12/17/09 143 W, 1 I - + 5 - 5 Close Call For Erwin Firefighters Caught in Flashover

Statter911 has surfaced several strong photos from a firefighter close call Monday morning at a house fire at 1105 Denim Drive in Erwin. Brian Haney snapped the shots and wrote the article for the Dunn Daily Record. Erwin firefighters Will Gregory and Michael Bradley were inside the 1,282 square-foot structure when they were caught in a flashover. They "tumbled out the front door, rolling on the porch," Haney writes. They were also on fire, as Haney's photos captured. Neither was injured, though their thermal imager's exterior was mostly melted. Dunn Emergency Services and Coats-Grove Fire Department were also on scene. Six family members were displaced by the blaze, which extensively damaged the structure. The house was built in 1920, say county real estate records. Read the Daily Record account. And see more photos on Statter911.

whats up with the uncharged handline? Glad Will and Bradley are both ok!!
JDH - 12/18/09 - 07:52

Who knows, maybe a water supply wasn’t established, maybe they just got it in place. Looks like the tip man is giving a look for water…..
Silver - 12/18/09 - 12:31

maybe so,,, still dont look good though
goober - 12/18/09 - 12:58

it is just amazing that a fire fighter comes out of a house fire on fire and gets hosed off, receives no burns and continues to fight the fire. God was watching after those firemen that day.
picture looks like it could have been far worse than it was.
charlie (Email) - 12/18/09 - 13:04

I think that part of the outcome can be attributed to the many, many advances in PPE. Way back when, that situation would have guaranteed neck and ear burns, and who knows what to the body (I can’t really tell a lot form this picture) with the cotton duck outer shells and nylon liners we used to have.

And I still cannot fathom why some guys will take their ear flaps out of their helmets.

Glad everyone is OK. And I think that Silver makes a good point- this is only a momentary snapshot. We don’t know what was happening just prior to and just after the picture was taken.

Also glad no one seems to be making snap judgements of line placement, water supply, proper ICS structure, proper ladder placement, etc., etc., etc.

And on that note, I am outta here!

Ya’ll have a safe and Merry Christmas. I’ll see ya’ll around!

Command terminated, clear the TAC, 9-ECHO-1 clear and available!
DJ (Email) - 12/18/09 - 13:41

Sorry DJ, but I gotta say it, and this may not be the case here, but it is an opportune time to discuss. Ventilation is important to help diminish or even avoid flashover situations (vertical, windows, etc.). We as FFs are inclined (or even more significantly… “conditioned”) to enter fires all too often before adequate ventilation is established. I feel we mimic our acquired structure live fire training all too often. Now, I too am guilty of his behavior, so this is very objective and reflective. Think about it. I’m glad the guys are safe in Erwin. Slow down, not only on the road, but on the fireground. Stay Safe!
A.C. Rich - 12/18/09 - 23:34

On Statter’s site, reader comments offer some passionate perspectives on the perils of interpreting the photos and the incident account, as reported by the news. http://statter911.com/2009/12/17/special..
Legeros - 12/19/09 - 09:06

Well put A.C. Hopefully our new truck ops plan will help establish said ventilation earlier and more aggressively than before, and not just relying on “the fan”. It’s amazing how fast horizontal venting helps when performed the right way, and in conjunction with the hose team.
Silver - 12/19/09 - 10:24

Yep. Statter is all over the place, but no Staubach here, just something for the FF readers to consider in their tactics. Our local “traditional” style of fire attack may need some re-thinking at times. It sure makes me think of my own “fireground behavior” too!
A.C. Rich - 12/19/09 - 10:48

My name is Will Gregory I’m the firefighter in the photo that was taken on Monday December 14 2009. Just wanted to say thank you for the comments and concerns that everyone has posted concerning the fire that I was involved in on Monday morning. In my 18 years of service I have had some close calls but nothing like Monday morning, to answer some questions yes there were some problems with some things that could have been corrected. Water Supply wasn’t a factor we caught our own line going in, but the experience at the pump panel caused some problems.Understand if you are paid or volunteer you need the knowledge and training to keep up with your skills as a Firefighter or Driver Operator. Some departments are still stuck in old school ways for example knocking out windows as you do your walk-around, without communicating with your suppression crews, becomes a problem with the interior crews inside. Yes the lord was on my side that day and I also feel like I had someone else that was looking over me as well, my true friend and father Connie Beasly. Never take things for granted things can go wrong fast. Thank you all and stay safe.
Will Gregory (Email) - 12/19/09 - 13:41

Thanks for posting Will and I’m glad you’re safe and OK! What you guys experienced is something for us all to consider, regardless of what the photos suggests and the critics say. I feel many don’t understand what I was indicating earlier …and it is EXACTLY what you’ve stated. This incident made ME think about my own approaches on the fireground. Heck, after 25 years, I’m still learning everyday. I hope everyone sees what really being said here and it enhances their safety somehow. R.I.P. Connie Beasley.
A.C. Rich - 12/20/09 - 10:40

Will- Glad everyone is alright. The picture looks pretty spectacular.

AC- I think you might have misunderstood me a little. I was not commenting on tactics. I am a little out of the loop on that, having last rode an engine back in 1993. And just for the record, I have been in a couple that were ventilated (supposedly) that flashed over on the first floor. That was pretty spectacular, too. I was just making the observation that this was a snapshot of a moment in a long string of events. Too many times, too many try to make major judgements on thsoe snapshots without knowing what was really going on. The other part of my comment was aimed at the developments in PPE, no matter the tactics, that is has improved a lot and can save your butt when things do go wrong, whether by accident, misfortune, or mismanagement.

And everyone makes the point that we need to keep up the training and education. AC, I have been taking care of people for 34 years and I am STILL learning as well.

Ya’ll be safe out there.
DJ (Email) (Web Site) - 12/20/09 - 22:20

Nah DJ, we’re all on the same sheet here! I figure all who read this posting need to rethink what we do from time to time. I’m not ashamed one bit to say I’m still learning too. There is no such thing as a perfect firefighter! Whew…34 years…you’re OLD!!
A.C. Rich - 12/21/09 - 17:49

Yep…I AM old. Of course, it is better than the alternative. You just better hope you can hang when you are my age!
DJ (Email) (Web Site) - 12/22/09 - 00:02

You’re my hero (don’t care what anyone says)!!
A.C. Rich - 12/22/09 - 11:12

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