04/01/11 266 W, 1 I - + 0 - 1 This Morning's Two Alarms / Edwards Mill Road

Let's figure out who was where and what was happening at this morning's major working fire on Edwards Mill Road. Dispatched 8:59 a.m. Address 4505 Edwards Mill Road. Tax records say two-story, brick condominium building with 1,305 square-feet per unit. Eight units total. Built 1972. Media report says Engine 14 arrived with light smoke showing, then upgraded to working fire after crews made entry into a unit.

After fire extended to attic, incident was upgraded to major working fire. Second alarm automatically dispatched. Interior attack until collapse conditions encountered. Defensive attic included Ladder 2 positioned in front parking lot, and Ladder 4 readied with reserve platform on Edwards Mill Road, supplied by Engine 6. 

Command located in front parking lot, Battalion 3 then Car 10. Medical monitoring and rehab also in front parking lot. Staging on Edwards Mill Road. Special request for two additional engines. Three hydrants caught, two on Edwards Mill and one in the complex. Controlled at 10:26 a.m. One resident evacuated by firefighters and checked out by EMS. Total 15 people displaced. Eight units rendered uninhabitable. Cause determined as improperly discarded smoking material.

First alarm: E14, E16, E17, L2, R3, B3. Working fire: E9, A1, C10, C20, C40. Second alarm: E4, E11, E8, L1, R2, B4. Other fire: E6, E26, B2, C2, C3, C4, WC1. Medical included EMS 11, EMS 6, EMS 31, EMS 121, EMS 123, EMS 122, EMS 15, EMS 7, D4, D1, D5, M95, T1, Evac 1. Legeros arrived pretty quickly and took some 40 minutes worth of photos. Lee arrived just after that.

See photos from Mike Legeros  |  See photos from Lee Wilson

Assorted edits above. Will stop now.
Legeros - 04/01/11 - 18:51

I believe engine 9 was on the working fire upgrade and engine 4 was the third engine on the MWF upgrade.
Engine 27 to St 14
Engine 20 to St 8
Ladder 6 to St 17 initially
Engine 26 to St 16 then Engine 13 to St 16 when 26 went to MWF

I believe that is correct so far
listening - 04/02/11 - 00:51

Just out of curiousity, it took an hour and a half to control an attic fire that had initial crews arriving on scene with no fire (light smoke) in the attic upon arrival? I’m not trying to cause a ruckus or anything, I’m just wondering if I am missing something? Was it due to possible collapse conditions? Water Supply? How did the fire progress so quickly? The way I am seeing this (as you have explained Mike) is that crews made entry into the unit to find a room and contents fire that was extending into the attic. Looks like a lot of folks on scene and that just seems like a lengthy operation for something Raleigh sees a lot of.
MF - 04/02/11 - 00:54

Lee recorded medical as EMS11 EMS6 EMS31 EMS123 EMS122 EMS15 EMS7 D1 D4 D5 T1 Evac1 C200 M95.

His pics http://www.flickr.com/photos/leewilson/s..
Legeros - 04/02/11 - 06:44

just noticed that the above writing has listed ladder 4 while below it says ladder 1, I personally saw ladder 1 going that way on reserve 210, just making an observation.
watters - 04/02/11 - 08:55

really, was the first line a booster?
??? - 04/02/11 - 09:01

I know it’s easy to play monday morning quarterback, but I was wondering the same thing as MF…on scene with light smoke to the picture above seems like something is missing. Can someone give a play by play?
BW - 04/02/11 - 09:20

The Booster line was pulled. I am not sure if it was first.
Droid - 04/02/11 - 09:25

the Snorkel is running as Ladder 4 which is stationed at Station 1.
Charlie - 04/02/11 - 09:28

Ladder 2 was sent as first due ladder. where was Ladder 3 at.
charlie - 04/02/11 - 09:35

Well I saw ladder 1 (210) and engine 4 going southbound, so maybe I’m just completely wrong
Watters - 04/02/11 - 09:40

Thanks for keeping an eye on which ladder was which, Charlie and Watters. Ladder 210 is a reserve unit. It served as Truck 1 back in the day. It was serving as Ladder 1 at the fire. Ladder 4 is stationed at Station 1. But I get the two confused on this blog quite often!

As for blow-by-blow, here’s a short version of what I have heard, from those who were there: fire in a back bedroom, smoldering for some time. Window broken by heat, unseen. Light smoke observed, companies including chief officer expecting something like a pot on the stove. Door is forced, air and wind enter apartment, and rear room ignites. Maybe flashes over? Crew at door knocked back by force of smoke. Interior attack commences, they make entry and get all the way to the back when the roof begins collapsing. Crews exit and the ladder pipe goes to work. That’s a short, secondhand version. Let’s let those who were there amend, edit, and expand as desired.
Legeros - 04/02/11 - 10:07

my fault according to legeros posting, it was ladder 2 and ladder 1 dispatched to the fire. therefore I stand corrected . the reserve snorkel was operating as ladder 1. although I didn’t think it fit in station 4.
charlie - 04/02/11 - 10:08

Ladder 3 was out of service at KTC for Water Supply Training. They ended up there later that afternoon.
David - 04/02/11 - 10:11

Now I am confused! On wed ladder 1 based out of Station 4 was riding on reserve ladder 210 snorkle! In the pictures from the fire I don’t see any one from Ladder 4 crew Station 1, but I do see the staff that is assigned to Ladder 1 out of station 4. So someone please help! Unless I need to take a drug test that is ladder 1 crew from station 4. Now in regards to the fire, hose choice and how it progressed. After talking to the crews that were first in, Engine 14 and Ladder 2, the fire went from light smoke and no fire in the apartment to heavy smoke and then heavy fire! With that said all of us in the fire service know she is unpredictable and can change quick! So before you go beating them up remember everyone went home safe all the citizens are safe and we fight another day! Cause this could have been worse! Good job by all hands! Hate to pull a quote here from silver but don’t judge us when you hide behind a mask! Sissy!
Jaon Lane - 04/02/11 - 10:15

Amen Jason!
A.C. Rich - 04/02/11 - 10:19

Ladder 1 is on a reserve at Station 4. 1300sq ft. apartment and was packed with junk, smoldering all it needed was some air and like Jason said the first in units saw the conditions change quickly. E-16 layed in to supply E-14, E-4 Layed in from secondary hydrant 700ft to Ladder 2 and Engine 8 was at the hydrant boosting (without oasis valve)to the ladder. E-6 layed into Ladder 1 from a third hydrant. Again lightweight trusses and collapse early into operations. Great salvage work from L-2, R-2, E-4, and i cant remember the other crews. Thats some of the things I saw.
gen3fire - 04/02/11 - 11:16

oh by the way, it didnt take an hour and a half to knock down the fire, there were extensive overhaul operations with alot of hot spots in both division 2 apartments hampered by the roof collapse which took up alot of that time
gen3fire - 04/02/11 - 11:23

Lets not forget that yesterday the wind was blowing like 35 mph. So when the window failed those crews could have very well experienced a wind driven fire much like you see occur in highrises, especially if the failed windown was on windward side.

Hey Jaon you forget something?
Mike - 04/02/11 - 14:22

Thanks Mike! Thanks A.C.Instead of asking questions about why they did this or why they didn’t do that let’s focus on what Raleigh has done twice this week at these apartment fires! Officers read their building construction and when conditions called for it they back out to protect their crews! Too many firefighters have died in light weight truss construction. So good job making sure everyone went home safe! That is something to talk about! Gussett plates everywhere! Be safe and buckle up! Happy 4 day break B shift!
JASON LANE - 04/02/11 - 15:02

Had my first Code 3 here back in 1990 right after a large meal of fish at Station 16. As the old saying goes “ don’t eat more than your mask will hold”
Rob Mitchell - 04/02/11 - 19:36

Bet it didnt taste very good the second time did it Capt.?
gen3fire - 04/02/11 - 19:41

I have to second what Jason said, and to what A.C. seconded. This has been a busy week (to put it mildly) for Raleigh’s Bravest. To question tactics, motives, strategy and VERY early observations is way out of bounds. EVERYONE went home safe. Thankfully, the culture is changing, and that’s all that matters. Remember, life safety is first for a reason. (Ours AND theirs.) I am proud of my Raleigh Brothers and Sisters, and they have all earned a well deserved break!
J.A.F.O. - 04/02/11 - 19:43

JAFO, I would have to disagree with you. I don’t think questioning tactics,strategies and asking about early observations is out of bounds at all. Can it be done tactifully? Sure, but by asking what those crews saw or heard might trigger something in one’s mind if they find themselves in a similar situation.
Mike - 04/02/11 - 20:10

Since it was brought up…as Far as Ladders fitting… L-210 (snorkel), and L-111 (platform) will fit and operate out of 121 Northway Ct. / Station 4 / Quarters of Engine 4 & Ladder 1 – which ever location you want to call it. We havent tried the LaFrance in here yet, hope we dont have to. Turning left and right out of the station can be tricky, but once we are out, we are good to go.
A.S. Meier - 04/02/11 - 20:18

I thought the fire service was all about questioning tactics, motives, and strategy. Isn’t that how we get better? Isn’t that how we learn and teach those coming behind us? I don’t see how simple questions could have led to such debate. All I wanted to know was what caused such a long amount of time in between dispatch and “fire under control”. Some places like to deem fire under control once the bulk of the fire is knocked down so overhaul can begin. In this situation, (from what you guys have said) fire was marked “under control” after overhaul had commenced and all fire was extinguished. I don’t believe anyone here was questioning whether or not the command staff on scene made any bad decisions based on the construction type, wind, and how quickly the fire spread. Frankly, it’s better to be safe than sorry. On the other hand, I don’t know how Raleigh operates but bringing a booster line into a fire with possible heavy fire load inside and not knowing exactly what they had is kind of complacent. Who knows though, the pulled booster line could have been for washing off tools or hitting hotspots. I wasn’t there so I don’t know. That’s why I asked. I wasn’t judging anyone, I just wanted a play by play to see if there were problems encountered that made fire attack/control difficult.
MF - 04/02/11 - 21:46

@JasonLane; I agree 100%, good reading of structure stability (and smoke) is paramount, especially when dealing with truss construction. I agree also, that knowing when to withdraw when your efforts aren’t making any headway is important too. You’ve done your primary (hopefully), and the life hazard has decreased for civilians. Yes, it is still there for us, AND IT IS IMPORTANT WE ALL GO HOME. Once again, you evaluate risk v. reward, since you’ve ensured searches are complete and all savable lives are out.

This is where I differ a little with “J.A.F.O.‘s” stance; our incident priorities are life safety, property conservation, incident stabilization. If it was just a matter of the fire going out and us all going home, we’d set up defensive right after the primary is done and eventually, the fire will go out.

Now of course, there’s going to be some knucklehead that takes this to the other extreme on this blog to say; “Silver is saying we should die to save property”. That’s not what I’m saying. No property is worth that. What I’m saying is we still have incident priorities after “life safety”. Should the risk (our life safety) be as high to save property? Duhhhh, absolutely not. If it’s got the upper hand, get the hell out. Put some big water on it for a sec, then go back in if possible. Now, do I think you should back out, flow big water from multiple sources for 30 minutes (I have been on fires where this happened, one had three ladders flowing for a few hours), then go back in???? Hell no!! For what? You already wrote the place off, flowed for 30 minutes, just to go back to overhaul???? That’s beyond stupid. If anything, foam the hell out of it and label the building “unsafe for entry” for anyone and bulldoze it. Think about the water weight you just put on the truss system, the same truss you were concerned about failing earlier due to heat!!!

So J.A.F.O., don’t take this the wrong way, but life safety is a large part of the fight, but not the only part. Re-evaluate after civilian life safety is complete, then lower your “reasonable risk” to save property. Get hooks in there early to drop ceilings and open up, put multiple lines inside (if you’re going in) to back-up your Brothers and to put enough GPM’s on the beast to knock her out.

@MF and Mike, you’re on point with your posts. We SHOULD evaluate and see if there was anything we could have done different; you should do it after every job. Today on Blue Ridge, while our crew did take our assigned tools and two ground ladders, we agreed it would have been a step-up to use one ground ladder as a cary-all and load our saws on it since we were so far off the street. Now we know to think of it, and we’ll make every effort next time we have a trek to put it into action. There’s nothing wrong with questioning tactics, motives and/or strategy. It is good to get a play-by-play by someone that was there to find out why something was done!

B-Platoon, you guys worked your butts off this week. Everyone went home safe to their loved ones. From the smallest room and contents fire to the biggest apartment fire, hopefully everyone learned and can move forward with that knowledge for the next tour. That’s what it’s all about. Whether you learned something by watching someone else, or by evaluating your own actions, take it and move forward with it for the next job, because we all know there will be more.

Be aggressive, but be safe….
Silver - 04/02/11 - 23:34

so, this begs the question. with L3 being out and the next due ladder coming from #11, could the new training on the hydrant valves have better been conducted within the areas served by these first in units, leaving them somewhat available to respond to calls and serve the citizens in a more expedient manner, thus provided a higher level of service delivery?
begging the question - 04/03/11 - 06:01

@ begging the question.
Since I ride the ladder that was at KTC, I’ll say yes. I’m pretty “disappointed” that we missed that one. We should go back to territory-based training, especially since fuel cost is such an issue now. After all, travel from station 17 to station 23 (like it used to be, and to use Bn 4 as an example) is FAR less than going all the way to KTC. And I ‘KNOW’ everyone will be SOOOO happy to spend all day at KTC for training with the proposed scheduling… And BTW, wasn’t staying in-service part of the reasoning for using centralized stations in the districts? Just my $.02, but I’m pretty low down on the ladder (pun intended :]) C’est la vie. I guess.
Bob - 04/03/11 - 23:41

Oh yea, great job all, and esp. L-2 who was short-staffed. From what I heard from 1st-in co’s, they had their work cut out for them. That Div.2 A/D apt. resident had to be some kind of hoarder. What a MESS! It was a huge fire load.
Bob - 04/03/11 - 23:48

Bob, from the stand point of training, the territory-based training doesn’t work all that well. Despite being convenient and keeping everyone in service, it creates more other issues. You have to consider instructor contracting and the stoppage of class when any one unit goes out on a call. Through in the risk of being audited by Wake Tech or whomever, then you can start to see why the territory-based training isn’t used like it was…at least for EMS and other certification training.
JK - 04/04/11 - 06:20

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