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  • Now that was weird...

    Yes, I'm setting a trap Be warned. Other district in town, we were on the 1st alarm assignment. It was one of the biggest head scratchers at our station in 20 years -- certainly generated a lot of discussion. I think we eventually came up with a decent critique of what happened and how we might have handled some stuff differently...and certainly some things to tuck in the back of your mind for future reference.

    Early February, 1645. Chilly, steady breeze from west ("D" side), although that will get gusty for a few minutes as the sun finally sets. Call comes in as smoke detectors sounding, call by the property owner arriving home from work. Fire Chief arrives to find light smoke showing, all windows covered in oily soot. Neighbor reports he heard the smoke alarms going off at 1100, but didn't see anything when he looked in the windows then so he disregarded.

    Lines to the basement via the bulkhead on "D" & first floor via front door (a small area of the floor had burned through at the area of origin which was near wiring running in the floor joists).

    This photo (taken by the OIC of the FAST) is around 10 minutes into operations on the fireground when they were arriving. Before I post the next sequence, we'll start with this -- if you're just arriving at this point, what would your impression of the situation be?


  • #2
    OK, I'll bite, did you have a bug bomb or other simmilar device?

    First impression. The smoke looks a bit light. Without being there I'd say you had something that is now knocked.

    Comment


    • #3
      Im waiting for a good twist, it looks interesting!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Yep, real light smoke ADSNWFLD...lots of steam, and both from the pictures and the guys inside a decent amount of heat to be making that much steam.

        But your impression was the same as mine -- stick a fork in it, fires knocked time to start heavy overhauling.

        But the crews have one problem overhauling...no visibility. More heat then they'd expect for the fire they saw, and despite a good amount of horizontal ventilation on the leeward side, the smoke/steam just isn't lifting.

        How would you improve ventilation?

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        • #5
          If you have an idea of where you want it then go with some vertical ventilation or maybe to really show you where the fire is put a ppv in the front door. This looks like it could get interesting. Also maybe stretch an extra line like a 2.5 just in case.

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          • #6
            From what I can see in the picture, I don't see a need to cut a hole in this man's roof. A PPV fan at the door would be a good start. I would also keep everyone on their toes (just in case you have an alien space ship in the basement.) If the heat is not dissipating after the initial knockdown, then I would suspect that this would not be the fire origin.

            The suspense is killing me (well at least hurting me a little).
            Last edited by THEFIRENUT; 02-20-2007, 04:43 AM.
            Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

            Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

            ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

            Comment


            • #7
              Just a far-fetched guess...Were they operating some sort of hot-house for growing pot in the basement?

              (EDIT) ...Or in the attic?
              Last edited by fireman4949; 02-20-2007, 06:42 AM.
              Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
              IAFF Local 2339
              K of C 4th Degree
              "LEATHER FOREVER"
              Member I.A.C.O.J.
              http://www.tfdfire.com/
              "Fir na tine"

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              • #8
                Can't tell for sure with just still photos but it looks like the steam is escaping with pressure behind it. Heat/fire in the attic space would prevent the steam from escaping from the living areas.

                I'd go for vertical ventilation if there is no snow on the roof of the living area.

                My gut says the fire started in the basement and has breach the wall(s) and is moving to the attic space.
                BE SAFE
                Before Everything, Stop And First Evaluate

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                • #9
                  This is just a wild [email protected] guess. The home owner install a sauna in the basement without adequate ventilation.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree on the vertical ventilation. Then I'd give the white hats a nudge and politely suggest "GET THAT FREAKIN TRUCK OUT OF THE DRIVEWAY!!!!" Mysterious amounts of smoke, shiny pumper within 35' of house...... hmmmmm
                    I like the second shiny pumper blocking the escape of pumper 1 ! LOL
                    Cheers,
                    Just my $0.02
                    G
                    Nobody ever called the fire department for doing something smart.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      natural gas furnace with water heater combined. heater failed and started fire, gas line feeding fire, water line to heater broke and is putting some, but not enough, water on fire causing "some" knockdown.

                      PPV van at the front? Increasing heat and no known reason and you would start pushing fresh air in? Interesting.
                      "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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                      • #12
                        Does it have a basement? Has anyone pulled ceiling and used a TIC to make sure there's no attic fire? With the facts given, I would be thinking vertical ventilation or at the least maybe opening up the gable end vents on the a, b, and d sides but no PPV until I'm satisfied there's no attic fire. I agree it looks beat but there's no way I would PPV the joint if I've still got unexplained heat and/or smoke. I can burn a roof off without any extra help!

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                        • #13
                          I remember an article some time ago in one of the trades. I don't recall alot of it because we don't have this type of furnace in our area, that I know of anyway.
                          Some kind of oil burner.

                          The "oily soot" is what brought this to mind.


                          P.S.
                          - Dal - I knew I should of checked the other site, I would have been able to come up with a more informed answer. I'll keep quiet, and let you reveal the story . I can't believe I remembered what I did.
                          Last edited by F52Westside; 02-20-2007, 10:54 AM.
                          Stay Safe & Bring 'em Home!
                          Eddie C.
                          I.A.F.F. Local 3008

                          "Doin' it for lives n' property"

                          ** "The comments made here are this person's views and not that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

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                          • #14
                            I think the answer is quite obvious. Clearly a volcanic fissure opened up in the basement and is super-heating the water from the attack lines. Duh.
                            Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Depending on the type of heater, I'm thinking a leak in the heating oil line somewhere. Our first response would probably be to start PPV, that would show us where any fire is, but I'd like to get the TIC in there and start opening up walls/ceilings first.

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