11/22/12 225 W, 2 I - + 5 - 4 Last Night's Major House Fire in North Raleigh

Bay Leaf, Raleigh, Wake Forest, Durham Highway, Stony Hill, and Western Wake fire departments worked a major house fire last night at a very large house at 1000 Swithland Court. The two-story, wood-frame, single-family dwelling measured 9,995 square-feet. Had a full basement. Built 2010. (Valued at $1.2 million, the headlines are quick to note.)

The fire was reported about 10:00 p.m., after reportedly starting on the patio, after a group of families was preparing to roast marshmallows using the patio fireplace. Crews entered the structure and went to the second floor, where they encountered heavy fire in the attic. They were soon withdrawn as sections of the building began to collapse. Aerial operations were utilized Bay Leaf Ladder 25. (Narrative based on news reports. Yours Truly didn't go the scene, nor listen to the incident.)

Read stories and see photos and footage from WRAL, WTVD, and NBC17. From radio traffic, it sounds like crews are still on the scene this morning. They'll probably or certainly be doing overhaul and investigation through the morning (or later). Readers can add details, and help complete this partial run card: Bay Leaf P258, P122, P366, L25, A12, C1, C2, C3, C120; Raleigh E22; Wake Forest E5; Durham Highway P4; Stony Hill P261; Western Wake E191; EMS 15, EMS 22, D3, T1; WC1.


Adam Owens/WRAL photos

So why was Western Wake called and not New Hope? Its nearly 4 miles less from New Hope
206 - 11/22/12 - 13:02

Minor correction on Bay Leaf nuts on scene BLP258,BLL-25,BLP-122,BLP-366,BL-A12,C-1,C-2,C-3 & C120 Thanks too all our mutual-aid brothers and sisters who turned-out last night to help with the big fire . Happy Thankgiving everyone Stay safe ! BL-103
BL103 (Email) - 11/22/12 - 13:21

Bay leaf command requested additional trucks for manpower. Central proceeded to dispatch 2 unstaffed bay leaf trucks that were not going to respond since all hands were on scene already. When command was made aware of this he specifically requested an engine from stony hill and western wake. Also it isn’t always about mileage, despite being 3 miles further than stony hill, western wake was on scene 3 minutes earlier. Either way its about helping a neighboring department when in need and all 6 departments on scene did a great job together! Go team
First hand - 11/22/12 - 23:22

Why focus on WW vs NH. How about why wasn’t Raleigh engine 25,18,4,16,19 or ladder 5,1 called for manpower? why skip them all for WW or NH? Both would have to drive past a lot of Raleigh stations. I believe command said I dont care where you get them from but I need manpower. Just saying, when in a need for help, county vs city doesnt matter!
manpower is manpower - 11/23/12 - 09:00

You are correct the horse is dead. Was merely trying to expand the range of questioning for NH 206. In the county 2nd alarms dont really exist, so usually you have to directly and specifically call your additional units. So knowing who is closest to YOUR district and who to call when needed is important. I guess thats what we can learn today about dispatching. hope this helped a little. enjoy your weekend!
manpower - 11/23/12 - 17:47

as illustrated above the biggest problem is that there when units were requested the first thing that happened is unstaffed, thus out of service, units were sent. Thus requiring additional to be requested by name.

but alas that’s another horse that’s been beaten way past it’s funeral.
shevais - 11/24/12 - 09:11

Some uniformity of fire-ground operations would be a step in the right direction. The tanker strike teams were a step in the right direction; dispatching only staffed units, uniform training guidelines and fire ground operations would be great to see.
Silver - 11/24/12 - 12:08

I agree Jeff, to a point. As long as there is a command presence at the scene it doesn’t matter about uniformity of fireground operations. You are given an assignment and you carry it out. It’s worked in this county for years very effectively. Heck cities and county run together all over the county on all types of calls and do so pretty well.

I completely agree with the dispatching of only staffed units, but like I said, that’s a dead horse which isn’t any closer to being fixed. To me it’s still about the sandbox, a mentality, that people have. It has gone away to an extend in the county, although it does still exist some places, but it has come a good ways from what it used to be. I think the more that departments run together the more the sandbox mentality goes away, which just takes time.

Talking about the county second alarms, there is not even a consistent first alarm assignment in the county, each department dictates what it wants on calls of all natures, so it would be hard to sit and determine what a second alarm would entail. And even then you may deal with a hydranted vs. non-hydranted area, commercial vs. residential, etc.

I have personally seen the fire service come a long way in this county, and think we can still do more. I look forward to seeing what is to come!
shevais - 11/25/12 - 10:14

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