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Just scratching the surface of this topic. Bungalow style homes with large front porches pose a problem with fire attack. We have been discussing the effects of the thermal activity with in the porch area almost acting as another room of the house. Other than going in through the back door, what methods are being considered when confronted with this scenario? For this discussion access to the rear is blocked.

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Eric,

We'd go after it from the front regardless of the back being blocked or not. The time taken to stretch to the rear and make it back through would be longer than just hitting it. As you said, you can consider it like another room, though one with the benefit of three open sides. Control the door, just in case, and be ready on the porch. Given the ability to rapidly access the stairs in most PD's from the front door, there are few times when we'd consider anything else.
What I am thinking the problem with these types of fires are the fact that before the porch is involved companies are opening the door and are not ready to go. Waiting to put on face mask, charge lines, and no coordinated ventilation. It is giving the smoke and gases a vent point witch is causing the fires to flash out of the front door and trapping the products under the overhang of the porch causing it to become well involved. I have seen to many pictures of firefighters bailing out of these structures. Thinking of pre cooling porch prior to making entry. What say you?
Certainly the crew has to be ready to work. I see your point of masking up and being fully ready as when the door opens, you may find yourself in the "fire room". It makes sense to remind crews to be ready on the steps rather than under the roof at the door.
I am curious where all you guys are responding from. As well as some your main fire operations. I am a relatively new Captain and want to progress our profession. I am looking for ideas, events, and contacts. If you interested let's keep a group together and get something moving forward.
If your a new Engine Capt. or just interested in engine ops the Start Water group is pretty good and this type of topic generally gets a bit of response in there.
This is a relatively common scenario in our dwellings, and yes it does pose a problem. Our tactics involve selection of 45mm (1.75") line with min 480lpm (125 gpm) branch for involved fire within dwellings. This flow rate has been determined as minimum for effective fire knock down in residential rooms and will ensure the fire can be overcome (sufficient for safe retreat) should flashover occur. Line to be charged, BA masks on etc before entry to porch area. Overhead gas cooling and/or knock down of fire in porch area prior to entry. After entry, progressive knock down to protect door and porch openings. Of course, this is in the ideal world of theory, and there are many variables that can dictate a change of thinking. So long as its safe!
One tactic I have deployed with good results is using the Engine mounted Deck Gun flowing tank water. The Pump Operator can charge it as soon as a firefighter aims it with a narrow fog pattern, and 200 gallons will knock down a lot of fire in1 minute or so, if the engine positions past the building leaving 300 gallons for the attack line as we hook up the hydrant line..

Michael Dombroski said:
This is a relatively common scenario in our dwellings, and yes it does pose a problem. Our tactics involve selection of 45mm (1.75") line with min 480lpm (125 gpm) branch for involved fire within dwellings. This flow rate has been determined as minimum for effective fire knock down in residential rooms and will ensure the fire can be overcome (sufficient for safe retreat) should flashover occur. Line to be charged, BA masks on etc before entry to porch area. Overhead gas cooling and/or knock down of fire in porch area prior to entry. After entry, progressive knock down to protect door and porch openings. Of course, this is in the ideal world of theory, and there are many variables that can dictate a change of thinking. So long as its safe!
I agree with Eric, preparation, particularly for the unexpected is critical. This is where comprehensive training pays off. We have a many of this particular style of home in our response area as well as a number of the 1.5-story gable, hip and barnstyle homes. Many have the wide veranda porch popular from the late 1850s to the mid-1950s, when modern A/C systems began to replace the need for such spaces.

Due to documented issues with steam created by fog nozzles, not to mention the age of these homes, we have reverted to using smooth bore nozzle (1.25-inch on 1.75-inch or 2-inch line) to gain max reach & rapid cooling w/o committing forces under the roof. Once the thermal activity is abated sufficiently and the specter of collapse checked, then we move inside for search/rescue and suppression. This also adds one other benefit. By hitting it from a greater distance with heavy water, it gives our crews the additional time needed to mask up, button up, to plan their attack, and keeps them out of the immediate collapse zone. When you are faced with a major structure fire and can usually expect five volunteer FFs to arrive, with one committed to pump operations, you must do something that is fast and effective with min. personnel.

The use of the pre-piped stinger is another great way to achieve rapid control w/min FF forces, but the pump operator needs to be well-trained in its deployment and mindful of the limited water supply. Again, it comes down to training, incident preplanning, and logistics before committing to a high volume appliance.
Hey Cap --

You didn't say if you were FT municipal or volley, but if your working as a city career and really want to get some first hand experience, plan some time to attend a training session with one of the pure volunteer depts in your area. Many work on shoestring budgets (if they have one at all !) and employ all sorts of innovative tools and tactics that work for their particular areas, most of those tools built by their own members.

Some departments across the country still allow "bunkers" to stay with them and ride out. Great way to observe and participate in big city events if you can make those kinds of arrangements. I did that for several years in the US and Canada and it was a great way to learn practical application that you'll not find in the Red Books or in an Academy classroom.

BYW - there was a web cast last year entitled "The Art of Reading Smoke" by Dave Dodson, a former BC turned lead instructor for Response Soutions Inc. If you can find that link to the PPT presentation in the FE archives, it was very informative and a good assessment tool for a first due engine officer.

Eric Myers said:
I am curious where all you guys are responding from. As well as some your main fire operations. I am a relatively new Captain and want to progress our profession. I am looking for ideas, events, and contacts. If you interested let's keep a group together and get something moving forward.

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