An assignment was made for an Engine and Truck company to investigate a report of smoke in the area. The first-due engine company arrived at what appears to be a vacant house consisting of a large 2-1/2 story wood frame structure. Upon arrival, there was light smoke evident from the upper eaves on the Charlie side, but nothing pronounced. The officer did not provide a complete radio transmission of arrival conditions, instead choosing to investigate further. A 360 was not conducted. The Engine Co., is a four person staffed engine, with a mix of experienced and newer personnel.
The Truck Company arrived and the Officer transmits for a full structure alarm response. The Engine Company pulled an 1.75 inch attack line and made the decision to go in dry with it, while investigating further. While they are in the structure, the conditions in the upper roof appear to deteriorating with darker smoke, increased intensity and volume.
You are (either) the second-due Engine Company or the first arriving Command Officer. What are you going to do? Command was just being implemented by the Truck Company Officer. The building has all the indication or being vacant or at best “unoccupied”. It appears somewhat run down and has missing windows from what you can see on the Alpha side.
• What are Strategic parameters for this incident?
• Is this an interior or exterior operation?
• What is the projected risk and safety profile of the incident right now? In 10 minute?
• What is the risk to the three person engine crew operating inside?
• Would you initiate a primary search assignment, based upon conditions observed once you have the balance of the alarm assignment on scene?
• How will the build perform under extending fire conditions?
• What do expect to happen shortly in terms of fire behavior and structural stability or fire extension?
• What are the concerns for operations at vacant or unoccupied structures?
• Do you have special policies and procedures for operations at vacant or unoccupied structures?
• Resource needs for this size structure?