07/16/11 206 W, 2 I - + 8 - 2 This Afternoon's House Fire in Wake Forest

Still compiling details on this one. Wake Forest Engine 1 arriving at a two-story, single-family dwelling with 1,976 square-feet. Conventional construction, built 2004. Fire found in rear of house, and it extended to the second story and roof area. Command with Engine 1 officer, then Engine 3 officer. Interior operations to start, followed by defensive operational period with deluge and aerial stream. Extended overhaul.

Water supply issues, due to low-pressure hydrant(s). Four hydrants utilized, Dagmar Lane cul-de-sac to Wake Forest Engine 1, North White Street and Moultonboro Drive to Wake Forest Ladder 1, and end of service road off North White Street to Rolesville Engine 153, and North White Street just south of the service road to Bay Leaf Ladder 25. The latter ladder positioned but didn't flow. Dispatched about 2:20 p.m. Controlled within an hour.

Wake Forest, Rolesville, Falls, Youngsville, and Bay Leaf fire departments on scene. Eastern Wake and Wake County EMS units with rehab. Who else? New Hope FD standing by at Wake Forest Station 1. News reporting fire started in backyard, and spread to back of house. All occupants evacuated safely. Photos forthcoming from Legeros (below) and Lee, plus more details.

Can anyone from Wake Forest fill us in on the towns water problem?
911 - 07/16/11 - 20:26

Google is our friend, http://www.wakeforestgazette.com/bm/news..

Also, http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id..

Looks like a known problem that’s being systematically addressed.
Legeros - 07/16/11 - 20:29

Best guess of units on scene:

Wake Forest E1, E2, E3, L1, Bat. Chief, Fire Chief

Rolesville E153, Asst. Chief

Falls P212, Fire Chief

Youngsville Engine, Rescue, Asst. Chief

EMS 10, EMS 33, EMS 64, Medic 93, District 3
Legeros - 07/16/11 - 21:07

Can we get a collage of the pics with Lee modeling different lids throughout the county?
Silver - 07/17/11 - 14:34

Glad to see there’s no bashing of using a ladder on a two story house. Is it WFFD policy to have two ladders dispatched on all fires? Great job guys
firefighter - 07/17/11 - 17:46

No bashing here…the roof is completely gone, which speaks for the stability of the rest of the structure.

They made an attempt at going in. What I don’t agree with is pulling the troops, filling a house full of water, then sending the men back in to “hit the hot-spots”. That’s putting your men in danger for no reason, since it’s already been written off. If the men were pulled out because the roof was gone, then leave them out. The roof was obviously a truss, the floors are probably the same.

How many thousands of gallons were flowed into that place? Foam can handle the hot-spots.
Silver - 07/17/11 - 21:19

Were you there or just listening?
ff - 07/18/11 - 00:29

@FF…spoke to Wayne B. off blog. It was a good stop, I don’t think you’ll see anyone debate that. What I stated above though, we see it too many times happening, especially with lightweight trusses. I just hope it doesn’t catch up with us.

Great PowerPoint here on it; tkolb.net/tra_sch/TrussSys/TrussSystemFailures3.pps
Silver - 07/18/11 - 02:37

There was not a light weight truss left. Therefore it is safe.

Gold > Silver
Gold - 07/18/11 - 11:28

The floor system was more than likely a lightweight truss as well which is designed to hold up under NORMAL CONDITIONS, by NORMAL STRESSES. Water from an aerial device along with exposure to heat encountered here is a recipe for disaster. NO WARNING PEOPLE! Had it just been a fire in the attic is one thing, where you may be able to get some help in maintaining the compartment with the help from certain types of insulation and the floor trusses may not be compromised. Good discussion by both Silver and Gold but I think Silver tops Gold on this one.
Platinum - 07/18/11 - 11:59

Those of you who were there would know the conditions. The second floor was in good shape structural wise. Plus the ladder only flowed water to make an initial blitz on the house, to knock down the main body of fire. So if you weren’t there you should keep the comments to yourself. Instead of bashing everyone else to make yourself look better. Stop commenting on every blog and go read a book. All in all great jobs by crews on scene. Shows that multiple agencies and other counties can work well together.
"Actually there" - 07/18/11 - 12:28

Thanks for everyone’s comments. I don’t know that I detected bashing in the above comments as much as perhaps questions and possible criticism.

“Actually There,” how would you prefer post-incident discussions to start? Maybe, say, “this incident makes me think about trusses and structural integrity after master streams. If it were me, I might do tactic X differently.”

Versus the more confrontational “looks like a good job done, but I disgree with tactic X.” What do you think, AT?
Legeros - 07/18/11 - 13:34

There wasn’t bashing, but someone will always take offense. Blogging/ email/ texting is always interpreted by the receiver, not everyone interprets the same. No intent to bash, and no reason to bash, we’re discussing our line of work folks.

No reason to try to make anyone look better. I read books, listen to podcasts, network with other members of the fire service nationwide, and take classes in state and out of state. A great quote from Dave Barlow, Training Captain with Fairfax County and instructor from Andy Frederick’s Training Days; “you’ve got about ten minutes when dealing with fires in lightweight trusses”, “ten minutes to make the stretch and make an interior attack before they’re compromised and can’t be trusted”.

I’ll take all of your points directed at me, digest them, and see what comes out the other end.

Read for the love of God (note the short term exposure to heat part); http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2005-132/

@Legeros… you’re right, I should have used a segway as you suggested. My delivery has always been ragged….sorry.
Silver - 07/18/11 - 13:52

Silver, in your earlier comments were you talking about the light weight trusses for the roof or the second floor (floor joists)? I am not disagreeing with the dangers of truss contruction and collapse possibilities but I do agree with AT especially since he was there that the floor joists were safe for hot spot and overhaul operations if thats what the OIC deemed safe. Obviously being safe is number one but also understanding where you are at and the present conditions play a big part. Like staying off of wide area spans (over a large living room area) which may be overloaded compared to a more compartmentalized span such as a hallway or smaller room where the joists are sitting on more supports. Yes the house is basically “written off” and I am curious if anything was actually able to be salvaged for the family. Obviously this would be Commands call, and if you had some members who were active in framing and contruction (which there are alot in the fire service) they could be a great asset in determining if it were safe to continue. Again common sense would also prevail and not have a lot of people in one spot but in smaller teams taking turns doing the work. Its hard to tell from the pictures just how bad the floor system was compromised. The back of the house definitly had alot of fire damage; but besides the outside of the structure being burned, how deep was the charring and damage to the load bearing joists (besides the one at the Div. B/C corner, I wouldnt want to stand there)and headers? This could only be determined by someone who was there. Anyway, as far as bashing or perceived bashing, I think its just a by-product of the fact that most firefighters do not have much (for lack of a better or Legeros words) TACT.
gen3fire - 07/18/11 - 18:02

BTW, did they ever determine the cause? It looks like there is a Hot tub at the back porch. Hope that didn’t cause it!! Makes me want to relocate mine.
gen3fire - 07/18/11 - 18:09

Ok, I will open it up, I have thick skin and have done this stuff long enough to let it roll off of me…I was the IC for most of this fire. I was riding on the 3rd arriving engine and assumed command from the officer of the first arriving engine. Upon my arrival there was alot of fire on the EXTERIOR of side C with alot of extension into the higher attic area on the left side of the house. Crews were operating inside the house on the first floor and second floor, trying to gain access to the attic. That’s when some issues with the water supply happened ( I will NOT discuss that here) and the operator radioed that he had less than 1/4 tank with no water supply established, therefore I made the decision to pull everyone out until we had water again. With the open area of the attic space and time lost, the fire advanced quickly IN THE ATTIC SPACE. Once the water supply was secured, I ordered the master stream from L-1 to blitz the fire, with a quick knock down achieved. After the knockdown of the bulk of the fire was achieved, I ordered crews back in to complete the extinguishment. This fire mainly comsumed the exterior of Side C and the Attic area on the left side of the house (this area was higher than the attic area on the right side of the house). The floor members were in tact with virtually no charring, outside of the immediate area around the B/C corner of the house, which we made sure to keep people from working in that area (at least from the inside). The headers and all other structural components were still intact on this house. Unlike some, I DO NOT hide behind some clever screen name and I stand behind all of the decisions that I made and I honestly welcome any questions or comments anyone may have…those that know me, know that I don’t take things personally and still make it a point to learn something about myself and about our job on every call I go on. So feel free to bash or ask away….
Stay safe folks…
Wayne - 07/18/11 - 20:01

As of this afternoon, a definitive cause has not been determined. But I believe the hot tub is being looked at as a possible cause.
Wayne - 07/18/11 - 20:03

Did the first in engine see the hydrant beside it when it got on scene. That could have helped the water supply problem. I see some real strange hose lays around the ladder truck and a long lay back to another hydrant. Was the ladder first on scene? Just trying to learn some.
question - 07/18/11 - 23:30

@ Question-
Yes, they saw the hydrant when they pulled up. No, the engine was first on scene. The second supply line you see was ordered because this area has low hydrant pressure and I wanted another supply line to help feed the ladder and engine working on scene.
Wayne - 07/19/11 - 10:18

Just wanted to clarify my “written off” comment. First Wayne, sounds like a good job to me, you did what you had to do and adapted to the water issues. Everyone knows that the house is going to probably be bulldozed. I do think we all should be safe but its almost seems like this day and time we have moved alittle to far. Wayne obviously felt it was safe to continue after assessing the damage and so operations continued. I was curious about the salvage part. I feel like there are quite a few that blog on Legeros’s site only care about the fighting fire and once the fire is out they could care less about what happens with the structure because the fire is out. Just finding a few items for the family can really show them the we care and also be great PR for your department. Does that mean being in additional unsafe envoirnments, yes. We still have to weigh the risks. We may only be able to save a couple of pictures or maybe some jewelry because the house is “written off” but to the people who just watched everything they worked for and life memories go up in flames, those few items are treasures. I guess the perception of being Safe and Safety has changed quite a bit over the last 17 years.
gen3fire - 07/19/11 - 10:51

@ silver,,,what dept are you the chief at again?
justsayn - 07/19/11 - 10:59

To all you rocket scientists, who moonlight as firefigther.How easy is it to knit pick at someone elses job, when you could have not done any better. Bottom line until you have been in full charge of a scence you need to leave the Monday morning quarterbacking to the quarterback @Silver
Badger - 07/19/11 - 12:53

On a positive note, at least Wayne and the other Wake Forest units knew this hydrant was less than stellar due to the fact that Wake Forest color codes their hydrants. I am sure that they all knew upon entering that area that they had water issues, but the color is a nice reminder… Way to be proactive in that respect.

Why don’t people sign their names on here? I suppose it is fear of retribution from your chief or company officers. If that is the case, then I suggest you keep your comments professional and sign your name, instead of asking someone who is merely trying to generate conversation on how to better our service what department they are chief of, and other childish jabs. I only make comments on here that I would openly make at work, and would have no problem explaining to my Battalion Chief or Chief. Can we all work on our delivery when we question what a department did on a call, as was stated in another post? Of course we can… but you also have to take into account that we are firefighters and some of us are about as smooth as 80 grit sandpaper- myself included. We can either learn from our mistakes (NOT saying this call was one!) or keep on making the same ones over and over, to ensure that we stay unimpeded by progress.
Bob P. - 07/19/11 - 13:32

Bob, everyone, one of the core dynamics of the firehouse (or at least, one of the traditional core dynamics) is “getting a rise out of someone.” When you’re wearing a paper bag over your head (due to identify concealment, ass-ugliness, whatever), it’s considerably easier to poke at someone. The poke-ee (or, in Jamaica, the poke-mon), doesn’t or can’t really effectively poke back.

To the credit of poking and chop-busting, however, it does cause a rise. And it does get conversation going, or at least interaction happening. More polite avenues can work, sure. Maybe they work most of the time, these days. But there’s a level of hard- or traditional-wiring at work here, I think. Conversations are conducted more rough and tumble. Questions get asked in a more confrontational form. Questions are PERCEIVED as coming from places of less-than-neutrality. Part of that is in direct proportion to anonymous screen names, I think.

Discussions, say, on Facebook are fairly different than the tone that can manifest itself here. That said, at least folks are talking, and it’s not just crickets chirping. But give honey a shot, man, instead of vinegar. Both in what you write, and how you perceive/receive questions and comments. You might just catch more flies than you expect!
Legeros - 07/19/11 - 13:40

Thanks Wayne. Makes sense to me.
question - 07/19/11 - 13:51


Good comments on the salvage part…as a matter of fact, we were able to salvage some of their stuff, especially stuff on the first floor and right side of the house. And you are correct, they were VERY GRATEFUL for this.This fire was like many that have been around here lately…outside fire , run up the exterior wall (VINYL SIDING), throught the soffitt area and into the attic. While impressive looking, these types of fires are pretty easy to handle barring any setbacks (time burning in the truss roof area, water supply, manpower). Again, did the fire look impressive? HELL YES! Did it do quite a bit of damage? You bet! Did we attack/approach this fire in an aggressive AND safe manner? ABSOLUTELY! and finally, did we save some of the homeowner’s valuables? You bet.
Wayne - 07/19/11 - 16:40

Wayne, I’ve got it! The perfect solution for the blog. Annotated fire scenes! When I get there, I’ll start adding labels to the hose and ladders. Deployed at XX:XX. Raised at YY:YY. That way, when people see the pics, they’ll have the answers already! I could even add cardboard thought balloons above the IC, to explain what they are doing!! Just need to start carrying poster board and Sharpies with me. I will get to work on this idea…
Legeros - 07/19/11 - 17:07

Wayne, looks like a good stop to me. As a Command Officer I am glad you made a decision and can defend it and stuck with it. All that matters is everyone went home safe. I like others have been utilizing my name or nickname as it is. I used to use ApexBattChief, but decided that I do not want to misrepresent my comments as coming from my department. Mike, Maybe it is time to actually have people register before commenting such as a forum site. I do consider the discussions on here as valuable learning tools. even though sometimes you have to read through threads of BS to get to the points.
Just Sayin

Everyone be safe this week in the heat.
Scooter - 07/19/11 - 17:22

Scoot, I do not believe my software is equipped for user-required registration. I will have to look. I do have the ability to activate moderating of comments, where I become the gatekeeper of which comments get posted/don’t get posted. That would raise some interesting issues. Which ones would I allow to pass? Just those users I recognize? Or maybe just those with value-adding content? Maybe with some discretion for playful jabbing, but not outright slams. Good to think about.
Legeros - 07/19/11 - 17:48

Nameless users really do not matter in the grand scheme if you are inclined accordingly. Ignore them. They will frequently stir the pot… that’s why they are nameless. It is when another replies to a negative post in a reactive fashion that fuels the fire and detracts from the often informational and educational element of this blog. But, that’s why many folks look at Mike’s blog… for entertainment; and others for news and information. I enjoy the entertainment often, but I mainly try to offer legitimacy and simply see “what’s going on.” If you are secure in your logic and shear understanding of the fire service, you should be able to contribute, then sit back and enjoy… and use you full name. Like Scooter, I used to use a alternate screen name, but “Sexy-Man” seemed to offend some (for some reason?).
A.C. Rich - 07/19/11 - 22:54

I am sure that they all knew upon entering that area that they had water issues, but the color is a nice reminder… Way to be proactive in that respect.
jasmine torres (Email) - 02/21/19 - 16:04

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