01/09/10 190 W, 1 I - + 39 - 11 This Morning's Major Fire / St. Giles Street

Two alarms at 6149 St. Giles Street. Engine 17 arriving at a three-story, brick-and-frame apartment building with 5,076 square-feet. Built 1981. Heavy smoke showing from second floor on arrival. Interior attack commenced. Battalion 4 assumed command on arrival and requested second alarm within a couple minutes. Fire spread through third floor and into attic. Ladder 3 positioned in front of structure, and first utilized for roof access. Ladder 6 positioned behind structure. Both flowed after fire broke through roof.

Ten apartments damaged, and eight people displaced. One resident transported with smoke inhalation. Two hydrants used, and a third connected with supply line laid but not opened. Investigators determined that unattended cooking caused the fire. Salt truck special called for ice hazards.

Dispatched about 9:28 a.m. Fire units on scene included: E17, E16, E14, L3, R3, B4 (first alarm), E9, C10, C20, A1, (working fire), E6, E8, E18, L6, R1, B3 (second alarm), B1, C21, C71, (also on scene), E5, E19 (special called/relief), E13, E21 (stand by/firewatch). EMS on scene included: EMS 121, EMS 124, EMS 123, EMS 3, D4, D1, M95, Truck 1. Read WRAL coverage. See preliminary photos by Legeros.

So i will jump first because I know a lot of people are talking. Will someone who was on the firest alarm please elaborate as needed. It looks like a good knock down was made on the initial fire as seen by the steam conversion. Next a photo shows a PPV fan running in the hallway, I presume in to the fire apartment. So, does anyone know if the attic was checked before this was done? Also, I see the guys going to the roof, any idea if the ventialtion was successfuly completed? We never get a shot of the hole or fire coming out of it? Were the crews surprised by the amount of fire that jumped to the attic?
Engine 20 - 01/10/10 - 15:40

I would just like to know…Why does Raleigh NEVER put anyone on the ladder? Every picture the truck is up,but yet no Firefighter? What gives? It’s simple ladder company ops! If you can see where palce a nozzle it helps put the fire out!
Steve - 01/10/10 - 17:26

Waiting on you, Silver
Steve - 01/10/10 - 18:07

Thanks for your comments and questions, both Engine 20 and Steve. While await input or discussion from others, Steve, let me invite you to tell more about ladder ops, including your experience, perspective, and passion for same.
Legeros - 01/10/10 - 18:40

I just want to say it is difficult and unproductive to critique a scene that I was not on or participated in. I have been on scenes that was “monday morning quarterbacked” and the information those people had about the incident was either incomplete or inaccurate. The only people that know how it went and what could have been done differently are those people that was apart of the call. Even though I don“t work for Raleigh I enjoy this sight to hopefully learn from the pictures, productive discussions and commentary. If the fire went out and nobody got hurt thats what ultimately matters.
Spanky - 01/10/10 - 19:22

Thanks Spanky!!! I feel the same way. Raleigh does put people on the ladder. It depends on the call, company officer/command or whatever. Looking at a picture is only half the story!!
Smitty - 01/10/10 - 19:55

Spanky, your comment “if the fire went out and nobody got hurt” is the type of mentality that people who are afraid to say it didnt go as good as it could have use. That is such a narrow minded comment it makes me feel sorry for your department. You know that was the motto in Charleston for a long time. You have to learn from every fire, good, bad, perfect or horrible. If you want to learn from the pictures then give the people who were there a chance to comment.
Engine 20 - 01/10/10 - 22:11

Engine 20, please don’t feel sorry for my department, I feel I work for a small progressive municipal department here in Wake County that is nothing like Charleston. Charleston used antiquated and outdated training and tactical practices. I do learn something at every fire (or call for that matter) I go on. I am sure these fine men and women that went to this call do not want to air their dirty laundry in this setting. I am sure there will be a critique and that is the time to discuss what went good and bad. Saying what went wrong in this arena would be unprofessional and possibly career suicide. If you would like to discuss what seemed to go right then lets do that. It seems ladder placement was good. Having two ladders placed where they were seems productive. It sounds like two or possible three hydrants where used. I am sure accountability was set up. Two alarms where utilized. Rehab was set up. This sounds nothing like Charleston to me. I find this blog a good place to share anything unique to this call. Maybe people found something unique about this buildings construction, ways they removed occupants from the structure, or some other PRODUCTIVE conversation. If you would like to discuss the negatives then I will leave that to you.
Spanky - 01/10/10 - 23:54

Ahhh, a shout out from “Steve”. Well “Steve”, we have no idea of your experience but your comment of putting someone on the end of the ladder says enough. I’ll use the term “hot dog on the end of a stick”. This is what putting a member on the end of the ladder is like. Dramatic wind direction affecting change of the thermal column and next thing you know, you’re visiting a member in the burn unit for a building that was “written off” because they were locked in to a f’in ladder. This is why those expensive ladder trucks have remote nozzles, they can be controlled from the ground. Other departments which see a lot more work than around here, even in the old days, wouldn’t put someone on the end of a ladder. They’d man the ladder pipe by using ropes from the ground (Baltimore is an example off the top of my head). When the ladder is up and flowing, your risks (ladder failure, thermal shift) outweigh the rewards. You have written it off, but, IF you can go back in and make a stop you might. If members have a bucket, things change a little, as they can control where they themselves move and they also have heat protection beneath them.

My friend, and I use that term loosely, basic ladder ops stretches further than putting someone on the end of a ladder. It has to do with aggressive hook work, getting dirty and dropping the ceilings. It’s about having some members get to the rear and give a progress report. It’s about getting primaries done quickly when it’s your assignment then moving on to the next task. It’s venting opposite the fire horizontally so our engine Brothers and Sisters can move in and get it done. It’s about knowing when the roof should be opened and where, and doing it quickly with safety in mind. It’s about throwing ladders for egress, and decorating the house with so much aluminum it looks like there’s ten paint crews painting the outside. That’s ladder ops sir, not just putting someone on the end of a stick to flow water.

Before you chastize us for not knowing ladder ops, I suggest you look back just ten years of our history and see where we were when I first came here. We have come a LONNNNNNG way. The old mentality of a ladder being good for just an elevated stream and a fan are over (that was the focus ten years ago). The truckies grabbing a line and beating an engine to putting out the red stuff are a thing of the past. We all have our roles on the fireground; engines, ladders and rescues.

Coming up in February, those roles will be enhanced a little to help us operate a little more efficiently, and frankly I can’t wait. Training rolls out and will continue every month, covering different topics each month and exposing our ladder, engine, and rescue members to company specific tasks, tactics and objectives versus just showing up and putting the fire out. Since you seem to be such an expert on ladder ops, we’d love to have you come out as a guest instructor and tell us how YOU think we should do it.

Engine 20, I’m with you.

Hope I didn’t hurt feelings, as I tried to be as p.c. as possible while dealing with this knucklehead. Stay safe Brothers and Sisters, I’m out (drops the mic)....
Silver - 01/11/10 - 00:38

(Picking up mic)....one more thing; Ladder placement wasn’t good, it was frickin’ AWESOME!!! FOR BOTH OF THEM. Ten years ago, that rig would have been sitting down the street. Chief officers coordinated this job well, with the aide position being a huge asset. Hopefully, one day, we’ll have them as a regular position so the Chief officer can have consistency and know his “partner” and his partner can know him. Perhaps for justification, calling them a “Incident Command Technician” versus just “aide”. Who cares, call them puppy dogs, as long as we get them!!

That’s more than one thing, and now I’m talking in circles AND talking to myself….ok, I’m out now (mic placed on floor).
Silver - 01/11/10 - 00:45

Dang it….here I go again. As far as Charleston goes; I went to the memorial service for the Charleston 9, as well as a seminar on the incident. Two different animals guys, no need to bring them into this and go down that road. How a certain Chief sleeps at night is beyond me, and that’s all I’m saying. Training is the main thing guys and girls. Sometimes tradition is a terrible damn thing….

Get off of Facebook/ Craigslist/ ESPN when you’re at the firehouse, and surf over to firehouse.com or vententersearch.com and learn something, then try to put your hands on it. It’s amazing what you can find on the net, and just open the mind a little.
Silver - 01/11/10 - 00:58

Silver, good job on the mic.
HAND - 01/11/10 - 01:07

Thanks Rob-Base…
Silver - 01/11/10 - 01:14

Silver, Can you tell me when the ladder comapny classes are going to start in RFD?
Smitty - 01/11/10 - 06:40

Sure Smitty, they will begin in February (see above). I’m not sure if they’ve been posted to the “N-drive” yet, but, we’re meeting once a week this month to ensure everything is right for the roll out in February.
Silver - 01/11/10 - 08:59

Mike, I just wanted to say how great the pictures were. They really show a great progression of the scene. I do hope we could hear from those on scene to let us know more of what was going on at various stages of the incident through the use of your pictures.
H2O - 01/11/10 - 09:35

Fascinating… Sometimes you never really know what actually happened unless you were there. Can one truly illustrate the decision making of a command officer from pictures? Who knows. On another note, I’m personally looking forward to the ladder ops classes…. Maybe us engine company folks can teach them something…(Hahaha! – just kidding guys). Great pictures Mike!
A.C. Rich - 01/12/10 - 00:59

Remember personal info?

/ Textile

Comment moderation is enabled on this site. This means that your comment will not be visible on this site until it has been approved by an editor.

To prevent spam we require you to answer this silly question

  (Register your username / Log in)

Hide email:

Small print: All html tags except <b> and <i> will be removed from your comment. You can make links by just typing the url or mail-address.