As we learn about and accept the fact that light weight construction is here and here to stay, we need to understand as a fire service how to tactically extinguish the fire and protect ourselves and our fellow firefighters.
Think to yourself about the risk verses reward of what we are doing in any situation.
There is no need to go inside a structure under construction with no life at risk. Period!
In this video its evident that this is a large single family dwelling (Approx. 3000-4000+sq feet), light weight construction and it’s still under construction/renovation.
What does that mean?
Why should I want to know this info?
How will it effect me?
1) The house is under construction/major renovation so no one should be living there. ( No Life Safety Risk, but do need to verify)
2) The house being under construction means: wall studs exposed, partial floors, exposed roof truss/beams etc. The fire will have unimpeded access to the structure of the dwelling giving it even less time before it collapses. ( Extreme Danger for Falls/injuries and structure collapse resulting in death)
3) Light weight construction catastrophically collapses without warning. It just goes down. (Even if completely built the structure will collapse quickly when exposed to heat and flames)
Watch this video and see in real life how this plays out. Minute 2:33 is the collapse.
Around 2:03 in the video, even thought the door was opened and he/she could easily advance to the fire, the firefighter with the nozzle did not make entry in the dwelling and stayed outside. He/she followed orders. This saved his/her life if not from serious injury because at 2:33 the structure collapses.
Bravo To the OIC for:
1) Not letting anyone go in the structure and identifying the building construction and that the structure was going to collapse.
2) For doing a PAR after the collapse. A PAR (Personnel Accountability Report) is very important to do after the collapse on the radio. They did a modified “Is everyone here and ok” report verbally and we can hear command call for a “Roll Call” on the radio at 3:00 in the video.
1) Know your building construction and what happens when that type of construction is exposed to heat and flames.
2) Always remember the Risk/Reward thinking. No Life is worth some wood/sheetrock/and shingles etc. They can easily rebuild that structure, but we can’t bring back a fallen firefighter.
Here is the same fire from the IC’s view:
Be Safe. Be Ready.