‘Relax, it’s just a dumpster.’


Video below is of what eventually becomes a four-alarm fire in Burbank, California.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the fire was reported at 1017 hours on 27 May 2013. The first engine company to arrive found an outside fire and a “heavy” smoke condition inside the attic space of an exposed carpet warehouse. Fire conditions inside caused a roof collapse at a later point.

Daily News Photos: Burbank Four-Alarm Fire

Story from above video by VerdugoScanner, "Around 10 o'clock Monday morning Burbank FD was dispatched to a reported structure fire in the 100 blk of S Glenoaks Blvd. T11 was first on scene and reported heavy smoke showing from the rear of the structure, and the long firefight began. The fire had started in the rear of the structure and extended into the building with heavy fire prompting a 2nd alarm response. The fire ripped quickly through the 1 story commercial prompting a 3rd alarm and eventually a 4th alarm with units assisting from cities all over the Verdugo system including Glendale, Pasadena, South Pasadena, Monterey Park, and Alhambra. It took a couple hours to knock down the fire which completely destroyed the building. Two firefighters were transported with minor injuries and were later released."

Consider for Discussion:

How is a dumpster or other outside fire reacted to by you and your crew you?

Does the dispatcher in your area seek additional information on these calls?

What is the typical assignment in your area? Would it change if it were reported as a "dumpster on fire up against a building"?

What you be your typical upgrade on the assignment?

How long in your area until the additional companies arrive?

How will the wait for additional companies affect your strategy and tactics?



Views: 2238

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Thanks John. It's always good to remind people of lessons learned and discussed, especially as readers tend to stay in their own area of interests and seldom actually search and read. This latest forum post is on avoiding complacency with what became a four-alarm fire and some prompts about communication.


Outside Fires with exposures are always dangerous.  Two off the top of my head are Bret Tarver 2001 Phoenix Southwest Supermarket Fire started as an outside loading dock dumpster, (milk crates). Charleston - 9 Super Sofa Fire started on the rear loading dock overhang area between two buildings.


I believe that a dumpster fire was the cause of the Charleston Fire which took many of our brother firefighter's lives. Everyone needs to be careful of these and how they are called in.

as in anything from fire...to business....everything should be treated as actual until it is done with. Dont relax until we for sure it is done with. You cannot be more to the point than that. 

Its not just a dumpster fire, We can close to getting couple of our officer hurt or killed because our call for a dumpster fire turned out a booby trap using 30 lbs. propane tanks. When they finally let go it cleaned the dumpster out, Lucky, our men didn't get hurt but real dirty. The same trick was pulled couple nights later, But we didn't fall for it. We handled it different. Never trust a small fire, that my experience from wild-land fires.

Reply to Discussion


FireRescue Magazine

Find Members Fast

Or Name, Dept, Keyword
Invite Your Friends
Not a Member? Join Now

© 2019   Created by Firefighter Nation WebChief.   Powered by

Badges  |  Contact Firefighter Nation  |  Terms of Service