Archive for January, 2010

Would you Like Some Frys with That?

Lt. Nate Quartier from Ormond Beach (FL) Quint 91 sent in these photos that he and the crew found while out performing company inspections. The owners of this particular business decided that they needed some homemade supplemental security. They took two baskets from the deep fryer, run them thru the handles on the doors, and padlocked them together. They are obvious in the daylight, but would you notice them at night if the occupancy was charged with smoke? It shouldn’t slow us down too much, but it may be enough to piss you off and frustrate you. Like we have demonstrated on the site so many times before, you never know what you’ll run into out there.


Who’s Got the K-Tool?

Firefighter Plunkett from a New York suburb fire department came up with this great way to carry the K-Tool and Irons together. Simply by sliding the marrying strap trough the slot on the K-Tool prior to securing the Irons will keep the K-Tool handy at all times. This set-up may not be for everyone, but would work well in areas that use the through the lock technique on a regular basis.

Obviously, another key component to making this set-up work would be to ensure that someone has lock key tools readily available. This could be achieved by carrying a set of modified channel locks as shown below.

These modified channel locks were sent in by Clay DeSantis from Miami & Beavercreek (OH) Fire Departments. We had featured the modified channel locks a while back in our what’s in your pockets page. The ones shown here, with the bend toward the inside is the preferred way to make the bend to prevent snagging in your pocket.


Baltimore Rapid Fire Event

A friend from a Baltimore City Truck Company sent this video over to us from a Rapid Fire Event that happened in Baltimore on Friday. BCFD crews were operating on scene of a occupied row house where they had a well advanced fire upon arrival. We are simply calling this a Rapid Fire Event because we don’t want to cause any arguments over whether it was a Flashover, Backdraft, or something else. The terminology is not the important thing here. Watch the video, and wait for the detailed reports come out in the few months, LEARN FROM THEM. That’s what the post is about. (You may have to let the video load once, and click it again to actually view it, we are working on fixing that…)


From what we understand the first Truck Company on scene’s tillerman laddered & VES’d the second floor front while the roof man vented a few skylights, and reached over to pop the rear second floor windows. As the roofman began to come down the ladder, he described a sound of a “freight train coming through” when the Rapid Fire Event occurred. It caused venting out of every opening in the entire house including the second floor and skylights. It is important to point out that the first Truck Company on scene should have been the second due Truck Company under normal conditions. However, the regular first due Truck Company was closed as a result of rotating closures for manpower. It is tough to say whether or not this created enough of a delay in the performance of Truck Company functions to have contributed to the event from occurring. We only mention it here to highlight the significance of the need to perform Truck Functions early.

The fire appears to have started in the basement, which was also where the rapid fire event appears to have begun. Apparently the engine crew was delayed in making it into the basement and truly getting to the seat of the fire due to a large amount of contents in the basement.

Preliminary reports were that seven members were injured as a result of this event with mostly minor burns and a dislocated shoulder. We understand that the officer of the Engine Company is still hospitalized, but in stable condition. We wish all of the members a speedy recovery!


Quaint Studio Apartment

AC Robert Fling from Dix Hills (NY) Fire sent in these photos of something we will all probably begin to see more of in the future. This discovery was made while on a residential automatic fire alarm. It seems that the homeowner decided to covert the garage into a studio apartment. The access door for the apartment was cut into the existing garage door. A quick look from the street, or even the front yard may not make this appear so obvious. Up until recently it would not be uncommon to find garages that were sealed shut and converted into additional living space to increase the square footage of the house. However due to the recent economic times, and increased foreclosure rates, it may be more common to find garages converted into these stand alone studios. The interesting thing about the “new style” of these renovations is that they may be totally sealed off and undetectable from the inside of the main structure. This turns the traditional single family residential structure into a duplex situation. So while on that next alarm, don’t forget the garage!


Secure Daycare

Kevin Meyers from Broward County (FL) Fire Rescue sent in these pictures of an interesting daycare facility he recently discovered during an automatic fire alarm response. Operating in this structure could pose some interesting challenges. Click here for the details