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I believe first critical job is getting a handline in place.

Plus, primary search is much more effective when protected by a handline.

I disagree that this is an excessively long stretch or that laddering will be overly difficult.

2nd due will always at least check the basement.  Even for a confirmed 2nd floor fire.  This also happens for high rises.  

We don't have skyscrapers in DC due to our hight limit but we will have canyons of high rise buildings up to 13 stories.  As far as downtown goes, only you guys and Chicago are bigger.  Kind of a random fact that no one realizes about DC.  Any high rise fire, the 2nd due company checks the basement before working their way up.

I don't really undestand that tactic for a high rise, but to each his own.

Without actually having the measurements I would guesstimate the distance to the front door at better than 100' being that our preconnects are 150' it would not give us much room for interior operations on anything other than first floor.  Depending on stair location and  construction it would be difficult stretching a 200' preconnect to the top floor for operations. 

Again using the 100' from sidewalk to front door that exceeds the length of our ladder truck. If we need to conduct roof operations we will have to do so from ground ladders. Our engines carry one 24' extension ladder  and our ladder truck carries one each at 35' and 40'  so with our equipment we would need to special call additional ladder trucks for each ground ladder needed to reach the roof.

Its not that the stretch is too long or that laddering is so difficult it just exceeds what we are set up for and will take more manpower and time to accomplish. 

I'm assuming the bottom of the picture is right at the edge of the street. That's not 100 feet; I estimate it at about 60 feet. Regardless, are you letting the length of your pre-connect dictate which fires you'll fight and how you'll fight them? This structure is just not that big. Bigger than your average house? Sure, but it does not (or should not) present insurmountable challenges in stretching of lines.

If you are light on staffing I would suggest dedicating your resources to suppression, search and horizontal ventilation ahead of hoseline. Use the available ground ladders for rescue, VES and placement for emergency egress of interior teams. It is very often possible, unless fire condition is severe, to have fire knocked down faster than a sufficient roof hole could be cut and pulled.

balloon construction, renovations, mult rooms, quick collapse from heavy fire

We have many homes in my area that are like this - Large Queen Anne single family where some of them have been converted to multiple occupancies. Separate apartments on individual floors. As always - life and accountability of occupants is the priority. Many of the houses have had numerous additions and balloon construction is a definite concern. What appears to be a simple 2nd or 3rd floor fire is actually a fire in the basement.

Doing a familiarity and pre-plan for structures like this is important because I am sure there is more than one entrance to the structure. Even though this may be the front entrance and a simple stretch the entrance to the rear may actually be a shorter stretch to the fire. Also, you are not getting a tower ladder from the street to reach the roof from the front - again - what's the access from the rear look like. Better for the truck to go to the rear ? Possibly.

Hose stretches can be difficult-- a lot of turns so may be manpower intensive just to get a line to the upper floors. Get that first line in operation...and open up on the fire floor and above the fire and check for extension.

Just my 2 cents.

This   Our dept. is all volunteer and with the mutual aid agreements we have we automatically have 3 other vol. depts. toned out with us.  But something of this size and complexity and possible location (tender shuttles needed?) we would have to call for more help right away.   With all depts. responding to first tone we would have 4 engines 1 tower and close to 15,000 gallons of water if needed within 10 min of the call.   And as always the more manpower you can get on scene the better.

Joe Condy said:

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.



Kyle Dunn said:

Captnjak, Our RIT crews average between 8 and 10 members excluding their officer. I say multiple RIT due to that fact that there will be more than the usual number and larger sized crews operating at one time. Also for the fact that the structure is so broken up.

Also we have written in our alarm assignments that any alarm over the first will come with an Extra Unit designated to the RIT manpower pool. I have a theory better to have too much than too little.
Kyle, Im curious how big your dept is to be able to have 8-10 guys not including their officer for the RIT team. How many people show up for a fire? It would be nice to have that.  We only get to have an Engine company (4-Including the officer) for RIT, and we have 4 engines, 1 truck ,  and a chief for a Res fire. 
My volunteer dept we might have a RIT team after 2-3 more districts show up due to low staffing, and it would most likely be a 2 person team.  I agree that haveing a large RIT team is great, just not practical where I am at.

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