Aerial Delta Side

Alpha-Bravo Side

Alpha-Delta Side

Bravo-Charlie Side

Ok, here you are on curb side; All ready to being your three-sixty around the structure.
But what is it that you’re looking at? The effectiveness of the 360 evolution is contingent upon your ability to be observant with conditions, situations, circumstances, positions, features, elements that relate to the incident’s time and place, the projection or forecasting of what may happen, change or evolve as the incident progresses and what affect those situational awareness and imminent or expected factors may have on operational plans and task actions.

So, you’re in the street…. Take some time to look at the structure and occupancy. Your assignment is to provide us with your insight, assumptions, knowledge, comprehension, understanding or additional questions that materialize as you assess the structure and occupancy. The skill development objective here is not to address a specific theoretical fire problem tactically, but more to begin to refine your observational skills in looking at buildings with a clearer vision and perspective to assess their conditions and correlate them towards operational risk factors that influence and drive incident action plans and structural fire engagement.

Provide either a narrative of your observations overall, or issue, a list or any other form of description. Let’s also build upon what someone may be observing and discussing. If your experience or assumptions are telling you something different or expand upon the statement so that everyone may gain further insights. Remember what we may be seeing is not always twenty-twenty….or as obvious as we may think.

Building Profile Considerations to get you thinking;
• Open or Closed Structure
• Occupancy Type(s)
• Construction Type(s)
• Construction System(s)
• Age
• Floor Profile
• Roof Profile
• Wall System
• Materials
• Height
• Compartmentation
• Volume
• Structural Stability
• Structural Collapse Risk
• Inherent Collapse System(s)
• Deficiencies
• Alterations/Renovations
• Protective System(s)
• Security System(s)
• Homeland Security System(s)
• Green System(s)
• Access/Egress
• Fire Load
• Occupancy Load
• Perimeter Accessibility/ Limitations
• Laddering Profile
• Aerial Access Profile
• Personnel Hazards
• Parapet/Edge Risk
• Overhands or Projections
• Window Treatment Profile
• Unique Features
• Questionable Features
• Unrecognized Occupancy or Construction Profile
• Utility or Service Issues
• Geographic /Topographical Issues
• Proximity or Exposures
This is not an all exclusive list

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My 360 recon says "Deathtrap".

This appears to be a 4-story Type III (Ordinary) whose former Side B and probable Side D neighbors have been removed.
I can't get good enough resolution to tell exactly what the protrusions on Side B are, but they appear to be brick corbels designed to support the floor beams from the now-missing B exposure. This is indicative of the same structure on the inside of the target building. Brick corbels - especially old ones - can crack and fail during a fire. This will allow collapse of the heavy wood floors. The brick corbels serve the same purpose as fire cuts in floor beams that penetrate the side walls in Type III construction...pancake the floors without collapsing the masonry wall shared by the building and it's original neighbors.

The D wall may have the same problem, but with the corbels removed and the stucco finish applied to hide the modifications.

Side A appears to have an add-on facade that looks pretty flimsy. The original brick facade behind it may be cracked, have old lime mortar washed out, or have other previous repairs that we now can't see. The weight of the fire escape won't help this facade stay intact during a fire, and in fact the fire escape is a collapse hazard if this structure becomes well-involved.

The penthouse at the B-C corner tells us that their is either stairs or an elevator in this corner. Given the lack of windows, this building doesn't look like it has been converted to residences. I'd say that this is some type of warehouse or sweatshop factory, which says that the B-C corner structure is likely a freight elevator.

The lack of windows will make this occupancy murder to ventilate. Interior fires will be hot and grow rapidly, especially if the fuel is foam mattresses or or furniture.

There is probably an interior stairwell we can't see. If it's open, it will rapidly spread smoke and heat upward. If it's closed, there may be security devices at the ground-floor entrance that will make forcible entry into the stairwell difficult.

The multiple electrical feeds at the D-A corner and additiona feed at the B-C corner tell us that this may be several different occupancies in one building. I'd say that the ticket sales place is a separate occupancy from the rear of Division 1. That occupancy may or may not be part of the Division 2/3/4 occupancy, depending on the interior layout and how the interior is cut up. The rear electrical feed may also power a completely different occupancy in the basement.

The Side B parapet and the brick to the Side B of the roof penthouse are partially unsupported and are a collapse hazard even without fire.

The interior has likely been cut up and/or had major interior structural supports removed to open up the interior spaces and interior vertical access. These can accelerate structural collapse or provide places for firefighters to fall 35 feet - or more if there's a basement.

The staggered roofline remnants and holes in the Side C brick tell us that there was a loading dock structural awning removed from this location. The holes weaken the brick.

The stucco on Side D and partial stucco on Side B hide potential indicators of structural damage or stress that might cause structural collapse.

Did I mention that this place is a deathtrap?

Here's a detail of the Bravo side Corbels
Good detail Chris, thanks. You can clearly see the sockets into which the floor beams from the former Bravo occupancy were set.

You can also see that some of the corbels have sheared off. Makes you go "hmmm".
A couple of additional points - aerial access will be fairly easy, unless a specific truck spot is blocked by one of the civilian cars. Ground ladder access is a complete waste of time except to the Side A fire escape.

The only real exposure problem is the Charlie exposure across the alley. It will become an exposure problem if the fire autovents the rear roof, if a lot of fire blows out the Charlie access door, or if there's a fire-induced collapse that vents fire toward the exposure.
WOW!!! This one is just a huge death trap. Ventilation will be extremelly difficult due to the fact that the only windows are on the A side of the structure. From the looks of it this building is very old. I have no clue as to what type of occupancy may be from the second floor up. The sign out front says they sell tickets there, so the first floor is at least a business. There is another building on the C-D corner of this one that looks to be kinda close. There are alot of vehicles surrounding this building. Possibly more occupants inside than just the ticket business. Utilities would include electric and gas service.
I would be very leary about sending anyone into this one since I don't know what type of egress routes there are inside the building. I see the fire escape on the A side but there is nothing else. No windows to set up an aerial or anything. A preplan on this building would be an excellent idea just in case of the "big one".
Well said Ben,I don't see old construction like this in my response area, so its a challenge to understand all the features talked about here. Which is why i come here to learn, it looks to me as though this building has had a through the roof fire at some point in it's history.Interior construction is most likely heavy timber joist set on the visible corbels, any heavy fire conditions in this structure would be a disaster to extinguish and in my estimation to risky to put firefighters in the interior of this building.No windows for egress , poor access points,unknown interior layout or modifications, protect your exposures, keep personnel and apparatus outside the collapse zone. This may be a down on the ground fire quickly when involved with heavy fire.

Fraternally, Rick Westerman

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