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CHURCH FIRES - Looking for more knowledge

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  • CHURCH FIRES - Looking for more knowledge

    Hello friends,

    I'm working on my monthly bulletin for my Co. and this time is about CHURCH FIRES. It's based on the chapter about that is in V.Dunn book "Strategy of Firefighting". Actually I'm looking for any new material that could ad something else.

    Would be very helpful if you have seen forums, columns, coments or any other thing about that.

    THANKS!

  • #2
    Well....Churches can be the 150 year old Gothic masterpiece or a 1 story 25'x75' taxpayer that was a chicken shack a week ago......
    IACOJ Member

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    • #3
      That's true... the bulletin is actually talking about big structures and the small ones apart. Back to the point... any technical knowledge of big structure is wellcome.

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      • #4
        I think it is important to not focus on the use of the building but focus on the construction type. Different parts of the country also have different methods of construction for churches. In my part of the country we have some older churches with balloon frame construction as well as ordinary construction.

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        • #5
          Maybe we should pray about it.....
          RK
          cell #901-494-9437

          Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

          "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


          Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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          • #6
            I am wondering who the OP is and why he is so interesed?


            Maybe the ATF would like to know too!!!


            Memphis Loo, shall we all hold hands?
            Stay Safe and Well Out There....

            Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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            • #7
              Yeah...............

              Originally posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
              I am wondering who the OP is and why he is so interesed?


              Maybe the ATF would like to know too!!!


              Memphis Loo, shall we all hold hands?

              (Adjusting Recliner, reaching for popcorn.........)
              Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
              In memory of
              Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
              Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

              IACOJ Budget Analyst

              I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

              www.gdvfd18.com

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              • #8
                One thing that Deputy Chief Jim Smith (Philadelphia Fire Department) always was emphatic in pointing out in his outreach program presentations on Church Fires: "People have got to stop being afraid to break stained glass windows."

                Sure, we all know that they could be irreplacable, very old and beautiful. But would you rather replace a window(s) or an entire building (that burnt down due to lack of ventilation which then contributed to fire spread.....) He liked to say "look at it this way.....break it yourself, or allow the multiple alarm fire that will develop to melt and/or break them for you."

                If taking out that window means a gained advantage by allowing the escape of products of combustion and increasing visibility and safety, then break the damn things!!!!!!!
                "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by FWDbuff View Post
                  One thing that Deputy Chief Jim Smith (Philadelphia Fire Department) always was emphatic in pointing out in his outreach program presentations on Church Fires: "People have got to stop being afraid to break stained glass windows."

                  Sure, we all know that they could be irreplacable, very old and beautiful. But would you rather replace a window(s) or an entire building (that burnt down due to lack of ventilation which then contributed to fire spread.....) He liked to say "look at it this way.....break it yourself, or allow the multiple alarm fire that will develop to melt and/or break them for you."

                  If taking out that window means a gained advantage by allowing the escape of products of combustion and increasing visibility and safety, then break the damn things!!!!!!!
                  Very good point FWD, and I completely agree with you. A point about breaking stained glass windows, most churches may have them covered on both sides by Plexiglass, or a similar material to prevent vandalism....so be prepared to work around that.

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                  • #10
                    The key usually revolves around pre-plan visits. The only way you know what is there is to go take a peek.

                    The really tough part about evaluating a church structure is the likelihood that this is a multiple use structure. One section might compare to a movie theatre or auditorium, another section may be like a school or office. Another area may be like a large dining hall or a gymnasium. Often times large churches are products of renovation and new construction on old construction. We have one church that has been added onto nine times. It takes a county map to negotiate this structure. The original sancuary is now a fellowship hall, the original classrooms are now offices, ect. ect. ect.

                    This structure has three different types of construction with multiple variations in each section. Most of us get lost in the parking lot. Good thing the alarm system faults during T-Storms...Great time to look around when you are ruling out alarm zones.
                    A coward stands by and watches wrongs committed without saying a word...Any opinions expressed are purely my own and not necessarily reflective of the views of my former departments

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                    • #11
                      Church Fires

                      You may want to contact an insurance company that insures churches. They may have information relating to church fires.

                      One major US church insurer is Catholic Mutual. Their website is www.catholicmutual.org

                      In my part of the country, alot of churches have their steeples struck by lightning. Quite an ordeal fighting a steeple fire, when the majority of the FD's have no access to an aerial apparatus.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FWDbuff View Post
                        One thing that Deputy Chief Jim Smith (Philadelphia Fire Department) always was emphatic in pointing out in his outreach program presentations on Church Fires: "People have got to stop being afraid to break stained glass windows."

                        Sure, we all know that they could be irreplacable, very old and beautiful. But would you rather replace a window(s) or an entire building (that burnt down due to lack of ventilation which then contributed to fire spread.....) He liked to say "look at it this way.....break it yourself, or allow the multiple alarm fire that will develop to melt and/or break them for you."

                        If taking out that window means a gained advantage by allowing the escape of products of combustion and increasing visibility and safety, then break the damn things!!!!!!!
                        Speaking ONLY for the Churches we have around here: It's a non issue. You will USUALLY have BOTH,as MOST of our Church fire are WELL along upon discovery. For the OP.a Church fire should be considered VERY dangerous due to construction and void spaces. Get PLENTY of help EARLY. Be prepared,if the Fire isn't too advanced to do a lot of ripping and tearing,don't stop until you've found clean,unscorched wood.Make sure you have enough heavy stream appliances available in case you can't hold it. CREW ACCOUNTABILITY at ALL times. The big ones go fast once they go. T.C.

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