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The mini big box....... "Dollar Store" This Week's Simulation


By: Joe Pronesti

In this edition we will look at combating a fire in a “dollar store” type of mercantile building, these buildings sell everything you can imagine and are what I call a “mini big box”. The stock in these stores can be considerable and if in a stand-alone building should hopefully present little tactical challenges to the incident commander; big water, collapse zones, etc. But what about these stores located in a strip mall or attached building arrangement? 

Because of the amount and variance of stock (these types of stores sell everything from automotive to small furniture) you must consider rapid fire involvement and it’s a must to utilize your resources and try to cut off the fire from taking the entire strip. Access to the rear can be like any other strip mall in that security will be high and ventilation paths will be limited. The one in this scenario does not have a rear access, it has a small door on B side for deliveries.

The building described in this scenario is of Type II construction built in 2011, metal open web bar joists support the roof with NO drop ceiling.

Again with any of our other scenarios use YOUR staffing and equipment, the time of day can be whenever you want in this scenario it is 1400 hours on a Sunday. I encourage you to take a ride through your city or response district and size these buildings up prior to the fire.

Be Safe.


1300 Hours on a Sunday in July it is very warm and humid, you receive a call of fire at the Family Dollar, a patron has started a rack of paper products on fire. This building has no fire protection in it.

1-Initial radio report

2-Apparatus placement (its 1300 lots of parked cars) I gave three options for first due Engine (E-3 and Truck, a Tower Unit)

3-Initial attack thoughts size line where etc.....


5-Extension issues


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