10/12/10 152 W, 1 I - + 11 - 8 This Evening's Second Alarm / New Bern Avenue

Still piecing together details on this one. Two alarms at 903 New Bern Avenue. Engine 3 arriving at a two-story, wood-frame rooming house with 2,674 square-feet. Built 1920. Size and age from tax records. Found fire showing from the rear window. Heavy fire conditions inside. Two engines and additional ladder requested.

RIT team activated when contact lost with interior crews. Automatic second alarm resulted, though some units apparently returned to service. Ladder 2 and Ladder 7 deployed.

New Bern Avenue and Edenton Street both closed, the latter due to (second?) supply line from Engine 7. Battalion 2 in command. Dispatched 7:02 p.m. Controlled 7:40 p.m. Three people displaced.

Units on scene included E3, E1, E13, E5, E7, E10, E6, L2, L4, L7, R2, B2, B3, B1, C10, C20, C40, A1, C2, C3, C5, EMS 1, EMS 11, D1, T1. Earlier photos coming from Lee Wilson. Here's a late photo from Legeros. Click to enlarge:

It was a hair raising few minutes when contact was lost with 301, but RIT team sounded good on radio and made a quick find of Engine 3s crew who thankfully were fine…Command and Headquarters did a good job getting a second channel for the operations to switch over too during the RIT activation and getting those 2nd alarm resources enroute. It was quick and smooth… well done boys and girls of the RFD
Listener - 10/12/10 - 23:13

Rooming House Explodes, Catches on Fire from WTVD: http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?sectio..
Legeros - 10/13/10 - 05:37

Who was the guy with the “FMO” on his red helmet? I assume he is with the city Fire Marshal’s Office? I thought those guys were civilian employees who wore uniforms and did inspections- never though they had gear… Can anyone explain?
Bob P. - 10/13/10 - 19:17

Bobby, these are members of the Fire Marshals Office. Recently, we put one on 24 hour shift known as Car 40. Some people arent too happy that they were issued red helmets, as some are civilians, others might be Lieutenant rank, and others might actually be Captain rank from the line but now working at the FMO.
Silver - 10/13/10 - 19:24

Said person wearing the red helmet with FMO is an on-shift Deputy Fire Marshal, a new position placed in service on July 3 as Car 40 at Station 21. That’s where they sleep, and park their 2010 Ford Escape hybrid. Their office is located at the Dillon Building, and they each have regular inspection schedules. They’re also notified of all commercial structure fires, and handling duties related therein. They can be requested for residential fires, and also serve as back-up to the fire investigation team (Car 20, Car 21). That’s the very short version.
Legeros - 10/13/10 - 19:30

They also have night duties, such as performing inspections as part of a joint program between the city’s fire, police, health, and inspections departments. Nightclubs are the obvious target for after-hours visits, but there are other places that are only free or available for inspection at odd hours. Like some factories or surgical rooms. That’s a little more about what they do. More later.
Legeros - 10/13/10 - 19:33

Given all of the “diversified standardization” at RFD, the “FMO’s” should have different colored helmets. If nothing more, to distinguish them from others on the emergency scene.
A.C. Rich - 10/13/10 - 23:33

Agree 100%....
Silver - 10/13/10 - 23:34

Glad everyone got out but where are all the ground ladders. Especially with fire on what looks like all floors and RIT activation I mean come on. I only see three ladders to the rear of the structure. And every freaking window on the front and sides is still in tact. It looks as if there was alot of concern to not damage the house to much. I was just recently bragging for RFD on how much the truck company ops have come around and recommending the city to a couple of guys. Maybe just a bad day but let’s be serious when you have RIT activation and fire throughout clear the window and the sash. It makes a huge door for guys to bail out when s#^t inside goes awry.
concerned fireman - 10/14/10 - 00:05

I agree 100%, especially with 3 ladder companies on the scene. It should be of concern that the sticks got up in the air (defensive) but there is a severe lack of portable ladders deployed. We HAVE come a long way, BUT, WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO.
Silver - 10/14/10 - 00:23

More pics, from Lee: http://www.flickr.com/photos/leewilson/a..
Legeros - 10/14/10 - 06:34

To the guys that were not there, ask someone who was before you jump to conclusions. The fire was marked under controll way before those other ladders were ever set up. Ladder 2 which was set up for a "blitz’ attack 20 minutes into the fire, did not do much becasue the fire was out. There was a little bit in the attic but was put out by inside crews. The ladders that were thrown were for crews that were working near the fire which was pretty much contained to one room and the attic in the REAR of the house. NO FIRE IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE! If you break windows in other parts of the house it WILL draw the fire to that window so why break them. Yall should try reading the ladder ops manual, especially those who helped write it SLIVER! The RIT activattion was in haste. A PAR was called about 10 mins into the fire not 20. People working dont have time to talk on the radio like the ones outside. Radio traffic from operations made this fire seem worse than it really was!
Again, Ladders were thrown near the fire room for the firefighters and windows were vented near the fire room. Fire was contained to the REAR of the house and marked under control before arials were set up. The RIT activation was bogus, it was most likely due to a dead battery or workers just blocking out constant, unneccesary radio traffic from operations.
This fire had a huge fuel load and was stopped! Crews on scene did a great job!
Firefighter on scene - 10/14/10 - 12:03

Anonymous, thanks for coming on and filling us in. Here’s my take; First, I know how ventilation works. You are correct, removing every window isn’t always the right way. If Ladder 2 was the first Ladder on scene (you say they were set up for a “blitz” attack), we always preach that if the Engine is in offensive mode, then so should we (this supports their push). Setting up a truck for defensive mode (while the Engine is making a push) delays all of the offensive mode tasks that need to be completed (getting the searches done, laddering for egress/ingress, tactical ventilation, opening up the interior to affect extinguishment).

Portable Ladders; the goal is to ladder all four sides of a dwelling, it’s in the manual and the presentations. Yes, the initial ladders go where crews are working, I agree. But, all four sides should be laddered, even if it just means throwing a ladder to a lower roof versus an actual window. Sh*t can hit the fan in a second, members can become separated and next thing you know crews are looking to bail at any and every window.

C’mon now Bro, I’m defending us here. We HAVE indeed, made impressive progress with our ladder ops and I’m happy as hell to see us finally laddering. Any laddering at all is 100% progress from where we were five years ago, hell, three years ago!! Laddering was never thought of before, it’s great to see it getting done by the Ladder companies (and the Rescues too).

It’s training along with not knowing what to expect from us now that we’re “new and improved”, and soon the Battalion and Division Chief’s (within a week or so) will be getting the Ladder Ops 101 class, taught by a Battalion Chief. Then the Engine crews will get it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we’re making great progress. Right now I’d describe us as being in a limbo/transformation stage, where within the next few months after a couple other training classes take place department wide, you’ll see things all fall into place.

We just had a “first round of editing” meeting today on the fire-ground procedure portion of this “bear”, and man it looks good. I’m excited and hope we can get it out soon to everyone as it will definitely define what we do and remove all doubt.

From the fire conditions the guys had when they arrived, and the age and condition of the dwelling, the crews did an awesome job containing it to where they did. Stay safe guys….
Silver - 10/14/10 - 16:44

Look at all of those ladders….that’s frickin’ bad a$$!!
Silver - 10/14/10 - 16:48

Another…this is 100% positive progress!!!
Silver - 10/14/10 - 16:51

Again, investigate just a little before you post. Ladder 2 was not the 1st ladder on scene. Ladder 4 was, it was the 3rd unit on scene behind engine 1 and engine 3. They waited for engine 1 to lay a line to engine 3 and chose to stage back just a little and get 2 inside searching and helping attack crews while the other 2 laddered the building instead of just standing there waiting. A primary search was completed and some ceilings opened on the 2nd floor to reveal fire in the attic. By the time ladder 2 got set up the fire was out (for the most part)and marked under control. The decision to pull crews out and use the ladder for "blitz’ was not understood by those on scene and quickly diverted from. There was never a real defensive attack! Another thing to point out to those who were not there, there is a exterior set of stairs on the rear of the house that leads to a door just outside the fire room. No ladder needed there, agreed? Anyway, just ask some guys from the call, look at the pics and maybe listen to the radio traffic and get the facts straight. More ladders could have been thrown, maybe, but where and why? Overall a good stop!
Firefighter On Scene - 10/14/10 - 17:38

You’re mis-interpreting my post Bro. That’s one thing that sucks about blogging (texting and emailing too), and why I’d rather discuss face to face or over the phone so you can carry on an actual conversation.

Typically a “blitz” attack is conducted early on into an incident, when you have a large bulk of fire to control and you deploy big guns first to knock it, then jump in and go to work. This is why one could believe Ladder 2 was the first ladder arriving (you said it was ready to blitz), as well as looking at the pics where Ladder 2 is close and Ladder 4 is back (with night training these days you never know who you’ll get at any hour).

As for portable ladders, here’s my explanation again; “the goal is to ladder all four sides of a dwelling, itís in the manual and the presentations. Yes, the initial ladders go where crews are working, I agree. But, all four sides should be laddered, even if it just means throwing a ladder to a lower roof versus an actual window. Sh*t can hit the fan in a second, members can become separated and next thing you know crews are looking to bail at any and every window”. Remember, the Rescue Companies are an arm of the Ladder on fires, and should be called upon to assist with laddering if need be.

Now that that is over and done with, thanks for explaining. Nobody is debating the fact, it was indeed a fantastic stop and the crews made quick work of it.
Silver - 10/14/10 - 18:02

I’m with you on the “blitz’ attack! My point was, it was called for after the fire was marked under control and that is when Ladder 2 was set up and why it was set up. Just informng you, definately NOT agreeing with it. Also in the pics, you’ll see alot of fire and ladder 4 but no ladder 2, then later no fire and ladder 2.
Firefighter On Scene - 10/14/10 - 19:14

Ok, my bad (tapping out).....
Silver - 10/14/10 - 20:52

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