You’re responding to a reported structure fire with a report of smoke in the residence. The occupant has reported they have an odor of smoke in the house and can’t locate the source. The occupant stated to the call taker that they first noticed the odor shortly after the heavy thunderstorm passed through the area, about fifteen minutes ago. They looked through the house, but nothing could be found.

As you arrive on scene, the dispatcher tells you that the caller stated the odor is getting much stronger and that there’s a slight “haze” present in the house. Well, after either getting out of your chief’s vehicle or as you are peering out of the officer’s cab window, you observe what could be best described as; “smoke showing” from the roof area. Yes indeed, there is a “haze” present you think…

The residence is sited on a slight hill, and is located in new residential neighborhood of homes built in the last eighteen months. The house appears to be somewhere between 5000-7500 square feet in size and is a two story wood frame (Type V). It has a large layout floor plan and there are three cars in the driveway. The response area is not adequately hydranted. This is predominately an area that the water services have not caught up to the construction growth and expansion. There is a slight breeze that is beginning to kick back up. Another storm front might be pushing in. The balance of the alarm response is coming (the response is what you typically have in your jurisdiction, along with company level staffing).

So... you’re on-scene as either the first-due chief or as the first-due engine, in either case, you are the incident commander.
• What’s your move?
• What are you confronted with?
• SUG: What’s the severity, urgency and growth potential for this incident?
• What are the KEY operational issues that you are confronted with and need to address in quick order as you formulate, develop and implement for your incident action plan (IAP)?
• What are some of the operational considerations that will impact your strategic and tactical objectives?
• Looking at the house; what are the construction, fire load/occupancy load and layout considerations, risk and demands.

Oh, incidentally, as you’re keying the mic to transmit your first communications and assignment, you observe visible fire now present in the roof line…..

If you're the Engine, the first line is being deployed up the Alpha side lawn from the street. If you're the chief, the first-due engine arrived behind you and is stretching a 1.75 inch line up the front lawn...you now are ready to transmit......
…. Is that thunder I hear in the background?

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Posted by BEn
You just love to misquote things, don't you, Mike? For starters, I didn't say that I "would" stop all operations on a house fire in a lightning storm, I said that I have considered it but that it wasn't necessary. Those are two very different things...for those that have the power of discernment. There is also the intermediate option of using unmanned master streams to fight the fire until the storm passes. Reply by Michael C. Harrison 1 day ago
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You are going to completely stop operations on a house fire (or building fire) until a storm passes, then resume operations?

Just askin'

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Ben Waller Permalink Reply by Ben Waller 1 day ago
If the storm is bad enough, absolutely I'd stop operations. If there are frequent lighting hits in the immediate area, that's an immediate life threat to firefighters and risking them for a house that's been searched doesn't pass the basic risk-benefit test.

I apologize for misquoting....I asked a question, it "appeared" that you answered it....I just made comments in regard to the answer that I misread


"Relative safety" of being inside a burning house or on the roof, when the structure has a truss roof and a fire in the truss void?? You have a really strange idea of what "relative safety is" when I'd put the firefighters in the apparatus. Now I suppose that you'll tell me that sitting in a parked fire apparatus is more dangerous than being inside a burning house with the potential for a truss collapse.I apologize for once again failing at the use of the English language....when I posted the words "relative safety" and put these "" around them, I was refering to the safety from the storm....and I still believe that in regard to the dangers from the storm, being inside a house is far better than standing outside in the rain and leaning on, in , and around cars....might be a strange idea of "relative safety" but I still believe I have less chance of being struck by lightening by standing on the second floor of a house than in the middle of a rain soaked street around rain soaked cars....once again....we will have to agree to disagree
And I do not recall saying that sitting in a parked apparatus was dangerous (as far as storms are concerned)


As for operating at a vehicle crash, getting a patient out of a wrecked vehicle takes a couple of minutes, and in a storm with nearby lightning, that removal would become a rapid extraction operation. Working a vehicle wreck in the street during a storm isn't exposing the troops to anywhere near the risk in a combined fire/lightning storm/potential collapse of the house fire poses.I completely understand the entire "rapid extrication" concept.....yet I have been to numerous accidents where "rapid" didn't seem to happen at all, and in that case you have what is called an "extended extrication" because it takes an extended amount of time to remove occupants
HAHAAH....I like how you threw the "combined fire/lightening storm/potential collapse" in there......you are a slickster, but I don't recall saying anything about a potential collapse (yes, I know that if a house is on fire , that eventually there is risk of collapse) I asked you SPECIFICALLY about storms and emergency operations


The Time/Distance/Shielding factor comes in to play, too. It takes a lot more time to fight a single family McMansion fire than to slide a patient onto a spineboard and stretcher and get them into a nearby ambulance.Well, aren't you just imparting all kinds of knowledge on me today....I thank you

The people working a wreck in the street are not going to be the highest point and the most exposed to the lighting, while firefighters in the photo of the house above are definately in an exposed position.Exposed to what? Danger OR danger from a storm? I know there is danger during a house fire......I posed questions regarding storms.

Two minutes of risk to rapidly rescue a patient is a lot more of an acceptable risk than thirty minutes of exposure to fight a fire where no civilian lives or exposures are issues.

And..."bull baiting"??? You throw up Charleston in this conversation and then accuse me of bull baiting?? Now there's a little irony for the bystanders. LMAO.I told you I was sorry about bringing up Charleston before you had a chance in this thread......and I mean it, I sincerely apologize
You didn't reply to my quote, you replied to part of my quote...

The one that said "If conditions are bad enough..."

And...for a guy that advocates for 2-1/2 hand lines as exterior, defensive lines only, based on conditions being "bad enough" you suddenly have developed a blind spot for conditions being "bad enough" from anything other than from the fire???

As for prolonged car wreck operations, those are the exception rather than the rule.

It appears that you're advocating that it's a higher priority to fight a fire where only property is at stake than to make a rescue at a wreck.

Doing roof work on a large house atop a hill in a lightning storm is pretty much a suicide attempt, no matter how you slice it. A prolonged operation fighting a fire in the attic of a McMansion such as the one that's the topic here also tends toward the suicidal end of the risk spectrum, since the roof supports in those structures are almost always trusses or other non-dimensional lightweight construction, and if the fire can't be extinghished in short order, lots of them collapse.

Note that I didn't interject the collapse option into this discussion, the building construction did.

When you said "I am just trying to figure out what side of the fence you are on." that is a telling statement. You see everything as only two options...

...1-1/2 on the interior or 2-1/2 on the exterior...when 2-1/2 continues to be a good interior option when the situation calls for it.

..."what side of the fence are you on"... when there's no fence involved...

...Vent group...even when three floors of fire are autovented...

I see things as situational...what are the current conditions, what are the potential future conditions...what are the risks...what are the rewards...what resources do we have...what is the building construction...what is the water supply...and most important, are their civilian victims or the strong possibility of savable civilian victims.

For someone who advocates for giving up on the building if 1-1/2 interior lines can't control it, you're suddenly a big fan of never giving up and remaining inside even if the trusses are coming apart just because there's lighting nearby...but you imply that you'd abandon a patient at least temporarily in the same storm. Sorry, that doesn't pass a basic rationality test.

Ok, let me try to get this discussion back on center....You're Ten Minutes in the Street have elapsed...Here's what's extended and propogated. Homeowner and family is accounted for, primary is negative, fire has dropped down into a bedroom from the truss loft... multiple alarm assignment is in the street....fire through the eave vents and showing thru the roof deck....What's your plan or thoughts?
At this point, it's clearly a defensive fire and the trusses are going to collapse into Division 2 if they have not already done so. This can cause a progressive collapse into Division 1 without the fire previously extending downward.

A solid-bore ladder pipe attack from Side B may have a chance to stop this, but that is an iffy proposition at best.

We need to ensure that the companies bring all of their equipment, ground ladders, and other gear with them when we retreat, or somoe of them will be tempted to sneak back in for it later.

Otherwise, it's time to establish collapse zones and conduct a PAR on the exterior.
If the water supply is iffy from the lack of hydrants, it's time for a tanker/tender task force or two.

COMMAND, backed up by SAFETY and DIVISION C need to ensure that no one gets "Candlemoth Syndrome" and creeps up to the windows to get close to the fire. We can fight this one just fine by staying back with large-caliber streams.
Here's a picture of that rig. A retired BC in the area bought it from the dept. He used to run it around a lot but I haven't seen it moved in years. You may be able to tell that the roof structure is pretty much just a big sun-shade and doesn't do much weather protection.

Damn my interior crew wasn't fast enough!!! Ok. I have my tankers shuttling. Now I am calling for an aerial from the station on the north boundry of us. Upon arrival I would have them set up a jet syphon with 2 dump tanks and have them start putting water on the D side and try to work their way back to the B side. It looks to me like this one is spreading from B to D through the attic. I think it would no longer be safe for crews to be inside until I can get a confirmation from the snorkel. Other additional tankers will be needed to support the snorkel so I will be calling for at least 3 more. Operating handlines will try to knock down fire from the ground. Going to need another set of eyes on the C side of the house. Engine will put deck gun into operation on the B side of the house to try to knock down as much as possible in that area. Hopefully snorkel can help confine to B side of the structure.
You didn't reply to my quote, you replied to part of my quote...oh....I thought maybe I just made those words up

The one that said "If conditions are bad enough..."Hey.....I was just askin'

And...for a guy that advocates for 2-1/2 hand lines as exterior, defensive lines only, based on conditions being "bad enough" you suddenly have developed a blind spot for conditions being "bad enough" from anything other than from the fire???Hmmmm.....where did THIS 2 1/2 discussion come from? Ohhhhh....from another thread......and NOPE no blind spots here, BUT I still check for em all the time

As for prolonged car wreck operations, those are the exception rather than the rule.no argument here

It appears that you're advocating that it's a higher priority to fight a fire where only property is at stake than to make a rescue at a wreck.WRONG (kinda hard to believe anyone except "me" can be wrong huh?) I in NO way shape or form said anything of the sort, and I apologize if I conveyed that with any of my posts

Doing roof work on a large house atop a hill in a lightning storm is pretty much a suicide attempt, no matter how you slice it. A prolonged operation fighting a fire in the attic of a McMansion such as the one that's the topic here also tends toward the suicidal end of the risk spectrum, since the roof supports in those structures are almost always trusses or other non-dimensional lightweight construction, and if the fire can't be extinghished in short order, lots of them collapse.I do understand about the dangers of lightweight construction (that IN NO way implies that I am an expert on that subject)....yet after the fire is vented, if a storm comes thru....and headway is being made on the inside (no collapse danger at that particular moment in time) I find it foolish to remove members from the structure and cease emergency operations

Note that I didn't interject the collapse option into this discussion, the building construction did.well.....it appears you were logged on and "Mr. Building Construction" made a few posts under your name......I apologize for responding to them

When you said "I am just trying to figure out what side of the fence you are on." that is a telling statement. You see everything as only two options...nope.....wrong again...."everything" is a big word.....I will state that SOME things are a "yes" or "no" only (in my opinion of course)

...1-1/2 on the interior or 2-1/2 on the exterior...when 2-1/2 continues to be a good interior option when the situation calls for it.YAWN....this again??? no matter HOW LONG YOU WANT TO DRAG THAT discussion out.....I stand by what I said....period

..."what side of the fence are you on"... when there's no fence involved...it is called a figure of speech....if you are unable to discern that from literal speech, I will attampt to refrain from using then when talking/posting to you....again I apologize

...Vent group...even when three floors of fire are autovented...WHERE THE HELL DID THIS COME FROM? But I'll bite.......Call me stupid....but in the pictures I see (as of 10/19/09) I dont see three floors of fire autovented (I don't even see 3 floors from this angle) and in the second picture it does appear to have vented itself

I see things as situational...what are the current conditions, what are the potential future conditions...what are the risks...what are the rewards...what resources do we have...what is the building construction...what is the water supply...and most important, are their civilian victims or the strong possibility of savable civilian victims.GASP....it seems that we agree here

For someone who advocates for giving up on the building if 1-1/2 interior lines can't control it, you're suddenly a big fan of never giving up and remaining inside even if the trusses are coming apart just because there's lighting nearbynow now....lets not post fabrications....I think you will be HARD PRESSED to find any posts made by me remotely stating anything of the sort...but you imply that you'd abandon a patient at least temporarily in the same stormI am going to have to call B.S. on this statement also.......somehow we (or maybe just 'ME") went from asking YOU if you would stop All emergency operations because a storm was passing thru......I then inquired into how you would handle the storm situation during a MVC/MVA (whatever you wish to call it) and not once did "I" imply or say that I would abandon the patient....seriously....are you even reading what you post (or what I post)??? . Sorry, that doesn't pass a basic rationality test.LMAO.....I was thinking the EXACT SAME THING......seriously.

P.S. have a good video night (I'm thinking that is like a standard friendly farewell.....but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong)
what gpm does the snorkle flow?
how many gpm can you get using the jet syphon?
and on average how many tankers (and tanker sizes) would you need in that shuttle to sustain that flow?
Thanks Ted. The snorkel does have it's own pump as well as 500 gal. on board. It will flow 1500 gpm and it's only 75'. As for the tankers, the sizes will range from 2000 gal to 3000 gal. Our 2 are 2100 and 2500. One of our mutual aid depts. has a 3000 gal. The majority responding would be 2000 gal.
Sorry Mikey, we aren't in DC. We have no hydrants and all is done by water shuttle from a dry hydrant. You ever heard of those?
thanks
ahhhh...it appears we now have another smart ass.....I apologize for bothering you with my stupid and of irrelevant questions.
I figured you weren't in D.C., and I was also smart enough to figure you had no (or very limited hydrant access) hence the reason I asked those questions.
Any further questions I have about rural water supply will be directed to others.....sorry to make you take time out of your day to answer such dumb questions.

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