Yes I have. The incident that comes to mind was a vehicle fire in a large attached garage. The garage was well involved and threatening the main structure. We adavanced a 2 1/2" line with a 1 1/4" sm was through the front door to the garage access door. We had a very rapid knock down with little damage to the main structure. Damaged was limited to smoke and damage to drywall in searching for extension. The key to positive results with a large line is a well trained engineer at the panel. Most of the horror stories I here are because of the line being over pumped.
Back when I was a fireman we were first due at a fire on the first floor of a 3 Decker on arrival fire out 1 window D side . The Capt. ordered a big line be stretched, I opened the nozzle at the threshold to the fire room and the fire was knocked down in twenty seconds, that being said , One problem I see with stretching a 2 1/2 on a private dwelling is manpower. You need enough Jakes to stretch it right and get it to where you want it, and once you start flowing water you'll need that manpower to make the push, and as most of you know, if it wasn't stretched properly and you dont have enough hands, making the push with a big line in a private dwelling can be challenging to say the least, BUT, with a well trained, properly staffed Engine co. or two the job can be done!
As an Engine Co Officer where most tours my Company is myself and two Firefighters due to IOD/Sick ect...First due on a Private dwelling my choice would be depending on what it is, where it is and where is it going, to keep it simple ....you can put alot of fire out with the 1 3/4 @ 175 at the same time the maneuverability in a private dwelling is a benefit.
About 15 years ago we had an early moring fire in a two and a half sotry private dwelling that was unoccupied due to a contents fire a week earlier. The first engine observed heavy five on the main floor with fire visible on the floor above. They advance the 2&1/2 to the front door and applied water without entry, knowcking the fire down enough to stop it and observe the floor was burned through. At this point the roof was also opened by the truck and two 1&3/4 handlines made access from the opposite side where the fire was fully extinguished and no member had to enter the failed area.
I once took a 2 1/2" into a PD not because of the fire condition although we did have heavy involvement. I took it because it was the closest line available to me as we were parked very far away. The engine on the first floor was having trouble progressing we asssisted them knocking down the first floor. They were then able to go above. We made short work of the first floor and I know the guys learned something not only about the capabilities of 2 1 /2 but also about thinking outside the box.
The problems I have had with a 2 1/2" line in a private residence was the lack of mobility, whether with the short staffed volunteers or with my career department it seems the common problem is difficulty advancing the line deep into a structure especially advancing up stairs with a charged 2 1/2"
One early morning as a Lt. we pulled in first due at a private dwelling, 2 1/2 wood frame going top to bottom, all in the front, Gasoline Gomez had set the front porches on fire and when the occupants tried to come out the front door he shot up the joint, we were riding Officer and 3 that night and I decided to take the big line we took it to the A/D corner and swept the front of the house, so as not to drive it into the house. We ran out of water quick, and decided after getting a line into us to take it up the front stairs, but it was all BULL work to get it up there....I think I'm out of 2 1/2 line stories....
Sorry haven't quite figured this out yet In my younger days fought several fires in private residences with a 2/12. The first time was a 21/2 story with heavy fire on the first floor. We went with the big line off the truck first. Held the interrior stairwell till the search team got in found the victim, and got back out. I was mentored by a salty old batt chief that came up before 11/2 " exsisted. He drilled us all the time on pulling the 21/2. But when the time came, it paid off well. With today's contents burning at 16,000 btu's a pound and the pitiful excuses for building construction (lightweight trusses, may be time to go back to using 21/2' lines. But it does take training and practice to be proficent in using them also. Any thoughts????
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