesn'tít mean it will work today.

    Upon arrival of an attic fire one of the first steps should be to ladder the gable end and open it up. Usually this takes about 30 seconds if you have a good chainsaw and an experienced operator. Next you check the construction type. Lightweight, raftered, finished or whatever you call it in your neck of the woods. You might need to use a TIC if you have heavy smoke; nonetheless this is part of the size-up. While this is going on someone can be flaking the line out. If it is lightweight (truss) construction the attack begins at the gable. The only reason to put someone on the roof or under the roof at this point is to save a life, for instance to search for occupants.

    If the construction of the roof is more stable, such as a raftered roof then opening up and attacking from below is a good option. I usually make sure my crew is operating from a doorway that gives some extra protection. Iím still not convinced I would vent the roof. When considering all the reasons to vent a structure the only reason I can think to vent an unoccupied attic is to attempt to control the direction of fire spread. Usually this isnít a problem if you have a heavy hitting stream, however I have been on a few attic fires that were larger areas than normal and could benefit from this tactic.

    I wish we could talk to all of the firefighters that have died over the years. Most of us would be a lot smarter. Obviously thatís not an option, so some of us will continue to read LODD reports and unfortunately continue to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Be safe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainSnowball View Post
    I think most of you forget that we bury over one hundred firefighters every year. NIOSH as well as numerous other authors have made it very clear that two of the most dangerous places to operate are directly over or directly under a fire. Why anyone would make it routine to go to the roof to vent an attic fire without first checking for the presence of lightweight construction just does not make sense. They have proven that they fail quickly and without warning. How many firefighters must die before we learn how to survive.

    As most of you have said an attic fire isnít complicated, that is if you have had any training since the time you first received your fire card. Just because you have always done something for 15 years doesn'tít mean it will work today.

    Upon arrival of an attic fire one of the first steps should be to ladder the gable end and open it up. Usually this takes about 30 seconds if you have a good chainsaw and an experienced operator. Next you check the construction type. Lightweight, raftered, finished or whatever you call it in your neck of the woods. You might need to use a TIC if you have heavy smoke; nonetheless this is part of the size-up. While this is going on someone can be flaking the line out. If it is lightweight (truss) construction the attack begins at the gable. The only reason to put someone on the roof or under the roof at this point is to save a life, for instance to search for occupants.

    If the construction of the roof is more stable, such as a raftered roof then opening up and attacking from below is a good option. I usually make sure my crew is operating from a doorway that gives some extra protection. Iím still not convinced I would vent the roof. When considering all the reasons to vent a structure the only reason I can think to vent an unoccupied attic is to attempt to control the direction of fire spread. Usually this isnít a problem if you have a heavy hitting stream, however I have been on a few attic fires that were larger areas than normal and could benefit from this tactic.

    I wish we could talk to all of the firefighters that have died over the years. Most of us would be a lot smarter. Obviously thatís not an option, so some of us will continue to read LODD reports and unfortunately continue to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Be safe.

    The time to figure out the type of roof construction is not on a ladder with a chain saw during the fire.. it's going out while things are being built and seeing what is there during the construction phase. Take pics with a digital camera, download them and use it as a training tool!
    ‎"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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    CaptainGonzo, I agree with you 100%. Any department that is on the ball is going out looking at buildings as they are built. However in the city were I work we have everything from balloon frame homes that are over 100 years old, to ďcluster homeĒ developments and everything in between that homeowners can sneak by the code department. I choose to leave nothing to chance. I assume nothing. It wouldnít be uncommon for a balloon frame home to have a new-trussed roof put on. I also find it hard to believe that some of those posting replies believe they ďknow for a factĒ the construction type of every building in their district.

    Allow me to make two important points.

    1-Size-up is important with any type of fire that you respond to. I donít recall seeing anybody mentioning size-up, so I wanted to remind everybody to not forget about size-up.

    2-Iím sure there are a lot of newer firefighters that come here to learn from us ďsaltyĒ firefighters. And to them I say, the loudest voice isnít always the correct voice. Sometimes confidence grows into arrogance, and everyone knows that egos eats brains.

    Be safe everyone, and keep training.

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    Is there a truck guy anywhere on this forum!!!


    Like I said before.... IF it is safe, I prefer my crew to vent the roof.

    And yes I do my best as an officer to determine the integrity of the structure on my size up
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    Default Integrity??

    Now theres a big word for a guy thats clueless.....

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    Well, this thread is down the tubes now.
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    I agree 100% with fireground1. If FDNY is not committing guys to the roofs of residential building that should tell us something. They do more fires than most of us, so they probably have more experience and have deemed roof ops on private dwelling not to be a priority, through EXPERIENCE. They have more manpower on a 1st alarm than most of us do on a 5th alarm, roof operations takes manpower, something most of us dont have. And what about safety, has anyone listened to the message that people like the late Frank Brannigan and Vincent Dunn have been spreading. Light weight construction kills firefighters, the likely hood of a roof being light weight construction is pretty good, so why risk killing anymore firefighters than we already do. It is 2007 and we are still killing over 100 firefighters a year. Wake the f... up maybe we need to consider changing our tactics! We should spend more time learning the job from those who have the experience, instead of those who who lack it challenging those with it!
    Last edited by bgraves; 11-02-2007 at 12:03 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bgraves View Post
    It is 2007 and we are still killing over 100 firefighters a year.
    How many of them fell through roofs?

    We've had 56 guys die in our history. None of them fell through roofs, and we have guys on the roof at pretty much every fire. If you go by the numbers, around here it's more dangerous to be standing in front of a house on fire than to be sitting on top of it.

    If we want to stop killing a hundred people a year, we need to stop driving like we're seventeen, put the fork down, and go vent the roof.
    The opinions expressed in this post are well-reasoned and insightful. Needless to say, they are not the opinions of the government that I work for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bgraves View Post
    I agree 100% with fireground1. If FDNY is not committing guys to the roofs of residential building that should tell us something. They do more fires than most of us, so they probably have more experience and have deemed roof ops on private dwelling not to be a priority, through EXPERIENCE.
    How much is it like the buildings in YOUR first due? I could care less how FDNY operates in THEIR first due, cause its a LOT different then mine, I can say that for certain


    Quote Originally Posted by bgraves View Post
    They have more manpower on a 1st alarm than most of us do on a 5th alarm, roof operations takes manpower, something most of us dont have.
    And with the extreme amount of BTUS released by the plastics found in todays homes, the weather resistant windows, and the less amount of heat felt with todays bunkergear, coupled with the lack of training due to less fires seen WILL result in more deaths, I can say that for sure.


    Quote Originally Posted by bgraves View Post
    And what about safety, has anyone listened to the message that people like the late Frank Brannigan and Vincent Dunn have been spreading. Light weight construction kills firefighters, the likely hood of a roof being light weight construction is pretty good, so why risk killing anymore firefighters than we already do.
    And what about flashovers, backdrafts, smoke explosions, and other rapid growth phenom? Ventilation SAVES LIVES. It may not always be that popping the windows is enough, sometimes, you gotta get up on the damn roof and open it up. Do it sooner, then later.


    Quote Originally Posted by bgraves View Post
    It is 2007 and we are still killing over 100 firefighters a year. Wake the f... up maybe we need to consider changing our tactics!
    I will wake the f*ck up, if everyone else slows the f*ck down, puts the f*cking fork down, gets the f*ck out of the recliner, excersises the f*ck out, THAT is where most of our LODDS come from, followed by RAPID FIRE DEVELOPMENT

    Quote Originally Posted by bgraves View Post
    We should spend more time learning the job from those who have the experience, instead of those who who lack it challenging those with it!
    I challenge tactics that won't work in MY area, with MY manpower, and MY depts. level of training.

    That being said, I browse this, and IACOJ, exchanging ideas, theories, and tactics. I also go to every fire conference available to me, to learn from the masters, and get ideas from them. I sit down, shut up, learn, and ask appropiate questions. Then thank them for their time, and ask them if I can email them if I have any questions.
    Last edited by BLSboy; 11-02-2007 at 12:42 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by upstater View Post
    How many of them fell through roofs?

    We've had 56 guys die in our history. None of them fell through roofs, and we have guys on the roof at pretty much every fire. If you go by the numbers, around here it's more dangerous to be standing in front of a house on fire than to be sitting on top of it.

    If we want to stop killing a hundred people a year, we need to stop driving like we're seventeen, put the fork down, and go vent the roof.
    Here, here, Brother, and may your Fallen Rest In Peace.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLSboy View Post
    Here, here, Brother, and may your Fallen Rest In Peace.

    Thanks, man. It means a lot.



    (By the way, I think we're using the same writers )
    The opinions expressed in this post are well-reasoned and insightful. Needless to say, they are not the opinions of the government that I work for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by upstater View Post
    Thanks, man. It means a lot.



    (By the way, I think we're using the same writers )
    I had him all quoted up, and we fixin to lay into his theory, like I did, when we got tapped for an AFA. Get back, finish thoughts, and you had beaten me by 40 or so min.

    Crusty (in my case, developing said crust) minds think alike?
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    Ventilation is a must! But with the buildings we deal with today I disagree with venting the roof at residential fires unless you are doing it from the basket of a tower ladder. Once again, light weight construction kills firefighters, be proactive and use alternative means of ventilation, we can't possibly know how all roofs are contructed. Vent the windows or gable! Is vertical ventilation better than horizontal, without question. But with the sh.. manpower and light weight construction we have to deal with we need to change our tactics. I think a point in my last post was missed. I am not saying we should all operate like FDNY, my point was that they are going to a hell of alot more fires than most of the people on this forum, maybe we should look into why they are not operating on residential roofs, they have one thing alot of us lack, EXPERIENCE. I am not saying that we kill 100 guys per year on roof operations, however, if we would stop being so bull headed and look at the reality of our job today and not yesterday and improve or change our tactics, then maybe we can prevent senseless deaths in the future. In a perfect world venting the roof is the best option, but we don't live in a perfect world.
    Last edited by bgraves; 11-02-2007 at 07:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bgraves View Post
    Ventilation is a must! But with the buildings we deal with today I disagree with venting the roof at residential fires unless you are doing it from the basket of a tower ladder. Once again, light weight construction kills firefighters, be proactive and use alternative means of ventilation, we can't possibly know how all roofs are contructed. Vent the windows or gable! Is vertical ventilation better than horizontal, without question. But with the sh.. manpower and light weight construction we have to deal with we need to change our tactics. I think a point in my last post was missed. I am not saying we should all operate like FDNY, my point was that they are going to a hell of alot more fires than most of the people on this forum, maybe we should look into why they are not operating on residential roofs, they have one thing alot of us lack, EXPERIENCE. I am not saying that we kill 100 guys per year on roof operations, however, if we would stop being so bull headed and look at the reality of our job today and not yesterday and improve or change our tactics, then maybe we can prevent senseless deaths in the future. In a perfect world venting the roof is the best option, but we don't live in a perfect world.
    It's about time people started to realize we need to change!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bgraves View Post
    Ventilation is a must! But with the buildings we deal with today I disagree with venting the roof at residential fires unless you are doing it from the basket of a tower ladder. Once again, light weight construction kills firefighters, be proactive and use alternative means of ventilation, we can't possibly know how all roofs are contructed. Vent the windows or gable! Is vertical ventilation better than horizontal, without question. But with the sh.. manpower and light weight construction we have to deal with we need to change our tactics. I think a point in my last post was missed. I am not saying we should all operate like FDNY, my point was that they are going to a hell of alot more fires than most of the people on this forum, maybe we should look into why they are not operating on residential roofs, they have one thing alot of us lack, EXPERIENCE. I am not saying that we kill 100 guys per year on roof operations, however, if we would stop being so bull headed and look at the reality of our job today and not yesterday and improve or change our tactics, then maybe we can prevent senseless deaths in the future. In a perfect world venting the roof is the best option, but we don't live in a perfect world.
    It's about time people start to realize we need to change how we do business!

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    Default Not a sermon, just a thought.

    While I whole heartedly agree with everyone on the danger of lightweight trusses and engineered wood products that a large portion of houses are constructed of today I would still say you need to vent. In one of the previous post someone asked how many firefighters dies in a roof collapse. That piqued my interest and I looked up the stats from the annual NFPA report on LODDs. In 2006 there were no LODDs attributed to a structural failure of a roof although there were several failures of engineered wood floors that gave way and resulted in a firefighter falling into the basement. Again I agree that we need to take precautions when dealing with engineered wood products but let's not let that stand in the way of us doing our job.


    Edited for spelling error
    Last edited by TheRook; 11-02-2007 at 10:27 AM.

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    Many here seem to be afraid to get on a roof. Whats next - no interior attack??? More are killed inside than falling through a roof. I predict that it is just a matter of time before many here work up the "courage" to justify not going in at all. If you are afriad to vent a roof, just admit it. If you don't think you or your guys have the experience to operate on a roof, just say so. Enough with with the whole truss roof dodge.
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoFF View Post
    Many here seem to be afraid to get on a roof. Whats next - no interior attack??? More are killed inside than falling through a roof. I predict that it is just a matter of time before many here work up the "courage" to justify not going in at all. If you are afriad to vent a roof, just admit it. If you don't think you or your guys have the experience to operate on a roof, just say so. Enough with with the whole truss roof dodge.
    I don't think anyone is dodging anything. Some of us dont have the manpower that you have. Its a matter of priority. Getting a line in operation is #1 priority (saves more lives than anything else we are going to do) that takes 2 members minimum. Vent windows 1 member (most cases that is the pump operator of the 1st due engine). Interior search for victims and fire (pulling ceiling) 2 members. Back up line 2 members. Now most of the time we don't have enough people to perform all of this and by the time we do get enough people it is too late. With the sh.. construction we deal with why put people on the roof at this point. Please contact me and we can talk about this further over a beer.

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