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-While we were on duty, after local businesses had closed, the driver noticed this door to a commercial occupancy. 

-The front door pictured below is for a business that sells and installs car stereos. It is located in a small, stand alone strip mall with plenty of parking and is one of only two businesses situated in the strip mall. The other occupancy is a bar. The building dimensions are approximately 50' x 150'.

-The rear of the strip mall has a typical metal commercial door access to the bar and one roll up door for the car stereo business. The roll up door is completely unusable or Fire Dept. access as the owner parks a panel truck sideways, right up against the door, thus blocking and barricading the door with the truck.

-When the Brothers returned during business hours they found that the car stereo store has no fire protection systems and one more important fact; this isn't the only exterior door. There is a second door directly behind the door pictured. The second door is a standard aluminum commercial, security glass door with a dead bolt. 

-The question is, "You arrive first due of a first alarm assignment with obvious indications of fire within the car stereo business. What do you do? How do you get in?"

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So, here is what I would do...This is going to involve a rotary saw, irons, some astroglide and a blow up sheep!

Luckily for us the cut points on the hockey puck locks are accessible to the rotary saw, it won't take very much to get through those.  The little metal tab on the door bar will also not take much to get through with the saw.  Cut the tab, move bar.  Next, grab your irons and use conventional forcible entry on the door, viola you are in.

-Dave, there are 2 windows on either side that are reenforced security glass with burglar bars inside; there are no other openings.

-There really is no right answer, just wanted to start a discussion. 

-We decided that the occupancy would most likely be a write off given the delayed entry and the fuel load. 

Dave LeBlanc said:

Is there any window access?  From the first picture it appears there is a display window to the right.

If not it is going to be a long difficult defeat the lock type situation.  My only other thought would be accessing thru the bar, wall breach or something.  Not sure what access is like there.

-Chris, we did a mock up at the station. We got our hands on a metal door and jam and went to town with the K-12 with some very interesting results in regard to the actual time required.

-The, "cut, cut and you're done" idea seems to loose a lot in translation when we realize that you're dealing with upwards of ten minutes of just cutting time just to get to the door beneath. Then you'll need an A Tool to pull the lock cylinder to open the commercial door.

-And none of the cutting included things like the window next to the door failing from heat and entry operations. Should the window fail then the saw operator would now be working in limited visibility, heat, smoke, etc.

-As I mentioned to Dave we decided, should this happen, to focus on getting into the occupancy next door and making an indirect attack from there as well as through the show windows in the front. All of this is exacerbated by the fact that this is a crummy strip mall that looks like it was built to burn in a hurry. 

-Thanks for the comments. Just looking to start a discussion and get some thinking going on forcible entry.

Chris Piepenburg said:

So, here is what I would do...This is going to involve a rotary saw, irons, some astroglide and a blow up sheep!

Luckily for us the cut points on the hockey puck locks are accessible to the rotary saw, it won't take very much to get through those.  The little metal tab on the door bar will also not take much to get through with the saw.  Cut the tab, move bar.  Next, grab your irons and use conventional forcible entry on the door, viola you are in.

I will look at this from an Engineman's perspective with the assumption that an Engineman's duty is to get water on fire.  Chris' method seems to be the route to take.  I will agree that there will be a delay in getting through both doors.  For the sake of this discussion, I will assume that someone is taking care of the life hazard in the bar and the owners of the stereo shop aren't known for spending the night there (knowing your district will help with that determination).  It is difficult to tell, but the building construction appears that it might be wood frame with Stucco.  It should be rather easy to use a chain saw or even an axe/halligan to pop a small h*** in a wall to stick a nozzle into an get some water in the fire compartment while not creating a large vent opening such as taking out a display window.  This should slow the fire down a bit in order to allow some time for Chris' method to get accomplished.  Once the doors are removed from the equation, the Engine Company can enter normally and wrap things up.  If the building construction is concrete block, then a big hammer should do the trick just as fast.  Chris' method is more conventional and what most of the members on the fireground would think is going to happen.  Thinking out of the box is great, but everybody on the fireground should be singing from the same sheet of music.  If not, then Companies may end up unknowingly working against each other.  Breaching a wall from the bar would introduce the effects of the fire into that space.  If a wall is going to be breached, then I would choose an exterior wall.  If you could post a picture of the building, it would be great.  Good discussion.

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