Christopher J. Naum, SFPE
The five alarm fire that ran through a seven story multiple occupancy (MO) apartment building in the Flatbush Section in the Borough of Brooklyn (NYC) this weekend considerably challenged operating companies of the FDNY as the fire was fueled and spread in rapid success due to significant wind conditions compounded by news reports that a door to the fire compartment was left open, thus allowing the developing fire conditions to intensify and escalate due to the wind driven conditions that were impacting the building, the fire compartment and initial operating companies.
The seven-story MO Apartment building at 346 East 29th Street is reported to have had 70 apartments and was located midway in the city block. Arriving companies reported a fire on the number four floor and quickly deployed handlines and initiated primary search and rescue and other tactical assignments.
First-due operations, from the initial alarm assignment’s arrival, the transmission of size-up communications and the accurate and timely deployment of companies to task assignments is mission critical to an evolving incident.
The introduction of other challenges such as confronted by FDNY at this alarm further magnify the importance of effective command risk assessment, building size-up, effective and efficient company assignments and deployments with adequate resources (staffing and companies) to intervene with the fire dynamics and growth of an initial developing room and contents to an extending and escalating structure fire.
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