My first structure fire on July 30 2011
by, 08-01-2011 at 01:27 PM (2067 Views)
Yesterday I started working out again. I am out of shape and the amount of sweat that I sweat is ridiculous, and if I want to be a functioning volunteer firefighter who can actually be helpful working out is what is going to help me.
I was at the firehouse on Saturday, it was later in the day and a bunch of us were watching TV when a call came in over the 60 Control Emergency Dispatch of smoke being seen from a house in a town probably 45 minutes north of where I was.
About 10 minutes later the alarm went off in the firehouse, it was just a coincidence that the call came in as "Smoke showing" from an apartment residence.
Location: 2423 Boston Post Road (Between Dillon Rd & Winans St)
Frequency: 46.26, Fire 15, EMS 15, 155.775 (PD), 155.280 (EMS)
Units Operating on Scene: [TMFD: 2231, 2233, E51, E36, L19, R6 (FAST), U56], [LFD: TL7], [NRFD: E23 (FAST)], [LTMEMS: 66A1, 66A2 (Basic)], [WCDES: Bat 15], TMPD, LPD, Con ed
Units on Standby in TMFD HQ: [VMFD: L21], [HFD: 2161, E10]
Weather Conditions: Clear, Hot
Description Of Incident: Working fire in 3 Story residential structure.
I went downstairs, through on my gear, the cargo shorts I had on were the same ones I had at the previous fire, and made my balls extremely uncomfortable since they bunched up, i def had an instance of rbh (random ball hurt) but there was nothing I could do about it.
I sat down behind the front seat passenger on Engine 51, grabbed a radio, and start to put on the scba pack as the engine rolled out of the house. The report of smoke was further down in the district, the lines are all messed up, and i will gladly voice my opinion about why the Town responds to that area or why there are 3 freaking police departments within 10 square miles, but I'm not going to hijack my own blog and go down a side convo.
As we went south down the post road 2232 (1st deputy chief) was on scene (he always gets there first), he reported visible smoke showing from the 3rd floor (front the Front- The "A" side or the rear "C" side it looked like a regular 2 story house, however if you looked from the "B" or "D" side it was clearly a 3 story house - visible basement)
as Engine 51 arrived on scene a 10-75 was called - working structure fire, and additional fire departments were dispatched.
This was my first actual fire, I got out of the truck and I wasn't nervous, I wasn't scared, it was just a bit chaotic, actually to me it was really chaotic, one of the volunteers grabbed the nozzle and 1 3/4 hose and started to make way into the first floor and up the stairs with 2 guys (the backup and the doorman) in tow.
"Why didn't you grab the nozzle and go in" - Three guys were there already, combined they have over 20+ years of active volunteer fire dept service and tbh I immediately thought of the hydrant and getting the 5 inch to the hydrant.
So that's what I did, i got out of the rig, went to the front saw the chief, didn't bother him, saw some guys going to the hydrant, went with my friend Grant to the back of 51 and started taking 5-inch off of her. Obviously someone took an end and was bringing it to the hydrant, and I helped with flaking out the rest and pulling more of it off of the rear.
I also heard that the 1 3/4 needed flaking out, so I helped with that up front. To me that was more important than being the rookie on the nozzle, because if there was a kink and not enough water pressure was getting to those guys, then trust me the sh!t was going to hit the fan.
(As a department we were very lucky that a resident was in the structure and saw and smelled the smoke and called 911, had it been 5-15 more minutes, the entire second floor would have been engulfed and the structures on either side would have caught on fire as well. - to structures down on the left was a family restaurant and directly to the right was another apartment. Plus the reason why it would have gone up is because where the origin of the fire was located a Hoarder lived there, I'm serious, there was so much **** in that one 10x10 room, you could see if from the outside from two of the vented windows and the crap they threw out of the window) - We were very lucky, hoarders are no laughing matter.
I heard the Chief say "get some hand ladders up!", now I got nervous, more manpower was arriving but it was me, the 3 guys inside, my friend Grant who was doing something else, the one guy at the hydrant with 1 explorer (high school jr. firefighter - exterior work only), one other explorer, and one other probationary ff who was taking a 2 week ff1 intensive course. There were two other career FF's one who was at E 51 and the other who was with the ladder and is a prick imho, you have to literally beg for help from him, but he put the ladder up perfectly (u will see in pictures).
So, I told Bryan (the other probie) I needed help with getting a ladder out, in confidence i told him I'm not good with ladders but we're going to do it anyways, so we grabbed the 16' ladder out of the rear of Ladder 19 and immediately I knew it wasn't big enough, my friend Grant also said that, and instead of sliding it back in (plus, it was my fault as well, we had the ladder the wrong way), we put it against a car on the other side of the street.
We went back, and took out the 35' ladder. - Holy ****e, I never used a 35' ladder before, the thing is EFFING HEAVY AS ALL HELL!!!!!. Bryan and I brought it over to the B side, and my training kicked , I looked for overhead wires and after we set it up against the wrong window I remembered to mention that we set it down and walk it up properly on its side. The career FF who was on the ladder actually helped us out, we didn't even have to ask, which was a shock to me, and to some of the other guys.
Bryan and I then footed the ladder while another FF Marc, got the ok to go up the ladder and vent the window. He did a great job, smoke was spewing out and even as a resident said "that's not the right apartment", the IC responded "Vent the effing window" - I relayed to command that smoke was showing previously.
Afterwards, I went inside to check the basement, this is wear I cramped up and the heat got to me again, the smoke was minimal, but I have to do something about putting the packs on in the rigs, for me, doing it outside doesn't mess with my shoulders as opposed to putting it on in the rig, I think it has something do with with not being able to lean as forward as you were taught initially and the fact that I'm not in the shape I should be also is a tell tale sign.
Also i forgot a flashlight again, When I initially got out of the rig I had the Irons, a radio, the scba, and the thermal imaging camera and one of the explorer's put my tags up on the engine for me.
No Flashlight, one of these days I'll get it all correct.
Marc and I went down to the basement, it was smoky but it wasn't as smoky as I thought, meaning your eyes didn't burn as quick, the smoke was a greyish smoke and it wasn't blackish like the previous structure I went in. But without a flashlight and carrying the irons which I swear I am not going to carry the next time i go in the basement, i'm taking a pike pole, sucked. I couldn't see ****e, I didn't fall down the stairs thank god, but it sucked, and with the sweat dripping down, with the pack which was killing my shoulders and with my own nervousness and anxiety I felt myself tense up and I screwed myself over.
We were able to turn off all of the utilities, and I did find the landlords keys on a bed in the basement, but I felt bad because I had to go outside and get water and air, it ticked me off, and I know that at the next structure fire i'm not going to be looked as a dependable guy.
Anyways enough of my own digression, here is a link to several articles with some pictures and also a link to a flickr site with all the pictures you could want. - Rescue 6 is the TMFD's new Rescue and Engine 51 is a 2008 or 2009 Engine.
flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/42030424@N08/page1/
If you look to the right you will see a part of a leg, that is my leg I was sitting on the end of Engine 51 -