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Report #10-163 Roof Collapses on FFs During Attack. Report Number: 10-0000163 Report Date: 01/22/2010 10:27.

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Presentation on theme: "Report #10-163 Roof Collapses on FFs During Attack. Report Number: 10-0000163 Report Date: 01/22/2010 10:27."— Presentation transcript:

1 Report # Roof Collapses on FFs During Attack. Report Number: Report Date: 01/22/ :27

2 Event Description Note: Brackets denote reviewer de-identification. This fire occurred in an upscale waterfront home when the owner discarded a cigar in a waste bin on the deck. There was a significant response time due to first due companies being out of position as well as a delay in water application due to a water supply decision (reverse lay). The response was inter-jurisdictional with first-in companies being from a neighboring department. A remote command post staffed by the neighboring department led to command and control issues and confusion to unity of command. Feedback on conditions was not provided back to the IC. This led to a lack of accountability for crew actions and locations. One of the interior crews made the decision to position themselves in the center of the large "great" room to gain a better angle on the advancing fire in the overhead. No consideration was given to the amount of burn time affecting the structural stability of the roof. About 13:37, an indiscernible message is transmitted by Rescue [1] crew doing offensive fire attack in the structure. A few seconds later, the first Engine [1] Tailboard member (attached to Rescue [1]) transmits to Engine [1] officer, Ceiling collapsed. Rescue [1] and Tailboard of Engine [1] are okay! Rescue [1] had advanced into the middle of the great room area to get a better angle on attacking the fire located in the ceiling void space and to direct their stream at the now burning attic that went from the great room east wall over the den and office area to the garage. They had also obtained a long pike pole to help pull down sections of drywall for better access to the fire. They report that they could see outside through the fire-vented roof and thought this would be a safe area. As they were applying their stream, they noted that hose streams were directed into their area from outside on Sides C and A (garage). They describe hearing a crack as sheetrock, rafters, roofing material and insulation fell, knocking all three to the ground with some entanglement. It is not entirely clear whether the north dormer and associated rafters came down at the same time or if that occurred a minute or two later, but the dormer body landed inches away from the nozzle location. A member of the back up team (Engine [2]) aided the Rescue [1] members by pulling debris off of them as they scrambled out. The hose and nozzle were buried by the debris. The backup nozzle had been advanced through the master bedroom and outside to Side C (Ladder [1] officer had instructed the Engine [2] member on the hose line to direct his stream on the Side C soffits from outside at the time of the collapse). The three Rescue [1] members regrouped outside on Side A. #10-163

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4 Lessons Learned Note: Brackets denote reviewer de-identification. In our training, particularly in regard to vertical ventilation, one of the factors that must be considered is the burn time on the structural members. We talk about ten minutes being the benchmark or threshold for collapse potential. It is not likely that the fire was immediately into the void space between the ceiling and the roof. But, consider that some of the first calls came from [location omitted]. That indicates that the fire was well established by the time the units were alerted. From time of alert to arrival, the response times for the first units were 10 to 11 minutes. Add seven minutes for water to the nozzle, several minutes of water application, pulled ceilings, and repositioning. As stated above, the collapse occurred about 13:37. The time of call receipt was 13:07. We must be aware of compromised structural integrity. With a burn time of nearly thirty minutes, no crew should have been operating from an unprotected position inside the structure. There are too many layers to catch ourselves from being careless. From the I/C, to Safety Officer, to Division or Group Supervisor, to Team Leader, to a novice fire fighter, we have to recognize unsafe conditions and not find ourselves underneath weakened structures. We were very fortunate that only minor injuries were sustained.

5 Discussion Questions 1) Are you familiar with the buildings and construction types that are present in your first due territory? 2) Does your department have an updated SOP regarding fire tactics that takes into consideration factors such as estimated burn time, percentage of fire involvement, and differing construction types? 3) New lightweight, construction methods utilizing engineered structural component, are now the norm in residential construction. Are you and your crew familiar with the way these buildings perform when involved in a fire and the amount of time to consider before a collapse can occur? 4) Is there someone on the scene whose job includes time tracking? 5) Do you include construction type, fire location and intensity, and estimated burn time in your initial size-up report? 6) Do you consider potential collapse zones when positioning personnel during fire suppression? #10-163


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