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?