This post is just a simple challenge of tactical considerations.  The photos that are posted show a single-family house that had fire venting from the C/D corner when first units arrived.  The first in crews could not make the entire hallway on the first push do to intense heat and smoke.

What are some considerations that must be looked at with this fire?  What would be your next plan of action?  Why ist there so much heat and smoke with the fire venting the exterior?  What is your size up?

Share your thoughts and answers with everyone and use this as discussion with your crew.  

As always, train hard and stay safe,


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First question I have is what is the sequence of the pictures? It seems as though the last pic is the first in pic....garage door being down, amount of smoke, etc, etc.

What stands out is the smoke in the last pic and I'm going off of this as being the first in pic. You have a large amount of smoke, but a lot of black smoke from the garage area and basically smoke decreasing in color going to the C-D corner. The smoke at the C-D corner could be lighter in color due to smoke travel and a chance to "scrub" showing the lighter color.

With fire venting in the corner, fire could have travelled that area to vent, with crews encountering lots of smoke and heat.....and with a PPV fan in the front door, and you still have that much smoke and heat, could indicate the fire is elsewhere other than the C-D corner.

I would question the use of the PPV fan, espcially if PPA was being utilized. It may appear as though the fire is in the C-D corner, but the amount of smoke and disparity looks to indicate something more than a room and contents. If crews were using PPA and had such heat and smoke, then that would indicate that PPA was NOT working and to stop using the fan. The smoke should clear and heat reduce if PPA was working properly. Perhaps there is not adequate exhaust at the C-D corner, or you have fire elsewhere, either way, remove the fan from the pic if conditions aren't improving

The use of a TIC would be very beneficial here because there is a good possibility fire is above or behind if making a push to the C-D corner. Using the TIC from the outside may also give a good indication of the location of the fire and to look where perhaps more ventilation is needed. While the fire may be venting from the C-D corner, there may be other windows that need to be opened as well.
Good question and bad on me for not thinking of listing them in order. The first, 4th, and 7th are early. The rest are pretty well after some knock down. In the picture, the fan was not deployed until after knock down, it was just sitting there. We don't do a lot of PPA here. It is standard for the operator to get the fan off early, but is rarely used during attack.

I will let more people comment before providing more details, but your going in the right direction with "more ventilation is needed."
How about fixing the order of the pictures so we can have a realistic look at what happened...
Try this, I sorted them out. I didn't have them in any order previously, so this is how I believe they were taken. Hope it helps.
Not sure if I am on the right track or not, but I was wondering if this could be related to fighting this fire on the leeward side of the structure as the apparent wind speed and direction could possibly be containing much of the smoke and heat to the structure since it self-vented on the windward side?
I think that's a contributing factor, Ernie.

I don't see any evidence of unusual fuel loads - the only really dark smoke is venting from the garage, and that's expected in garage fires.

Using a TIC for both exterior size-up and observing fire conditions in the heavy smoke once on the interior will probably be a big help.

The other clue I see is the small basement windows directly under the seat of the fire. Could the seat of the fire have been the basement, then burned up through the corner room on the first floor?

With the fire on the upwind side and autovented, this is a tough one. Any interior attack team is going to have the fire pushed onto them by the wind. If ventilation is done, it may just spread the fire more rapidly.

Maybe a Transitional attack with a quick initial shot from the exterior on the upwind side to see if steam production will smother the fire spread, then a little more water application to maintain the steam, then ventilate on the lee side, then change to an Offensive attack when the interior is more tenable and the remaining fire condition is known?
I agree with Ernie also. In the pics you can see the smoke being blown over the house, looks like a pretty good wind thats acting like a PPV. Keeping the heat and smoke in the house.
The basement possibility is also a good point, this could be a deep seated basement fire thats burning through the floor.
Good size-up is key to every operation, always do the 360 and look in windows and find a general area and extent of fire before commiting crews. I would hate to be the IC that just hastily sent a crew in the front "assuming" it was a small fire that autovented and would be easily controlled only to have them fall through the floor and into a fully involved basement.
Great replies by all.

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