Cold weather (december), 1 PM. A call for a structural fire. The message indicate "Explosion of the fuel system" (in fact the guys use a "petrol" system to heat the house and it explodes).

The main room is fully involved. At the right of the window there is a door, opened. Seems to have a corridor of about 3 meters (10 feets) then the door to the dining-room, in fire.

You have juste one truck, with about 2000 liters (530 gallons) of water.
The team is of only four volunters (a driver, a chief and 2 FF)
An other truck will be on the scene in 5 minutes
You can also call for a ladder

The photo show what you're facing as you arrive.

- What will you do?
- What kind of tool will you use?
- How many time do you think you need to kill the fire?
- How much water do you need?

Let's play!


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Can you please give more details on the petrol heat. Is it a fuel oil furnace? are there pressurized fuel lines feeding the fire. What is the typical square footage of these types of row houses. Is the furnace in or is there a basement. Is the water supply close enough to backstretch to (although with smoke like that they should have picked it up on approach).

If it is a simple non petrol fed fire an 1.75 inch attack line should be able to handle that volume of fire. I estimate 250 gal and extinguishment in 5 minutes or so blacking it out as you go then advancing. A off and on nozzle action.

Our standard procedure would be for the initial engine to take a hydrant and perform a transitional attack using a 2.5 quickly extending to a 1.75 the first arriving truck would be assigned search of the floor above. Assuming this is not a 2 level apartment. standard tool compliment thermal camera, ny hook and entry set.

Of course with any explosion we are required to monitor the environment for radiation. :)
Thanks Craig
Ditto to pretty much everything Craig has written plus with a small crew and unknown square footage I would consider positive pressure ventilation to assist the advancement of the line. It's imperative to make the best use of what little water you have since it may be gone in 5 minutes. Placement and use of incoming resources will be critical to holding the fire once you've got it under control.
Hi Craig,

As Google is my friend, I search for fuel oil furnace :)
here we have this one:

Small furnace with a tank, and the furnace is inside the dining room. There is no problem of fuel feeding, buy only the fact that the explosion spread the fire eveywhere in the room. What we see is not the furnance fire but the room fire with television, sofa, harmchair, chairs and so on burning due to the spread of fire, after the explosion.
This is a two levels appartement. In fact, each house has two levels but they belong to the same house: this is not a block with two appartements.

Concerning the hydrant, as I know Belgium, I think it's at about 200 feet from the house.

1.) Do you have o foam system on your truck? For a truck with 2000 l of water there should be at least 200 l of foam agent - if it is built like TLF or similar type.
2.) Do you have high pressure system, and a HP hose reel ?
3.) Is there a hydrant in the vicinity ?
4.) The truck is an FPT , TLF or different type, and what is the standard equipment.
5.) What is the amount of petrol in the furnace (5-10 or more liters)?

One truck, four men.
The attack must be with chief and 2 FF.
I would start the interior attack with HP and water fog until we reach the petrol heater, then quick attach the foam nozzle and continue with class B foam.
The driver must act quickly and find the hydrant, and if it is enough close, try to establish water supply. An ladder and more men would be great if possible.
40 bar HP pistol nozzle spend approx. < 200 l/min, that gives you approx. 10 min of work.
45 or 52 mm hose line with adequate nozzle, without water supply from hydrant or another truck, can be tricky. Spray or fog is more efficient from the aspect of water exploit (30% spray; up to 80% fog), than full stream (10% effeciency).
Then is the question of extinguishing petrol fire (class B). With water you can only low the temperature, and have some kind of control of the situation, but extinguish it... Without foam it can be done but with much more effort. Next danger is that the water can bring away flammable liquid and aggravate the situation.
Too much questions are open to define the best tactics to use. This is only my thinking what I would done with similar TLF truck with HP, and foam system.
No foam system. Don't focus on the petrol heater as the explosion spread the fire all around but it's not a Class B fire.
If you think of time of water delivery (which seem to be the fact) you are wrong: time of water delivery is to be taken in account if you use an extinction by production of steam, like computed in the IOWA formula. But here, the room is too wide open for that. You must consider an extinction by heat absorbtion and in this case, the flow rate is the key as an extinction by heat absorbtion is an immediate action, not a long one.

So, i'll try to be rational !
People, Goods, Environnement !
First, as i only have 2 FF and a driver, i ask to the driver to protect just up the window, water in smoke and hot gazes.
Second : i try to go behind the bulding to find an other door or window.
Third : if there's nobody need us, i begin to attack the fire in front of the door in a defensive position.
Fourth : i confirm on radio that i need a second pumper and a ladder.

by the way, i try to know the all volume to know the power of the fire in the flat.

What do you think about it PL ?

Iowa formula is old school. I am simply going to stretch a line, put the fire out

But you better have the newest earth friendly fire suppression additive in your little booster tank
Iowa formula is based in extinction by replacement of O2 by steam. It's not "old school" but only applied to this way of extinction.

Each time I see such a video, I think about a CAFS demonstration in Brasil, where a well trained FF, using only plain water has been able to extinguish a fire with less water than the CAFS. No need to say that the CAFS commercial team was not very happy.
And as budget are going down rather than high, I think it's better to learn how to use the tool we have, rather than writing to father Xmas. :)

More seriously, we have answers by Craig, Norm, Nenad and Sebastien. Thanks top them. So, FETC, the question is not "you better have the newest earth friendly fire suppression additive in your little booster tank". The question is "What can I do in front such a fire with the tools and staff I have?"

I'll wait a few days and tell you what happened on this fire scene, but please, explain what you will do in such a situation.

Best regards
box it first, then wind whats inside HOW MUCH FUEL, whos in there, good hyd , truck near the front , rear, good line make the roof !ECT
The answer:

For replying to Folye&son, in a structural fire, the max heat release rate of a fire don't depend on the amount of fuel, but on ventilation.

Read that:

Best regards

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