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While surfing the endless world wide web not long ago, I came across this video of a very challenging fire that some firefighters encountered.  The point of me posting this video is to make each of you think about your actions if you were first in.  How would you address the multiple challenges that show themselves in this video.  In both my career and volunteer departments we have the exact same structures and could have the exact same fire occur in our area.  This post is meant to cause some discussion or at least make you think.  I do not have all of the answers to this one, for many reason, the main one being that I wasn't there.

One thing is constant is fires like this which will only become more common as time goes on, we must contain the fire before we extinguish it.  Sometimes the fire you see isn't the true "fire" so look at the big picture as an IC and guide your people to safe and coordinated action.  Building codes and variances allowed by counties and cities allow for closer spacing and more flammable materials to be used in construction.  Too often we have to play catch up on fires like this one, but we have to plan for the worst.  Harry Carter presents an effective size up system in his book "Firefighting Strategy and Tactics" which includes a question of "Where is it going".  We need to understand that if house A is on fire and impinging on House B we need to go ahead and formulate a plan for if both houses take off and threaten House C.

One thing I will say for sure on this one, this makes for a very long day for some firefighters.....

 

 

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Comment by Elliot Belote on August 2, 2012 at 11:05am

Great video to use for training.

From the intial size-up, my first action would be to assign the first 1-3/4" to C exposure. It seems like that is the way the wind/heat is going. The goal of that is to contain the fire to the original fire building.

My 2nd 1-3/4" line would go to the B side exposure; also to contain the fire.

I would set-up my ladder at the A side of fire building. Fire attack with 1-3/4" with a 2-1/2" backup. The reason original att would be with a 1-3/4" is maneuverability. It is alot easier to go up stairs and around turns. The 2-1/2" would be a backup line for the attack team.

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