(AP) LAKE CHARLES, La.

Officials say the state fire marshal is investigating a fire that damaged part of the Chennault International Airport Authority fire station.

Chennault Executive Director Randy Robb said at about 2 a.m. Tuesday, a smoke alarm in the station's living quarters alerted Chennault firefighters to the blaze in the apparatus unit.

Robb said a firewall that separates the living quarters from the apparatus unit prevented the entire building from catching fire.

He said the building suffered an estimated $150,000 in damage. In addition to fire damage, the heat from the flames destroyed electrical wiring that ran through the building.

Robb said the fire may have resulted from an engine malfunction in one of the fire trucks parked in the apparatus unit.
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Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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This is true chief they sure do. It's truly amazing at how eager people are to help when you're in a time of need. Firefighters truly are a family whether you're in the same department, town, state, or even country. It was amazing how fast we went from having equipment, to it all being destroyed, and then having more than enough equipment. Our brothers and sisters were there for us just like we are always there for them.
-Logue
Logue,

Glad to hear everyone is OK and I hope this wasn't related to our posts about plugging trucks in...

Wow I am surprised after just a few days that you are back online in the same building. I would like to offer a few suggestions after reading the news story, your story and then viewing the heat insult from your pictures. As you know I work in ARFF as well and have a similar set-up for an ARFF station. Living quarters with a concrete fire seperation wall and a throw-away steel supported metal bay. You might want to suggest and PUSH the authority to install fire alarm detection in the apparatus bays now. It would have saved thousands of dollars for all of the non-burning apparatus, gear and appliances.

We have heat detectors (ROR type) installed the bay, duct smokes in the bay, each apparatus is on a plymovent exhaust system and have a full commercial sprinkler system in both the living quarters and apparatus bays. Your best friend risked his life to save gear and apparatus because while they were sleeping, they weren't given the opportunity to be alerted until the smoke made it into your living quarters. If I had to guess, with thirty foot ceiling and that kind of square footage in the bays, and the source being an electrical engine compartment fire that your fire went undetected for a LONG LONG time. Otherwise, if you had detection in the bays, you should have been alerted when the bay ceiling had first signs of heat or smoke. You more than likely would have had time to get up, go grab an extinguisher and fight the fire without the use of PPE.

Seriously though, heat enough to drive him out of the bay with gear on, is way too late and we as the fire service push for early warning, early detection for a reason, to save lives, even ours sometimes.

Webchief made a comment about how they worked... in my eyes, yes they did work but barely.

TCSS
FETC
We're glad that everyone is ok! Take Care!
i am glad to hear that nobody got hurt. It is amazing with alot of team effort how much u can get done in a short matter of time. I just want to say that the person doing the critiizing of the dept here because of them not having smoke alarms out in the bays. Ive been to a number of staitions and ive yet to here them or see them have smoke alarms in the bays.
Scott,

I am not criticizing their department. When did I say they did something wrong? Are you saying they don't deserve to have early detection? The guys risked their life for a fire that had been burning for a long, long time. I note that the story says smoke alarms in the living quarters alerted them, the living quarters were behind a fire rated wall. I won't get into the multi-hour(S) ratings of walls and doors but you see my point about time. He and the duty shift deserve alot of credit for their quick actions that morning.

I was saying now that they are in the rebuild mode, might want to look at fire station design, code enforcement, not only the life safety aspect, but early detection would have save all of the tools, equipment and personal belongings that were also ruined in the bays.

I am sitting in a station in which the federal government funded through FAA AIP money and yes, it is highly protected. They have an advisory circular on fire station design and also the NFPA standards. I also work in another structural department in which our firehouse (built in 1885) yes 1885 and it is fully equipped with a fire alarm system, to include the apparatus bays.

Criticized???? Come on thats a stretch.... Kudos, great teamwork, probably still haven't finished all of that hard work and will continue for many more weeks get get back to normal.... All I was stressing is that when it is time to fix, repair, remodel or build a new bay, that the fire protection should be a priority for life safety and economic value.
I am glad that all the personnel were able to get out. The saving of the equipment was important, but the people come first. The only question that I have is where was the SPRINKLER SYSTEM. . The apparatus bay in a fire station is nothing more then a garage attached to a living area. The crew was lucky that they had smoke alarms, and those were only put in a few years ago (I bet). I am affrair that this is not the first fire station to burn and won't be the last. Again I am happy that the men got out OK.
i was saying that it sounded like u were asking y they didnt have smoke alarms out in the bays. I was meaning that the station wasn't built with them in the bays and until this incident happened not many fire depts knew about them. I know i hadn't. Also i can't speak for other depts but our fire board and city are very tight when it comes to spending money especially when it comes to improvement's or updating some old equipment that is getting to the point of not being safe and out dated.
Scott I understand economic hardship is among all of us. This is an international airport which the fire department is funded/supported completely differently from any town or city fire department. The FAA supports ARFF departments under their AC; and the financial burden for purchasing apparatus, equipment and fire stations are highly supported by the FAA with 90/10 grant programs if it is a requirement of them. Recently with Obama stimulis money; the FAA was offering 100% funding for apparatus purchases this year.

Now on the other hand, I would have to ask what would you do if a fire consumed your local fire department, all of your gear and the apparatus? I would bet they would find the money then...

The cost of an alarm system is pennies on the dollar compared to starting all over for everything. Not to mention the liability of not being able to protect the public? Sprinkler systems are a little more money but they are still very cost effective to protect your stuff to keep you in business.
they do make heat alarms that the dsl smoke from your trucks will not set off . it might work for your hall...

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