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This fire occurs in a vacant wood frame building.  It was originally built (1920’s or 30’s) as a multi-family dwelling and has been renovated several times over the years. 

The building is located in an old section of your community where blight and deterioration has overtaken the area.  There are many homeless people in the area and drugs and prostitution is prevalent.  

Your company is approaching and awaiting assignment. First on-scene crews are preparing to advance a line on the fire.  It appears they are taking the line to advance on the fire on the open door on the D side.  The door to that entrance is gone.  Another company is assigned to ventilation and appear to be removing the PPV fan from the truck.

My questions are simple.

1)      Do anticipate being assigned to search? Why

2)      If you are assigned to search, would you enter the building by following the attack line into the door on the D side or take another route in and why?

3)      Where would you actually begin to search (if assigned)?

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Comment by Skip Coleman on November 24, 2014 at 8:24am
Great Grant. I agree, almost every building should be searched at some point if possible. We must condition ourselves to do it though on our terms as opposed to the fires terms. In other words, when conditions are right to search. Not a moment too early or too late. In these conditions, knock it down and then do what you need to do being as cautious as possible. Good point about creating another vent point.
Comment by Grant Schwalbe on November 23, 2014 at 8:48pm

I think we need to search everything if possible.  People are found in vacants everyday and worst case it builds our skills. When attack has already been assigned, in my area the second crew goes search.  I would follow the hose in and begin search as close to the fire as possible.  50% of victims are found between the fire and the exit so I like those chances.  I'd be hesitant to enter in another door unless I had great intel about a victim being right there because of the risk of opening a vent point behind the hose team that they didn't know about.

Comment by Skip Coleman on November 20, 2014 at 5:57pm
As usual, good plan Justin
Comment by Justin Renner on November 20, 2014 at 12:53pm

Our city is full of Flood homes from the 2008 flood, so this is not an far fetched call. With an interior attack a search needs to be done. We are making an interior attack because there is possible life hazard, there is survivable space. So additional arriving crews should expect to be assigned search. Due to multiple renovations and unknown interior building conditions I would choose to follow the line in initially (unless heavy fire still at door). It is a free burning fire which will cause most of our smoke to be distal of the fire area i.e. upstairs, hence the heavier black smoke visible from 2nd floor windows. I would allow the attack team to make a hasty search of the fire area and I would start my primary on the 2nd floor with a 3 man oriented search method. VEIS would also be a good tactic on this fire if an immediate knock can not be made on the fire at the entrance.

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