First off happy Valentines Day to each and every one (ok the one of you) who read this. Make sure you let the people you love know how much you love them, not just today but everyday. It’s a fact that this job is tougher on them then it is on us, so let them know that even though you are living the dream and having fun on the job, that you are still thinking of them each and every day.
Now on to the video! This video illustrates some good and bad things. First it appears that this is a volunteer fire department that has people respond in POV (judging by the one guy on the exterior flowing water, the subsequent arrival of more people, and the commentary of the cameraman) so that already mean they are behind the 8 ball since they could not arrive with a proper crew to make an impact right away. It makes a bad situation worse however I feel like this “lone ranger” did a good thing. He stayed exterior which while tought to do is smart, I’m assuming he recognized the travel path of the fire which is why he directed his stream into the attic area.
However those are the few bright points of this fire. Once more people arrived they elect to go interior, that’s great but I do not know (could be a good reason) why the entry point was the B side porch and not the A side door. The house appears to be a split level house and it appears that the fire started on the lowest floor and traveled up wards to the floor above and the attic (look at 15 seconds in you can see fire venting from either a wall, vent, or window at the ground level). Sure the fire is in the other floors, and the attic but you have to put out the lower floor as well other wise it’s going to keep burning no matter how much water you throw in the attic. Entering from the front door would have given the company access to stairs that lead to all floors and a relatively easy stretch. Entering where they did would make access to the stairs difficult.
I did like that once the engine crew made entry someone though that laddering the building would be a good idea, I even liked that they were placed on side C which would most likely be the easiest window to get to. However they did not place the ladders to the windows and they had no tools in order to take the windows out. In fact the only tool I saw on the fireground (until later) was the hoseline. It is 2011 and there was a fire truck there, so not having a tool in hand is unacceptable.
They eventually make a hit on the fire but, risk a lot for a little by sending guys to an already compromised roof structure. At this point with the amount of loss already to the structure and the assumption (since I was not there) that a primary search had proved negative, a n exterior stream would have been more appropriate in my opinion then sending firemen to the roof. Also at one point I thought I heard a saw running, probably venting the roof, this again in my opinion is inappropriate since the fire had already vented through the roof, weakening the roof structure, and allowing for a vent hole. Time would have been better spent adding additional handlines, searching, or laddering the building.
I want to know what you think, if this fire happened in your department how would it be handled? Leave some feedback in the comments section and as usual stay safe and spread the word about the blog. Thanks for reading!