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Best way to attack an attic fire

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  • #16
    Originally posted by . View Post
    Ding ding ding...we have a winner. Concise and to the point (yes others made these points also).
    I knew your brother would agree with me.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by ChiefKN View Post
      I knew your brother would agree with me.
      Hahaha, at this point, I don't think L-Webb would agree if it was me who posted what you said.

      Comment


      • #18
        What makes you say that?
        Get the first line into operation.

        Comment


        • #19
          I agree with the concept of going inside and pulling ceiling. Around here, ventilation is directly dependant on manpower; meaning, most of the time by the time we have enough people on scene to send someone to the roof, the crew inside has the fire knocked down. Granted, we still need to vent, but it won't have any effect on initial fire attack.

          I would have no problem with the OVM taking a ridge vent on the end of the structure the fire is on. Much more feasable in our situation most of the time than cutting the roof.
          Career Firefighter
          Volunteer Captain

          -Professional in Either Role-

          Originally posted by Rescue101
          I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

          Comment


          • #20
            would have no problem with the OVM taking a ridge vent on the end of the structure the fire is on. Much more feasable in our situation most of the time than cutting the roof.
            This is one of those catch 22's we have here, as I'm sure others do too. With many of the "cape cod" types we have here, there could actually be 3 attics. 1 behind each knee wall and in the peak. Depends on who built the damn thing, they may or may not be all connected until it burns through....all said and done, you could have 3 separate vents! Ahhh, the joys of home construction!
            My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
            "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
            George Mason
            Co-author of the Second Amendment
            during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
            Elevator Rescue Information

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            • #21
              Originally posted by GTRider245 View Post
              I would have no problem with the OVM taking a ridge vent on the end of the structure the fire is on. Much more feasable in our situation most of the time than cutting the roof.
              If you are going to have someone on or that close to the roof to take the ridge vent, why not just send him up there with a saw and let him make a hole that will actually vent the space?

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Rescue101 View Post
                1 Tower,1 Warthog, 2 minutes. You can look at anything in the attic you want,hehe T.C.
                Make this your primary attack mode for walk-up attics and I'll guarantee you two things.

                1.Excessive time on-scene
                2.Lots of parking lots.

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                • #23
                  uhhhhh from the unburned side????

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Luke Guidry View Post
                    uhhhhh from the unburned side????
                    lolwhat? .
                    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by nameless View Post
                      If you are going to have someone on or that close to the roof to take the ridge vent, why not just send him up there with a saw and let him make a hole that will actually vent the space?
                      After reading this I realized I used the wrong terminology in my original post. What I was referring to is having a member on the ground take out a GABLE vent with a long hook.

                      Sorry for the mix up.
                      Career Firefighter
                      Volunteer Captain

                      -Professional in Either Role-

                      Originally posted by Rescue101
                      I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        McMansion + Lightweight Construction + HVAC in Attic + report of fire == pucker.

                        Not disagreeing with the tactics above, if you're sure what you have. My concern would be with many of the McMansions that are lightweight construction and built with very large attic areas. A potentially huge fire load that quickly becomes untennible even with little showing from the exterior..

                        Primary task will be to get someone in there to assess the conditions. Fight it from the inside if you can but be prepared to pull out if it looks like the trusses are compromised. Truck crew with a TIC to assess while the Engine crew gets a line ready.

                        A lot of the new homes require detectors in the attic spaces but that's not universal. The first indication of an attic fire may be when it self-ventilates. We're going to be behind the 8-ball in those cases and may have slap it back with a master stream before we can go in and get it.
                        So you call this your free country
                        Tell me why it costs so much to live
                        -3dd

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                        • #27
                          As an old guy, I can absolutely state that it "Depends". And since I have intimate experience with "Depends" I can state with absolute conviction that when you arrive at that moment when everything turns to "Shise" it is a great thing to be able to rely on "Depends".
                          We have been working with dwellings that were constructed at the end of the 1800's and on through about 1920, when the construction practices moved from "Balloon" frame construction into the era of "Platform" construction. Subsequently we have passed through "Light Weight" construction into "Engineered Trusses". Now we are progressing into the "Green Era" where the insulating value and the degree of isolation of the living space from the outside is the paramount goal. To aid this high efficiency energy construction, we are continually inventing new techniques with little regard to how firefighting in these structures will be performed.
                          I would like to point out some changes in construction methods that have a significant effect on the question posed by the O.P. Recently, I became aware of a light weight truss aptly named a scissors truss. These are primarily used where high vaulted celings are the feature of the clear story portion of McMansion entry and living areas. In the case of this type of truss, it is not readily apparent to the observer upon entry to the structure. Scissors trusses are typically less than 3 feet from top chord to bottom chord. Passing through the front entry obscures the perspective from outside to inside, and since the ceiling may be 25 or more feet to the peak in the living space the firefighter is seldom aware of the thickness of the roof assembly. Frequently these systems are insulated with blow-in insulation, but might also be foamed in place units. This is the old light weight construction using gusset plates, but with the added problem of heavy insulation and a small void space. The second area of change is in the construction of basements, where "Eco-Block" or similar systems are using styrofoam forms both inside and out used to support the concrete when the walls are poured. The styrofoam remains in place after the pour, and may or may not be covered with drywall depending upon the local codes. The latest "Green" technique is is to install "Structural Insulated Panels" (SIP's) for both walls and roof panels. Most of these are constructed by sandwiching styrofoam (up to 8 inches) between oriented strand board shells. The ends of the panels are fitted in a tongue and groove pattern that helps to seal the entire system from air leakage.
                          At a recent MA job, our aerial was set-up about 40 feet from the structure. The original fire started in a vehicle in the attached garage. When we first arrived, there was very little smoke or apparent involvement in the main structure. The crew had already supressed the car fire, but due to the smoke issuing from the roof, there was an indication of fire in the roof area of the main building. Shortly, the smoke began rolling heavily into the main house, and before we could address the roof ventilation with the aerial, a large flame front issued from the cornice on the side toward the aerial. This flame was forcefully blowing more than 15 feet out of the cornice area. We had to abandon our position with the aerial as hand lines were ineffective at supressing the flame front coming from the cornice and the radiation was endangering the aerial and pump operator. It was apparent that there was a liquid component to the flame as there were ribbons of flame dripping fromthe cornice area. This was our first exposure to SIP's and our crews don't care if they never see another fire like this.

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                          • #28
                            We had a rash of SIPs in the 80s - the ones I saw had the trusses 48" OC - with the sandwich spanning the distance. Composition shingles on it - looks no different from the outside.
                            ?

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Rescue101 View Post
                              1 Tower,1 Warthog, 2 minutes. You can look at anything in the attic you want,hehe T.C.
                              If you intend on using this as your primary tactic for walk-up type attic fires remember 2 things.

                              1.Get used to making alot of parking lots.
                              2.Be prepared to spend an excessive amount of time on the fireground

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Comment was in making a access way on Gable ends with small vents or no access. No more parking lots HERE than anyplace else. Different constructions requires different tactics but attic fires not easily accessed from INSIDE seem to calm down with a 1500 GPM short blast. Your experiences may vary. Excess time? Yup,if you can't get to it,you DEFINITELY will spend excessive time. Fast knock down,not so much. T.C.

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