You've arrived at a Single family residential, there appears to be a "pretty good" working fire located within the garage..but its extending due to a strong wind and the fire loading within the garage. As you can see from the aerial views, this house is located within a fairly dense and common subdivision. All the structures are wood frame, some have asphalt architectural shingles, others have wood shakes. There's a hydrant right in front on the Alpha side. ( Cops just moved their patrol car from the front of it).

So....How big of a problem do you have?

What can you expect in the way of safety concerns related to typical garage fires? ie fire loading, products, materials, exposures, hazards etc. In this incident what does your risk profiling tell you?
Strategy, tactics....take your pick; what are the issues and how are you going to address them?
Logistics...What'll happen if the fire communicates to the Delta exposure and takes command of that structure?

Let's hear about insights on command management, engine ops, truck ops and rescue make the call.

Lastly... What are the "BIG" picture issues confronting you, IF you can't control the fire to the house of origin and the fire rapidly extends to other exposures ( three or more adjacent structures..due to wind driven fire and your lack of getting ahead of the fire progress tactically) Again, look at the aerial images..what are the operational and safety considerations?

UPDATE: CHECK THE POSTINGS STARTING ON THREAD PAGE FIVE...THE FIRE HAS NOW EXTENDED..."hope you're calling in some additional alarms...."

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Ben? My first thought about Mike's comment was that he had meant to put a 'smiley face' after it. Then I decided to ignore him. Most people posted giving their ideas of actions, I can learn from that.

We always roll whatever we think we might need - it's easy to turn them back. I put my answer to the scenario as though it was a weekday, therefore likely short crewed vehicles. When I described our actual garage fire (which was very close to this scenario) I didn't mention it, but it was a Saturday. We rolled our two pumpers and our support vehicle. Sixteen people on-scene for us. The immediate support from our neighbours had them rolling two pumpers (they always do, even though the correct response is a single pumper). The only extras called for were the Fire Investigation Team and the BA Support vehicle to refill our air cylinders.
Pat, did I tell you that we put out our very similar garage fire with a single 38mm (1 1/2 inch) line with a what you call a 'fog nozzle'? The garage with two burning cars, exploding fuel can, burning paint tins etc.? Fire stopped from entering the attached house? Less water, less damage from firefighters, happy owners and very happy insurance company? The garage was totalled, the house had slight smoke damage, that's all.

I read your post with interest until you jumped on the bandwagon about your favourite 'Smooth Bore'. Please, allow other people to do things their own way?
So, if the garage was totalled, what difference does water damage make? What's left to damage?

How long did it take the fogs to put this out?

Sorry, don't mean to offend the fog users. Its all good.
Hey Mike,

It will vary accross the nation as what response you will get with a house fire of this size. I know it may seem overkill, but I think this was the point of starting this discussion thread. I think what chris was trying to emphasize is that sometimes a garage fire is more than a garage fire and it may take upwards of 5 engines a truck and a command rig to control this scene. Realistically, you are right, the first 2 engines and the truck can handle. Chris, I believe, is only trying to get us to think deeper than the initial thought of "Its only a garage fire.
The garage was totalled, but the house was a complete save. The less damage comment was more for other fires really, not our garage. I was a bit touchy, wasn't I? Sorry about that. In our reporting we have to give an estimate of damage caused by fire and smoke, and another estimate of damage caused by the firefight!

How long to knock down the fire in our garage? The initial crew had it knocked down pretty quickly then came out, so one air tcylinder each (they just about needed to change their clothing after the fuel container exploded!). I went in with the second BA crew to find hot spots - we took the TIC in with us.

What is often called a 'fog' in forums we use pretty well for everything. But then they rarely get used in 'fog' mode, more often as a jet or a spray (say about a 30 degree angle spray). Jet for the initial direct attack, spray for mopping up. We carry large smooth bores with changeable tips, but they rarely get used. Say with factory fires and the like, in defensive firefights.
I would protect the exposers on the b and d sides also I would have a crew on the c side

Assumption is right on......think!

Think about what can go wrong (when things appear to be going right), prepare for the unexpected so that when assumptions are made you're ready to implement them with a well thought-out IAP (Incident action plan). We have see the results of "well it was only a...." other phrases such "routine" was only a typical job in a .... etc. The NIOSH and USFA reports are full of the "routine" calls that changed dramatically. Its also much more in the way of effective firefighting operations and effective command and incident management. There's been some great insights, tactical perspectives, IAP's and random thoughts. Its important for everyone to look at the various perspectives presented. some are valid, others are somewhat faulted and may result in unfavorable outcomes. Everyone participating in these scenarios learns something.. EVERYONE.

Let me offer this to increase some thought processes. This fire has the greatest potential to RAPIDLY escalate into a sizable incident, which can involve multiple dwellings and tax the ill prepared fire department, IF you aren’t thinking and preparing for its potential and implementing evolving risk assessment variables. Under the best of circumstances, a rapid and effective placement of at least one handline with a sustained flow rate can help support a disruption of the fire progress ( i.e. knock it down fast and swift, to at least disrupt the fire dynamics, growth rate and heat release) consider risk assessment in terms of the community've got a lot close exposures, if the fire communicates to any exposure, and you're not in place and prepared to react in a timely fashion with may be in for a bad day.

The SFD may have to be a write off, and resources committed for the greater good of other property conservation. Remember don't get overly caught up in what appears to be obvious...think strategically and deploy effectively tactically.

As some of the other posting are stating...this incident is a challenge, but it can be managed...
Great insight...this is a crucial factor if the fire starts progressing. When and if it hits this structure, the expose wood and fire loading with explode with a level of intensity that may further compound fire controll efforts....
This is great thinking....considerations for BTU, Fire Flow, fire dynamics and heat release, putting the water in the place it'll do the most good...sometimes very simple equations provide the greatest results...

Just as Ben is indicating, staffing levels and strategic and tactical IAPs go hand in hand. Staffing differences amongst organizations will ultimately reflect the descriptive strategies and tactics written and narrated by the various FFN contributors. Remember, you’ve gotta have the right resources; Manpower and equipment to make things happen safely and effectively……….

How is a master stream going to push the fire through the house?

I've used master streams on big transitional fires and on partially-involved strip malls and big box fires for over 3 decades and have not yet pushed the fire farther into a structure.

Smooth bore master stream tips from a deck pipe won't push the fire anywhere.


I haven't had time to really look at this one until now.
I also read all of the other comments first.
There are a couple of different ways to handle this that would probably both be successful.

However, I see a couple of things that no one else has mentioned yet.

1) There really is no "front" door on this structure. I see no door on Side A. The closest thing to a front door is on Side D at the D-A corner. The glass in that door shows flame - I hope it's a reflection from the garage fire. If it isn't, this house and the occupant are in BIG trouble. I think the fire is inside that door, due to the puff of dark smoke showing right above that door.

2) There is no effective way to attack this fire from the unburned side unless you use windows (not doors) as the primary entrances. With the garage fully involved, the only other door is in the Charlie yard. That door is off an enclosed back yard with no apparatus/hose access from the rear. That's going to severely limit our entrance option.

Assuming my department's standard box alarm assignment, I'll have three engines with 3, a truck with 4, a single medic, and a Battalion Chief.

Engine 1 approaches left-to-right and pulls past the hydrant. That gets the officer a 3-sided view, keeps the engine from becoming an immediate exposure, and gives the attack lines a little room to flake out without piles of hose right at the engine. The nozzle and hydrant firefighters pull a 1.75 inch line, and enter through the "front" door at the D-A corner. They're job is Search to the Fire, because of the possibility of occupancy illustrated by the garden hose. Engine 1's officer establishes Command and stays out front. Engine 1's operator establishes water supply.

Engine 2 stages the appratus and all 4 firefighters show up dressed for work. Engine 2's nozzle and hydrant firefighters are assigned to take over Engine 1's handline if Engine 1 has found a victim, or to stretch a second line inside if no victim has been found. That second line would have a piercing nozzle, and would go toward the rear of the house to cut off the attick fire. Engine 2's officer and operator set up Engine 1's portable monitor in the front driveway and hit the main fire with a solid stream.

Truck 1 pulls past Engine 1 to the right. The Officer and Irons take tools and a thermal imager and enter to pull ceilings, assist with a possible rescue, and check the extent of firespread in the attic.

Truck 1's driver and tiller set up the aerial and start protecting the downwind exposures. With the amount of fire and probability that this fire is fed by the gasoline, plastics, and rubber from a car in the garage, downwind brands are going to be a problem. The ladder pipe can wet roofs and give an elevated observation point to see how bad the downwind brand/exposure problem really is.

Engine 3 will set up IRIT with the operator and nozzleman. They'll have tools, rope, a RIT SCBA kit, and a thermal imager. Engine 3's officer and hydrant take an A-frame ladder from Truck 1, go down the Bravo side of the fire building, ladder the rear fence, and get a report about what's in the rear. There could be victims, uninjured occupants, propane tanks, or a view of the one side we haven't sized up yet.

Medic 1 will set up away from the fire on the upwind (left) side. They'll take care of any civilians we rescue. If no rescue happens, they'll set up RIT.

If we have civilian victims, I'll call for more Medic units as needed.

Assuming I'm Battalion 1, I'm requesting one additional engine, one additional truck or rescue, and two staff chiefs.

Engine 4 will take over RIT from Engine 3's IRIT. Engine 3's IRIT (driver and one FF) then gets back in their engine and starts a brand patrol through the downwind neighborhood.

The first staff chief to arrive will be assigned Safety, the second will get Accountability.

Truck 2 (or Rescue 1) will be assigned to the roof. They'll ladder the Bravo side and open up the rear area over the attic fire as needed. By the time they get there, the portable monitor should have a pretty good knock on the garage fire, so roof conditions should not be too bad. The roof team will evaluate the roof as they go. If there's any sign of pending collapse, we'll forget the roof work.

Other considerations are the collapsing garage, the possibility of progressive collapse in the rear of the residential portion of the structure as the fire progresses, attic fire spread, and hazardous materials storage in the garage.

The BIG picture here is the possibility of a group fire, especially if the weather has been hot and dry for a prolonged period. If we get more than minor exterior fire extension to even one other house in those conditions, we're talking a full second alarm for that house and a third alarm for additional exposure protection so we don't end up with that group fire I'm concerned about.

RECEO-VS rundown...

Rescue/Life Safety - addressed by Engine 1, Truck 1 Officer/Irons.
Exposures - interior exposures addressed by Engine 1 and Engine 2, exterior exposures addressed by Truck 1's drivers.
Confinement - addressed by the interior teams and the portable monitor.
Extinguishment - addressed by Engines 1, 2, and maybe 4 if they rotate up from RIT later on.
Overhaul - we'll worry about that later as we mop up
Ventilation - not a big problem right now. The interior fire doesn't look like it's big or hot, and the smoke production from anywhere except the garage fire looks minimal.
Salvage - later, as we have manpower available.

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