I am not sure where this fire was…I am sure someone can help me out. It apparently occurred on March 16, 2011.
That isn’t all that important though.
There are several things that caught my eye on this video. The main thing is the firefighters who I am guessing are attempting a trench cut on the roof of the apartment fire. I could be wrong. I also noticed at how these guys are operating without SCBA on.
My thought on this is that if I were to fall into this burning building I would want full SCBA on and breathing air. However, if I were on that roof I probably would not have my face piece on…so if I were to have fallen into the fire it might not matter if I had it on or not.
I have only been involved in a couple of trench cuts in my years…They are never easy. They may have only been doing vertical ventilation though.
Another thing I will note is how, under all the circumstances…the firefighters cutting on the roof also have to contend with the deck gun soaking them down. While the cool water might feel good because they are so close to the flames, I think those guys on that roof would much rather see the wet stuff go on the red stuff!
The neat, and kinda funny thing about this video is the narration. It is funny in its delivery, but it is neat because of the danger that the amateur videographer understands those firefighters are operating under.
This video of a house fire shows why we take an axe to ventilate the roof in case the saw quits. One firefighter is going to work with an axe, while the other it trying to get a saw going. Of course, we can’t tell if the saw stalled on the roof or if the firefighter forgot to start it on the ground before making his way to the roof (recommended). Luckily, another firefighter brings a second saw to the roof to finish the cut.
The question is if the PPV worked? If vertical ventilation might have helped? One thing is for sure, another hose line would have helped.
In the beginning, the firefighters make an attempt at the fire. In the middle, the same firefighters are making an attempt at the fire. And in the end, the same firefighters are making an attempt on the fire.
The fire runs the roof on them, and they are unable to cut it off. You can watch it all in the video. It seems as though the PPV made conditions better inside. However, unless you are able to put the fire out, that fan will feed the fire. This is a known risk with PPV.
My department uses PPV all of the time. We know how it works and when to use it. Rarely does it feed the fire much before we get it out for good.
This fire is one of those that without any thought of potential victims, many departments would have put a stream through the window and waited for it to vent itself through the roof.
I have to say two major things that seemed to be missing here were:
More firefighters to open up the ceiling so the firefighters could get to the fire better.
At the very beginning, I didn’t think anyone was going to follow that first firefighter into the fire.
I believe this is Lafayette County, Mississippi…but it could be anywhere USA!
What would you or your department have done differently?
The press release has been added to the bottom. Once again, thanks to Dave Statter for the hookup on the press release. STATter911.com has now posted the video with a little more information from the PIO.
I understand that my department and my way might be different than the Cedar Rapids FD way of doing things. Potentially, some of my comments might be wrongly identified and maybe even debunked by Cedar Rapids guys. I welcome that!
As for the overall ability of the firefighter we follow from his POV (point of view) I will say that he does a pretty decent job. He communicates well and gets the roof vented. He comes off the ladder, does a 360 degree walk around and radios what he finds. He then cuts off the gas. Next he ladders the roof, and gets tools and a roof ladder. Another firefighter joins him to do a quick vertical vent. Great job.
One question…who did the search? The news reported that a neighbor rescued one occupant. Maybe they already confirmed it was unoccupied when they got there. Do we still do a search?
The fire was started by the car in the garage/carport. Firefighters probably did not know that going into this. It might have helped to knockdown the fire from the outside first. After all, it took 5 minutes after the ladder arrived to get the hose in the door. At the 12 minute mark, most of the fire was still rolling. Maybe the bulk of the fire was outside of the living space of the house.
In comparison to my FD, I really think that the bulk of the fire would have been out by the time these guys got the hose inside (armchair quarterbacking). What gives you might ask? That is easy…Fire Department culture, experience, knowledge, manpower, SOP’s, and a lot of other variables. Translated…these guys might have done a perfect job under the operational culture of their fire department.
Either way, this is a very impressive look at firefighting from the first person POV!
In the end, I don’t think any firefighters got hurt. Hopefully, firefighters will be able to identify areas to improve on. We should do that after all the calls we run.
Here is news coverage:
Neighbor Helps Resident from Fire at 430 20th Street NW
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – December 8, 2010 – Roberta Ackman, age 80, arrived home from the grocery store and pulled her 1998 Buick Regal into the attached one-stall garage of her single-story residence. As she was unloading groceries, smoke started coming from the engine compartment of the vehicle. The smoke soon turned to flames and started to involve the entire garage with fire.
A neighbor, Paul Michelson, age 47, witnessed smoke pouring from the nearby garage and assisted Ackman out of the garage to safety. The fire was reported at 4:34 p.m. to 911.
As firefighters arrived on scene, the entire attached garage was involved with fire and the fire had spread into the adjacent living room and kitchen area of the house. Fire crews made entry through the front door of the residence and pushed fire back to the north side of the structure that was already involved with fire. Firefighters were able to create an effective ventilation hole in the roof that contained fire damage to one half of the structure. There was major fire, heat and
smoke damage to the one half of the house, but the other side of the house, which includes three bedrooms and a bathroom, sustained only light smoke damage.
An investigation by the Fire Department verified that the fire originated in the vehicle in the garage. The exact cause will likely not be determined due to the fact that the vehicle is totally destroyed.
The house is owned by Roberta Ackman and Diane Ackman, age 51. Diane Ackman was not home at the time of the fire. The occupants are being assisted by the American Red Cross. Both occupants are displaced due to the extensive damage.
I have a video and a news story that are really bothering me. I am asking what you think about the two situations. I would like to know what you all think and use that to better my knowledge!
In Fredericksburg, Virginia the fire department is planning on building a new fire station. The City offered citizens, business owners, and others to a forum to discuss the plans, location, and any issues anyone might have with the new station.
What really got me was this:
Allen [City Fire Chief Edwin Allen] said fire engines would be equipped with emitters that communicate with traffic signals at intersections, so the traffic signal would automatically turn green in favor of the fire engine, eliminating the need to use sirens. Entire Story here
It was my belief that when using your lights you were required to use your siren by law (in Virginia at least). Sure, I know that at 3am, we might chose not to use the siren while going down a residential street with no traffic. But for a Chief to make this statement seems like a liability.
What do you think?
I will admit it, my department very rarely does vertical ventilation. This is due to the way we fight fire in my city and I think has a little to do with manpower (4 ladder trucks staffed with 3 firefighters each). In the video below you will see a house which ends up venting out the dormer window in the front of the structure. Then, firefighters make their way to the roof to vent the roof. For me, this seems redundant, unnecessary, and unsafe with the fire directly below them. I can’t tell, but it doesn’t seem as though they are able to complete the cut before being pulled of the roof.
What do you think? Is it necessary if the dormer is already vented?