You are dispatched to a reported chimney fire with reports of fire showing from the chimney and from the gutter. Also reported that the owner of the house is wheel chair bound and it is unknown if he is home or not. You arrive on scene to a single story ranch structure with nothing showing from side alpha, bravo, or delta. There is no fire from the chimney but heavy smoke. There is no vehicle in the driveway and there is a wheel chair sitting in the driveway empty. 

Would you proceed to the front door and force entry or do a 360 and check all of the doors to see if any are unlocked before forcing a door?

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Yes, and the main body of fire will always be right behind that door!

Conditions inside look clear, do the 360. Or have someone do it. We're only talking a matter of seconds for a private dwelling.

The suspense is killing me. What did you do? What did the condition turn out to be? Fire or not? Occupant home or not?

Of course it is!!


True. Good point.

I'm thinking about the urgency of making forcible entry.

As you mention forcible entry is a priority if anyone is thought to be inside.

There ended up being a chimney fire that was contained to the chimney. The chimney had a bend in it where the soot had collected. 

After the 360 there were no doors unlocked, the conditions inside the house were completely clear. I forced entry through the front door after my 360 which was a door with a regular locking handle and a 2" dead bolt. After forcing the door I did a search which revealed the occupant was not home. There was no extension into the house and no smoke condition inside the house.

The fire was removed from the wood stove and a dry chem extinguisher was used after chains cleared the soot ball from the chimney.

Man, I was hoping for a better ending then that. Lol

So where was the occupant and why was his wheelchair in the driveway?


Me too, but I'm glad no one was hurt.

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