If I was responsible for this structure in our district, there would be a site plan in place. Listing structure notes, collapse hazards, fire load issues, floor plan, etc. It's a no brainer.
If you don't have a pre plan, and flames are shooting out the roof of the center area, I would try to contain it from the wings extending off the center elevation. It's a huge structure and has many possible areas of entrapment. This would be a tough fight for volunteer organizations due to response time of companies to provide an offensive fight. You've got collapse hazards from chimneys on the central column, cornices, etc. A full 360 is paramount to even begin an internal attack if the central core is involved.
You have a pre plan for every single structure in your department?
Not for every structure, but definitely for all unique, large, or business structures. We create a packet with pictures, hazards, water source, evacuation, etc. We are big on planning as insurance.
Private Dwelling, Multiple Dwelling, Rooming House? Other?
Request additional resources that may be needed above first alarm assignment. Multiple lines will be needed along with relief and sufficient personnel to search entire structure will be needed. And EMS.
Additional chief(s) for sectoring, safety, etc.
Not sure exactly what is meant by "fire out the top", but locating where the fire started is important. Fire could have started just about anywhere and extended via walls and/or attics to center of structure. Don't commit first line until that is known.
It's bigger than your average single family, but I disagree that additional RIT team is necessary (unless you have small RIT teams).
Access for Tower Ladder(s) should it get away from us.
Structure is probably overbuilt to some extent. Collapse hazard is probably limited to localized things like cornices and other decorative elements. Slate roof would change the level of risk. Or heavy long burning fire. Stairs could be very heavy and become a collapse hazard if fire affects support. (Possibly a circular stair right up the middle of this building?)
Doesn't look to be the case but major structural alterations would be a major kick in the pants. Preplanning is nice. If you can pull it off.
This is a house in Georgia and not in a hydrant area. This is what we call a you all come with your tankers type fire. Captnjak, Fire out the top is the round part of the structure. You are correct when you say the fire could have started any were. Could be a basement fire and traveled up the wall channels. We all have these types of Hugh old structure's in are districts. They present some unusual problems for use all more so the Volunteer department's.
Not a big deal but what I meant was: Has fire already burned through the roof of the center part of the house or is it showing at the windows or have windows failed already or is smoke showing? You get the idea.
Some people would describe all of the above as "fire out the top".
Can't argue with that theory!
My first concern is always firefighter safety.
Seeing this structure for the first time I am concerned with chimneys and a complex floor plan. Balloon frame construction comes to mind.
Unless the homeowner (hopefully we find someone who can tell us everyone is out) can tell us exactly where the fire originated, I'd be hesitant to commit anyone to an interior attack.
We normally don't pre-plan residential occupancies, but this one is more unique than any in our district. Like Joe wrote, a pre-plan would be smart in a case such as this.
Norm, This would be a complex floor plan. This is my point with this structure. We are getting in the mind set that that everything is lightweight construction. So when we roll up on this we forget that most likely this is made with extremely large lumber. After doing a full walk around on this structure i would commit to a interior attack depending on fire load.
Unless your staffing is poor, there is no real reason to hesitate in initiating interior attack, IMO. Except of course an advanced fire upon arrival. It is up to us to find out where the fire originated. Counting on homeowner knowing can get us in trouble.
Floor plan is definitely a concern. It could be chopped up into many small rooms for boarders. Or it could be original and simply have large rooms radiating out from center hall.
Resources and water supply.