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The Fire occurs at 0630 Hours on a Sunday morning.  The building is wood platform construction with a truss roof assembly.  The exterior load bearing walls are wood frame. The floors are constructed of a joist system with 2x10 joists supporting the floors.  The exterior has a brick veneer. All interior wall assemblies are drywall (sheetrock) on wood studs. There is no built-in fire protection system. Individual units have battery operated smoke detectors.  

This is a one section garden type apartment.  That means that there are no other “units” attached to this building.  Generally, each section has 8 to 12 individual apartments depending upon the number of floors (Divisions).  In this case, there are 12 apartments – four on each floor.  Each floor has a center hallway with two apartments on each side of the hallway and in this case, there are three floors again for a total of 12 apartments.   (See the floor plan below. )

Here are your questions to consider:

What type of search would you expect to conduct?

Where would you expect to start your search (Division 1, 2 or 3)

What apartment would you start in (A, B, C, or D)

Briefly describe how you would conduct the search.


I may add some more questions in the next Blog. 

Floor Plan:

Scenario Screen Shot:

Here is a link to the video:

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Comment by Grant Schwalbe on January 6, 2014 at 12:26pm

The "hasty search" is completed by the attack team as they advance in on the fire.  This is not a thorough search but the point is to look for victims that may be found between the fire and the egress and if possible close bedroom, or other interior doors to maintain tenable space behind them until a search team can complete a thorough search of the area.

Comment by Justin Renner on January 6, 2014 at 12:23pm
I'm going to agree with just about everything said already. As a search size up, I will say the lack of smoke in Apt A windows and fire in the common hallway would lead me to believe that the door to Apt A on division one was left open. As first Due search team I will almost always go with the sure thing and we would go with a ladder rescue for Apt A on the 3rd division over searching the Fire Apt first. Depending on if or what our 3rd division victim states (more confirmed victims) we may continue our search from the window or regroup and use the common hallway. This will also depend on Fire Attack.
As always I feel that an oriented search will normally always be faster then VES. I don't think that force entry will be to hard with this type of construction and would be faster then venting and clearing windows. But with fire in the common hallway that may not be as easy.
With a 3 man search crew and known persons on the third division I would start search on division 3 A and D and move to division 2 A and D and then division one A and D. Apartment's D should be a quick check for smoke or fire and a call out to possible residence. Depending on common hallway conditions persons may be better to stay in place untill conditions warrent removal. Two persons could search the bedrooms while the officer hits the open livingroom kitchen areas in Apt's A. Fire attack should be able to get a pretty good search of the fire apartment and if plans change a crew could conduct search there instead. With the belief that the door to the fire apartment is open, it can be assumed that victims exited the apartment its not normally good to assume but with this many effected apartments you almost have to. Apartments B and C would be secondary concerns to me as far as search goes but should be searched when crews are availible.
Comment by Skip Coleman on January 6, 2014 at 12:19pm
Good thoughts grant. Can you briefly describe a "hasty" search for those that may not have heard of it?
Comment by Grant Schwalbe on January 5, 2014 at 5:25pm

Sunday morning I am thinking bedrooms is where I will find occupants.  Quick size up appears fire in Division 1 with extension to common hallway...not good for egress of victims or to go with oriented search.  I see significant smoke from division 2 and 3 apt A-thinking tenable space is compromised and doors are open.  I also see a victim at bedroom window division 3 apt A.  

My search will focus on Apt A on division 3 then 2 (since division 3 window is already open with victim).  VES is my preferred method, 2 FF in, 3rd at window with first goal to close door to apartment and maintain tenable space.

Division 1 Apartment A appears to be seat of fire and hopefully attack team can get a knock on fire and complete a hasty search.  2 if not 4 teams for search, assigned to apartments for all divisions (example, Apt A div 2 and 3, Apt D-Div 1, 2 and 3).  If the extension and fire in common hallway can be taken care of then oriented search would probably be faster.  This would need to be coordinated between Attack, IC and Search Teams.  Just my thoughts.

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