Last week we made a fire in a 6,000 sq. ft., 2-story occupied new construction with heavy smoke from the eaves with the arrival of the first company. All floor were clear, crew opened up the ceiling to access the attic and found the entire attic going. Using 1-3/4 lines on the interior, they managed only 4-5 minutes before part of the roof came down and command ordered everyone out.

After a defensive effort, it was not until overhauling that we were back upstairs and realized that, in what used to be the attic, on top of the rafters above our heads, sat a large heating/AC unit. We were suprised that that unit had not come down on the crews inside as they were operating directly underneath it.

We routinely size-up commercial buildings and look for the presence of roof top items, such as heating/AC units...BUT...I'm not sure how it is in other parts of the country but now in our area, builders are putting more and more units in the attic space--just another hazard for us when we are messing around with a 1,000 pound unit above our heads only being supported by burning cheap wood and failing gusset plating.

Just a thought.