01/25/13 244 W, 1 I - + 10 - 4 UPDATED: This Afternoon's WF and MPI

Here's a panoramic phone photo of this afternoon's apartment fire and multi-patient incident at 713 Centennial Parkway. Engine 8 arrived with a working fire on first floor of a three-story apartment building with 84 units and 48,192 square-feet. Built 1971. Smoke and fire showing, with fire in rear corner apartment. Engine 8 made interior attack. Engine 5 boosted pressure at hydrant, from opposite side of Centennial Drive. Engine 20 and Engine 5 (and others?) performed searches, brought people out.

Heavy smoke conditions throughout the building, and a number of residents were evaluated or treated by EMS for smoke inhalation. Six were transported, including a police officer who was one of the first on the scene, and entered the building to warn residents and help them evacuate. EMS third alarm requested, due to number of occupants and possible patients. Extended overhaul.

Twenty-one units rendered uninhabitable. Forty-three people displaced. Many moved to the Burger King across the street, for shelter. Dispatched 4:19 p.m. Working fire assigned dispatched while units were en route. Freezing rain, icy streets, and slow traffic conditions impacted response. Controlled at 4:56 p.m. Cause determined as accidental, occupant smoking in bed. Fire units on scene: E8, E20, E5, E1, L4, L7, R3, B3, B2, A1, C10, C20, C40, C2. EMS units on scene: EMS 4, EMS 35, EMS 31, EMS 18, EMS 19, EMS 6, EMS 33, EMS 11, EMS 51, EMS 5, EMS 33, EMS 55, EMS 32 (thirteen!), D9, D1, M94, MD20, Truck 1, Evac 1. See preliminary photos from Mike Legeros. Click once or twice to enlarge:

It was reported an officer put on his GAS mask and entered the building to assist in evacuations. I was off today and am working to confirm this. If someone else, maybe on the fire side of things, is aware of this do you think they could approach our training staff (I’ll assist) in letting officers know that this is a BAD idea? Our gas masks are not for smoke, high temperature, or oxygen deficient environments so there was a great deal of danger involved in that maneuver. I must say I am guilty myself of entering smoky environments without a mask on but I at least know not to use a gas mask. Just the fear of it melting to my face scares the crud out of me since they are pliable and flimsy rubber/plastic. Thanks
RPD - 01/26/13 - 00:50

Mike, if you had to take a guess what would you say your average response time is? I live a few blocks from the WF on Boylan and walked to the scene and you somehow managed to get there only a couple of minutes after I did.
Eric - 01/26/13 - 13:36

Mike, you are correct when you say an open door may assist in fire spread. Just remember, if the occupant doesn’t hear the fire alarm, then the CO from the fire may put the occupants in a deeper sleep. The only way to wake the occupant up is to force the door. Yes, it is always best for the fire department to evacuate the building. It’s a judgment call for the police officer. When we signed up for the job(police and fire), we knew we were not always going to go to a cake cutting on every call :).That officer did a fine job!!!
C.Smith - 01/27/13 - 07:24

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