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Scenario:

Working fire in front living room w/ probable victim inside (unknown location). Structure is single family dwelling, 1-story ranch-style home approximately 1300 square feet. 0800 hours. 1 front door on Side A, 1 rear door on Side C. Fire visible in living room only. Smoke from eaves and soffits of structure on all 4 sides. Do you take the first line in the front door for a quick knock down or attack from the rear and push it out the front? OVM coordinates ventilation w/ attack team prior to taking out windows. I'm interested to see your replies.

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If the front room is a compartment (no smoke showing in other rooms during walk around) send one crew through the back to get the primary search and one through the front to attack the fire.

If the whole house is smoked up, both crews go through the back, attack crew and vent crew work to stop the fire in the front room, while the primary gets done.
I think we work from the door that seems the most likely used by the occupants. I employee this tactic on almost all fires, conditions permitting. The psychology is, that under stress most people will default to exit the structure the way they came in. Using a hose team and rescue team to protect that means of egress is a solid tactic. If the OVM is good and punchs your front window as you attack, the house should sustain good conditions long enough to make a search and rescue.

Beleive it or not we had just this type of call back in 2005. Myself and one FF made entry through the front door based on our thought it was what the resident seemed to use most often. We went around the fire in the living room as the hose team followed. We found our victim laying at her bedroom door. As we moved her back towards the living room the OVM was complete and my nozzle team was waiving us back out to the front. The fire was not out but they had control of it in the front room, our exit point. I think that was key to the rescue being effective. They later said that they did not want to steam up the whole area until we had pulled our unprotected victim through.It is a luxury to work with such well trained and seasoned FFs. The ending to the story is, although we succesfully resucitated her on scene, she died two weeks later. Still fine work by all on scene. I look forward to other replies on this subject.

Marty
Working as a first in engine, the primary objective would be to take away the problem, put a line on the fire. Removal of fire room window prior to attack will improve interior conditions help contain fire to that room, help release steam produced by fire supression efforts. Even though all the books tell us to attack from the unburnt side, because we will spread the fire. This one of those urban legends. Going through the door on side A is probly the best choice. Reasoning behind this is look at the time it will take to get the line to the back around corners and to the fire room. Some of the newer studies are show fire growth rate at 4 times per minute. About 4 years ago had a similar experience less the victim. Arrived to find residence with fire just starting to vent out front windows. firefighter wanted to go to the rear, as the officer I decided to go through the front. In the length of time it took to don face piece and advance to front door, fire was blowing over 6 feet out the window. After the fire, we went to the back door and found line movement would have been very difficult because of the door configuration. By the time we would have made it to the fire room the whole place would probly have lit up.
I agree with Larry Laisch, it really depends on the compartmentation and smoke conditions. If the fire is isolated in one room and we can make the front door, then the attack crew can make a quick attack from the "A" side. If the fire is not contained and the entire structure is pushing smoke, then we will enter from the "C" side while the OVM cooridinates his venting with the advancement of the search and attack teams.

Make the push from the front door. Depending on staffing for that day may or maynot have an OVM/shagman. Window may have to be taken a minute before the push. I like the front door in p.d.'s since it cuts the house in half we can get in there and protect the hallway/put the fire out while the search is being done. Also I feel this (opion only) increases the change of finding a victim since they do seem to go to the door they use the most. I have come across some residents jambing up thier back doors, came across one back door with a couch against it and another one with two computer desks against it. Could we have gotten in that way even with the blockage, yes, would it have slowed us down greatly and we all know that time is not on our side. I dont worry about pushing fire since we dont use a power fog attack and I know if I overwhelm the B.T.U. out put with G.P.M. and a solid stream fire goes out.
I'm going for the front door. I agree with other opinions posted that A. I'm betting on the victim being near a habitual exit point of the home, and B. that with the additional time that it will take to stretch around to the rear your conditions will worsen. There are too many unknowns to stretching to the rear to make the attack; length of the stretch, obstacles such as fences, cars, decks, porches, etc. will increase the time it takes to put water on the fire i.e., "so goes the first line...". And I don't buy the adage of pushing the fire by entering close to the area of involvement. Putting the fire out makes a lot of problems go away.
Just some observations, but if smoke is pushing from the eves and soffits, then this is (was) a room and contents fire that has gone structural on us and fire is now in the attic space. How is the roof assembly constructed? LWT or conventional rafter? I would use caution entering a structure with concealed fire conditions burning over my crew's head as we make entry, especially with LWT construction overhead. As such, I would stretch the attack line to the Charlie side and initiate a positive pressure attack (PPA) per our organization's SOG, and utilizing all the fundamentals of a sound PPA tactic. Before making entry at the Charlie door, punch the ceiling and check for overhead fire conditions before moving toward the room of origin. Back-up line also brought in the same door. I don't like the idea of opposing hoselines... one in the front, one in the rear, for obvious reasons. If the back-up line is behind me, it would be easy for them to break off and hit the hallway for a primary search of the bedrooms while the attack team hits the fire.

I disagree respectfully to those of you who say you'd be most like to find vics near the front door. If this house had a detached garage, would you really exit out the front door to get to your parked car in the garage? I think most people, at least in my district with similar housing types, use a side or rear door for most of their comings and goings. I might be wrong, and I certainly don't disagree with those of you who think differently.
The job of first line is egress protection.
By placing the line through the front door Side A We:
Have a shorter exterior stretch
Have a shorter interior stretch
Now control the hallway
Now have faster water on the fire
WHY using the C side is the wrong move in this example
Longer exterior stretch
Longer interior stretch
Hallway control is delayed or unattainable
Possible forcible entry delays
Gates, dogs, fences, pools etc.
Delayed water on the fire
We must OWN the hallway! When your stretch is delayed fire will enter the hallway cutting off egress. Taking the line to the C side is a waste of time and effort and places the line in the wrong location.
For all of you who like the C side approach ask your self about orientation. When a real estate agent shows you a house do they take you through the C side door? No. Because now you have to FIND the hallway when you enter through the A door it is right there in front of you. Could you attack this fire from the C side? Sure you could. Would you be protecting the primary egress? NO!
This question couldn't be more simple the fire needs to go out and quickly. Fears of pushing fire, construction, and smoke are side issues to extinguishment and saving lives.
Lt. McCormack, real estate agent! what a great way to define the front door as being the best entry point, I am going to "steal" that anology the next time we debate this around the kitchen table. Thank You

Ray McCormack said:
The job of first line is egress protection.
By placing the line through the front door Side A We:
Have a shorter exterior stretch
Have a shorter interior stretch
Now control the hallway
Now have faster water on the fire
WHY using the C side is the wrong move in this example
Longer exterior stretch
Longer interior stretch
Hallway control is delayed or unattainable
Possible forcible entry delays
Gates, dogs, fences, pools etc.
Delayed water on the fire
We must OWN the hallway! When your stretch is delayed fire will enter the hallway cutting off egress. Taking the line to the C side is a waste of time and effort and places the line in the wrong location.
For all of you who like the C side approach ask your self about orientation. When a real estate agent shows you a house do they take you through the C side door? No. Because now you have to FIND the hallway when you enter through the A door it is right there in front of you. Could you attack this fire from the C side? Sure you could. Would you be protecting the primary egress? NO!
This question couldn't be more simple the fire needs to go out and quickly. Fears of pushing fire, construction, and smoke are side issues to extinguishment and saving lives.
Front Door! OV man may get an additional duty of checking the the rear door for victims if staffing on the first due companies is an issue. I believe Will said it's a sfd ranch style 1300 sq. ft house. Not too many ltw trusses in these cracker boxes in my city. He describes one our typical "bread and butter" type fires; room and contents with some possible extension. Get a knock on the room, pull the ceilings and finish it off if it extends into the attic. Leave the Fan on the truck until after knockdown. The time taken to set up a proper PPA would more than likely help us burn the roof off a place like this, especially if everyone is humping all the equipment to the C side. And to add to what was mentioned earlier, our district is blessed with having a pit bull or two in the backyard of about 70% of our homes which justs adds to the C side problems.
Thanks to all for your input. I was the IC of the incident described. This was my first fatal as an OIC (promoted in 5-08). Myself and the first engine arrived at the same time. I asked that officer which door he was going in and he was trying to get some info to make his decision. I advised him to go in Side A. As they were stretching, I did my 360. Truck arrived and coordinated ventilation of the fire room w/ attack. Next in crew was assigned search and quickly located a victim just inside the rear door along w/ a large dog. The reason I posed the question was b/c another firefighter (Lt) on our dept. stated firmly he would have gone in side C without hesitation. I respectfully disagreed, but thought that I'd like to get input from others around the country. The cause of the fire ended up being "human factors", probably a discarded cigarette on a couch. Keep the posts coming!
I im a little late on this one. But I would choose the front. Howmany of us use our preconnects? I know we do and they are only 200ft. So If I go for the rear because Im afriad of pushing the fire I may just not get there and now I need to go back to the front...
The victim in this case was similar to our call last year we hit the fire in the front agressivly with and proceeded another crew went to the rear to ventilate as we proceeded in side they knocked down majority of the fire qucik & without pushing it through out the home. Found the victim in the 1st floor bathroom. Search team behind us pulled her out she passed away do to smoke.
And the factor for this fire cigarette on the couch. You made the call and it was right in my opinion even though I dont I live in your country :L)

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