Scenario 4-3: Fire on Falco Street
Construction and area
345 Essex St. is a one-family, 2-1/2 story wood frame dwelling built in the early 1900’s. Wood clapboard covers the exterior at the rear while asphalt siding covers sides A, B, and D. The roof is steeply pitched and covered with asphalt shingles. Dormers are located on the B and D sides of the roof. Access to the basement is by way of the interior stairs on the first floor and via an entrance located at the rear.
Time and Weather
It is 1100 on a July day with the temperatures expected to hit 90°. The humidity is high. Wind is blowing to the east at 17 MPH.
There are similar wood frame residential structures on both the B and D sides of the fire building. They are fifteen feet from the fire building.
There is a hydrant located in front of the building as well as several others in the area. All are supplied by an adequate water volume.
You are first to arrive and are met by the homeowner who is covered in soot. He states that while soldering pipes in the basement, he started a small fire and that he would not have needed you if he had a longer garden hose. He is not sure where his wife is.
Heavy black smoke is coming from the basement windows and a moderate smoke condition is visible on the first floor as the front door is open. There is also light smoke showing at the eaves.
You are the Officer of Engine 1. The response is two Engines and one Ladder Company. Staffing is an Officer and three firefighters on the Engines. An Officer and three firefighters respond on the Ladder. You hear on the radio that your second-due Engine has been involved in an accident and the first-due ladder company is stuck behind them in the resulting traffic. You will be the Incident Commander until relieved.
1. What is your strategy at this fire?
2. Your first action at this scene is to:
a. Request additional companies to the scene
b. Ask the owner if everyone is out of the house
c. Establish Command
d. Radio the second-due engine to position for attack
3. What would be your greatest strategic concern regarding the weather conditions?
a. High humidity creates ventilation concerns
b. Open interior stairs will channel heat to the upper floors
c. Combustible siding on the leeward side will be threatened
d. Open hydrants may drain the water supply and pressure
4. What would be the primary objective of the first line stretched?
a. Protect the interior stairs and upper floors from upward fire spread
b. Enter from the rear basement door to locate, confine, and extinguish fire in the basement
c. Protect the primary search in the fire area
d. Flow the first floor
5. You receive a report from the Ladder Captain that there is a large timber horizontal member at the floor level inside the wall between the basement and first floor. What is your most significant concern in regard to this report?
a. This is platform frame. Fire spread to the upper floors should be minor
b. This is braced frame. The smoke at the eaves is most likely from a pipe chase
c. This is balloon frame that has been renovated. Expect weakened integrity of structural members
d. This is braced frame. Fire attack on mortise and tenon connections may cause structural failure.
6. Where would you initiate a primary search at this fire?
a. In the basement
b. On the first floor
c. On the second floor
d. On the perimeter of the structure
7. You notice that your Engine Chauffeur has established a water supply at the hydrant in front of the fire building. Comment on this action:
a. Good practice. Pre-connected attack lines can be stretched quickly
b. Poor practice. The front of the building should be kept clear for aerial apparatus
c. Good practice. A deck gun can be used to protect the leeward exposure with a quick continuous water supply
d. Poor practice. The street is too narrow to allow efficient apparatus movement
8. You have a report that there is a relatively heavy smoke condition on the top floor, but no evidence of fire. How would you order this area ventilated?
a. Positive pressure from the upstairs hallway
b. Open any attic louvers available
c. Cut the roof from an aerial device
d. Open the windows in the dormer area
9. Considering the weather conditions, what would be the best action to take to assure the safety of all personnel operating at the scene?
a. Ensure water is available
b. Request additional personnel
c. Increase supervision in the fire area
d. Assign an Accountability officer to monitor whereabouts of personnel