This appears to be a fire in an attached garage that is venting out of an overhead door. Priority 1 is life safety. The first line (1 3/4") should go through the front door to find the find the door leading to the garage. Second line should go up stairs to check for extension and a third line should protect exposures. Search priorities would be the rooms around the fire.
Any attack on the fire through the overhead garage door would risk the chance of pushing the fire through the rest of the house. The unburned interior of the house should be considered an exposure which needs protected.
Life safety is always the number one priority. To that point, the faster the fire is knocked down the less risk you have to the potential occupants and the firefighters. I have seen fire pushed through a structure before, but only with the improper use of a fog nozzle. If I was the officer pulling up on that scene first, I would hit the fire and knock it down in the garage with a 2 12 and then make entry with an 1 3/4 as Tom had stated initially. With the bare bones staffing my department has, leaving the fire in the garage un-checked would allow it to spread rapidly to the room above, the eaves and attic from the outside making for a bigger and preventable problem.
Tom: Attached garages are a tricky buisness. By hitting the fire head on you run the risk of pushing the fire into the structure. That said if the service door between the garage and the house is closed then you will have put a quick knock on the fire. The trouble is we never know when it is open or closed.
Mike brings up some great points. As with all things on the fire ground circumstances will dictate action, size up is key it has been my experience at a single family house based on size up you should have a good idea were the fire is and where you think it will be going. Here we have a fully involved garage fire with little to no smoke coming from the inside. Extension is possible thru the eves, the kitchen door and thru the floor into the room above the garage. You can see the hose, so we know at least one engine is on scene with two members from the truck placing their SCBA on. Note that for the sake of this conversation the engine is starting to make their stretch in, as you can be seen in the photo included in the slide series. The next action is a matter of preference some officers will make a quick nock and then move to protect the stairs others will stretch inside, move the line to the kitchen and fight the fire while protecting the stairs I prefer the second. In my department we have two personal pre assigned to conduct the primary search in a private dwelling. That is with 24 personal on the box all within a couple of minutes of each other. Our first line would attack the fire and the 2nd would go above. The move here for the truck would be to check the room above the garage first. Leave the member with the TIC at the door in the hall way, note the firefighter in the hall must monitor the conditions in the room and on the stairs. The searcher will ensure the floor is still safe and conduct a quick search. Once the search is complete close the door and then move to the next bedroom closing the door behind you and the searcher, vent the widows and search the room. After the room is searched control the door when it is opened if conditions look and feel good and water is on the fire chock the door open to aid in ventilation.
Take a fire in the living room down stairs we may choose to Alternate Entry and Search (AES) or conducting VES as a starting point, enter the second floor check for the floor and move to close the door then search the room. I like to start from the corner bed room, if you move away from the outside corner you will get to the door in the shortest possible distance. Also after that room is searched control the door when you open it and check conditions, if things improved and water is being applied to the fire chock the door open to aid in ventilation, move to the next room and close the door. Unless you have a line with you, I teach you should close this door while you search the room. By entering the corner room it also helps us to keep orientated to our location in the house. The firefighter inside the door now can guide the searcher with the TIC note to scan the floor. We see to many firefighter doing the Pete Rose dive for life or bailing out windows because we fail to control the building. We must demand proper staffing so that tactic can occur in unison and we must compartment the search when we do not have a line. You won’t always be able to close a door ie living room or kitchen and some bedroom doors may just be a shutter or removed all together. If the fire burns thru the floor closing the door will have no effect, but in most cases the firefighter is forced to the window by high heat and they go right by the door without ever thinking about closing it. If we train that chocking doors open is key when we place a line thru it and closing doors is key when searching a room without water we would minimize firefighters bailing out windows.
I would take an 1 3/4 inch line through the front door to confine the fire first. I'd do this because we don't know if the door connecting the garage to the living space is open or burned through (believe it or not some people don't build their homes to code!). While moving the line in, if conditions are amenable, the engine may be able to see any occupants on the first floor who failed to get out or are in the kitchen trying to fight the fire. If the fire is able to be confined (i.e. door shut and holding) the second line should be able to knock the fire in the garage from a flanking position from the outside. If it's getting dicey on the interior, the second line should back up the first. The initial attack line would be an 1 3/4 inch line flowing at least 150g.p.m. For what I see in this picture, I'm comfortable with the back up line being the same size. I have no problem bringing a 2 1/2 in for a back up line in order to cover an escape, but I'm thinking if there is an extention problem, they might be able to get to it quicker. As far as search priority, once again it depends a little on the interior conditions. If there is a car in the garage, it's possible that someone is a night shifter upstairs sleeping and I'd send the first search crew upstairs. If conditions are really nasty or getting worse rapidly, I would order a V.E.S. operation to the bedroom above the garage. The search crew could then make the decision to just search that room and go out the way they came, or to continue to get adjacent rooms on the second floor. In all these cases the first floor would be my second priority because firefighters on the line could do a limited search from the line if conditions allow. The instances where the first floor would get the priority search is a known, or highly suspected occupant on the first floor. A bystander or fellow occupant saying, "She's in the kitchen trying to fight the fire!" or "My baby is still in his playpen in the living room!" If you have any info or clues that someone is probably on the first floor, you have to go get 'em.
I agree as well that a 1 3/4 line into the house to prevent extention with an unchared 2 1/2 ready to go as back up. The truck company should start to search and ventilate as needed. If it is posslible to isolate the garage by closing a door then start hitting the fire in the garage. If not i would try to knock down the heavy fire from the inside out. If you put a 2 1/2 on the fire with guys in the house and no isolation from the garage you will push all the heat smoke and steam onto them. A line to the second floor would be dictated by man power. Here you would get 3 Engines 2 Trucks Rescue and District chief more than enough man power to get a line upstairs, first floor and one on the fire and exposure if needed. Then this all depends on who is in charge since some mentalitly is to get water on the fire as fast as possible with out though of turning a garage fire into a total loss of the house.
I do see your guys points, but based on size-up of the picture we are working off of I still agree with Tom's original approach. In looking at the picture, I don't see smoke coming out the open front door. With the volume of fire present in the garage if it had extended into the structure you would see something coming out that door (I believe the smoke visible is drifting past not coming from it). Also I am obviously biased based on my departments staffing. I have one 3 man engine company to work with initially so I would (based on the picture) attack with a 2 1/2 into the garage first because in about 10-15 seconds the fire will be knocked down and then jump over to a 1 3/4 to make entry. If I had better staffing I think my tactics would be closer to Michael's.
I'm somewhat new to the site and see this is an older post but I'll add my two cents. I understand the concept of stretching to the interior door from the garage and protecting the stairs for search. However, I may initially only show up with 3 on an engine like Jim, we don't have the luxury of a preconnected 2 1/2 and the time to get that into operation may be to long, allowing the fire to advance into areas less desirable. My question is, with a single car garage, would a 1 3/4 with smoothbore make a quick knockdown of the heavy fire in the garage and along the eaves (quick sweep from side position) and then have the next arriving engine company stretch inside to the #2 floor? Our second engine would be about 2 minutes behind the first. The interior looks to be pretty clear pointing to the strong possibility of the interior service door being closed. I think getting the seat of the fire knocked down and managable quickly, the search for victims and extension can be handled quicker as well. Obviously if there was a report of a trapped occupant, a fast attack mode would be in order and put a twist on everything else. What do you think?
The picture appears to be a single car garage fire. The first line goes into the house and a second line attacks the garage fire. The reason the line goes interior is to protect egress and then cover extension/stairs and fight fire. If you attack just the fire and the interior garage door is open or the fire started inside the home and extended to the garage then what? Even with low staffing you should be able to get 2 lines going. One only has to be stretched to the driveway and it can be 1 3/4.
Thanks Ray, point taken. What's your thoughts on setting up the 2 1/2 from the hosebed (dead load) as opposed to stretching a 1 3/4 preconnect line interior? Time delay much of a factor or is there more to gain in the long run? My thought is the sooner the fire is knocked down, the sooner things "should" improve.
My department has had fires that look very similar to this job. With two engines out of the same house, the first line, an 1.75 goes thru the front door, to hold the stairs and the fire. Second line would be a 2.5 off the first due engine as well, to hit the garage. We had used this with success in the past. Curl that 2.5 in the driveway, sit one member on it. Second Company secures a water supply, and would start a search. We receive 2 automatic aid engines and a truck, additionally of a first alarm. The additional companies get put to work as they arrive. Our 2 Chiefs live in town, at times they beat us in.
We are excited to have you participate in our discussions and interactive forums. Before you begin posting, please take a moment to read our policy page HERE. -- Bobby Halton
Be Alert for Spam
We actively monitor the community for spam, however some does slip through. Please use common sense and caution when clicking links. If you suspect you've been hit by spam, e-mail email@example.com.