Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Clutter or "Collyer's Mansion" Conditions

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    To me it isn't so much a change in what we have always done in some form or another, but a change in name with some added scientific explanations involved. It seems as counterproductive to me to simply dismiss the tactic as it is to misinterpret the tactic as an excuse to not go interior to finish the fire off. Selective use is the key. There will be times it is the right choice to transition and times when simply going in to kill the beast where it lives is the better choice. It is up to a good officer to make that decision.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

    Comment


    • #17
      I agree. We just often lack an "application point" for the transitional stream.

      Comment


      • #18
        I can understand that. Different construction than I most often deal with.
        Crazy, but that's how it goes
        Millions of people living as foes
        Maybe it's not too late
        To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

        Comment


        • #19
          Timely thread, went to the third Collyer's Mansion job of my career last night. 2 story PD heavy fire from both floors on the Delta Side upon arrival. Crews unable to make entry via two front doors, had to "enter" through the rear in the least opportune spot. Barely a foot width path through the kitchen and all rooms. Main attack from the exterior, quick structural integrity issue on the second floor, forced to knock down most visible fore and remove smoke before clearing a path in to ensure extinguishment and the all clear. Luckily the occupants fled early and confirmed no one else was present.

          I'm not sure we needed a policy or any documented guidance, but just good heads up thinking quickly identifying dangerous operating conditions right from the get-go. Was a lot of work.

          Comment


          • #20
            I don't mean to imply that a complex policy is called for. Especially with private dwellings.

            Awareness and recognition of the hazards is huge. Our written policies usually begin with a description of the hazards. The response to those hazards is generally not all that hard to figure out for experienced people.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by captnjak View Post
              I don't mean to imply that a complex policy is called for. Especially with private dwellings.

              Awareness and recognition of the hazards is huge. Our written policies usually begin with a description of the hazards. The response to those hazards is generally not all that hard to figure out for experienced people.
              I didn't take it that way, I was just thinking about it last night and this morning trying to identify what went well and what may have been done differently, and couldn't come up with procedural ideas, as much as training points and topics. But, this issue isn't just a private dwelling problem, we do often see these conditions in individual apartments in multiple dwellings and I could see that being a far worse situation given the more limited access.

              That said, we've tried over the past 15 years to re-write our Operational Guidelines into a lesson plan/playbook style that allows the topic being addressed to be taught as a class right from the SOG. Our department is small enough we can easily turn this fire into a shift training topic about Hoarding Condition fires and have if covered next week. Maybe it is worth expanding into "OK, now what if this was on the upper floor of an apartment building?" which may benefit more from a documented policy.

              On this one, part of our concern after the fact was that the city had already identified this house as having these conditions and was working with the owner to make it safe, but the FD was never informed. Upon arrival the two occupants never relayed any information about access or the conditions. It was certainly one of those "Well that might have been nice to know" situations, though the end result likely wouldn't have changed. This part we will address to ensure we're notified when these conditions are known.

              Comment


              • #22
                A big part of the problem is that hoarding doesn't necessarily violate any codes. Health code maybe (assuming one exists in the locality) due to vermin infestation. Aside from that there is little to no possible enforcement action even if we know about it.
                It is also my experience that occupants will not clue us in to this type condition. I guess it is often "normal" for them.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by captnjak View Post
                  A big part of the problem is that hoarding doesn't necessarily violate any codes. Health code maybe (assuming one exists in the locality) due to vermin infestation.
                  The health code is the only way that our City has been able to address these conditions and really only in multiple dwellings for the fear of bed bugs and the likes. We had a few "multi-department" meeting within the city to figure out how we could help these situations as they were identified, and basically it ended in a dead-end. Very few resources out there, HHS is already overworked and underfunded with other more pressing matters (child and elder abuse) so if the occupants are not harming others it really has no solution. No one wants to take a heavy handed approach in private dwellings, so we need to prepare ourselves to react to the conditions when presented with a fire.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    This week we are doing search training in as close to a Collier's Mansion scenario as we can. Our training tower is being remodeled into a 2 bedroom apartment on the second floor so the first floor has become a storage area and it is quite cluttered. B shift was in there today looking for a our toddler and child manikins and they did okay but they ran into debris falling and shifting on them. We will see how our Paid On Call crew does in there tonight.
                    Crazy, but that's how it goes
                    Millions of people living as foes
                    Maybe it's not too late
                    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                      This week we are doing search training in as close to a Collier's Mansion scenario as we can. Our training tower is being remodeled into a 2 bedroom apartment on the second floor so the first floor has become a storage area and it is quite cluttered. B shift was in there today looking for a our toddler and child manikins and they did okay but they ran into debris falling and shifting on them. We will see how our Paid On Call crew does in there tonight.
                      I certainly don't want to be the one to say we can't get in, but on the other hand I wonder at what point conditions are too far beyond our ability to be effective and tip the risk/reward scale. Thankfully, in nearly every case of hoarding I've seen (many more than we've had fires in) the people are older and/or single, so young children have not been present. The other side is most cases involve persons of limited mobility and certainly a lack of proper smoke detection and alarms.

                      Our fire the other night had two occupants who were awake and saw the fire (no detectors), attempted to extinguish it with a dog bowl of water to no avail, one attempted to get more water by venturing deeper into the home away from the only available "exit", the fire grew too fast and they escaped with minor burns but couldn't call 911 as they had no phones, they had to wake neighbors all the while the door was open so one could call for the dog who was still inside and never came out. Needless to say, the fire was off to the races before it was called in.

                      Short of an obvious rescue or missing person, we must consider that most of our self survival training doesn't fit these conditions: can't follow walls, everything looks the same, very limited mobility, heavily overloaded structure possibly under attack by fire, no "through the wall moves" readily possible, how many RIT members will it take to make a RIT rescue, and the list goes on. I'd think a very limited focused rescue attempt for a known victim might be the extent until we have fire control and improved visibility.

                      Don't get me wrong, any training is good, even if all it does is show the impracticality of a particular situation.
                      Last edited by RFDACM02; 07-11-2018, 09:02 PM. Reason: Keyboard caused misspelled words.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I made it very clear that the first officer, or firefighter, inside the building must immediately report any sign of hoarding conditions. Then it is up to the officer to decide if interior ops are possible. Or if alternative methods of entry must be used, windows, back door, ladder the second floor versus using an interior stairway. Using caution not to disturb the hoarder mountains to prevent them from collapsing on you. Using a search rope and TIC.

                        We know of a few hoarder houses in our territory so we are just planning ahead.



                        Crazy, but that's how it goes
                        Millions of people living as foes
                        Maybe it's not too late
                        To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                          We know of a few hoarder houses in our territory so we are just planning ahead.
                          I'm betting that those who don't know they have them, just haven't seen them yet, we've seen them in all walks of life, it seems to know no socio-economic barrier. Best to be prepared because they're out there and can pose significant challenges and hazards to members.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by RFDACM02 View Post

                            I certainly don't want to be the one to say we can't get in, but on the other hand I wonder at what point conditions are too far beyond our ability to be effective and tip the risk/reward scale. Thankfully, in nearly every case of hoarding I've seen (many more than we've had fires in) the people are older and/or single, so young children have not been present. The other side is most cases involve persons of limited mobility and certainly a lack of proper smoke detection and alarms.

                            Our fire the other night had two occupants who were awake and saw the fire (no detectors), attempted to extinguish it with a dog bowl of water to no avail, one attempted to get more water by venturing deeper into the home away from the only available "exit", the fire grew too fast and they escaped with minor burns but couldn't call 911 as they had no phones, they had to wake neighbors all the while the door was open so one could call for the dog who was still inside and never came out. Needless to say, the fire was off to the races before it was called in.

                            Short of an obvious rescue or missing person, we must consider that most of our self survival training doesn't fit these conditions: can't follow walls, everything looks the same, very limited mobility, heavily overloaded structure possibly under attack by fire, no "through the wall moves" readily possible, how many RIT members will it take to make a RIT rescue, and the list goes on. I'd think a very limited focused rescue attempt for a known victim might be the extent until we have fire control and improved visibility.

                            Don't get me wrong, any training is good, even if all it does is show the impracticality of a particular situation.
                            I think for many of us the hardest part is simply acknowledging that we can't do our normal thing. This doesn't always go over well when the first instinct is to always be aggressive.

                            Comment

                            300x600 Ad Unit (In-View)

                            Collapse

                            Upper 300x250

                            Collapse

                            Taboola

                            Collapse

                            Leader

                            Collapse
                            Working...
                            X