Kitchen Table Tactics 1-7-10

What is your tactic?
What is your tactic?

This a lot of fire.  It looks to be a large residential property in an urban-suburban area.

With what you can see, discuss your tactics and what you are thinking as you pull up on this job.

  • Where is your primary life safety?
  • Where and what size is your first line?

  • What about your second line?
  • Options for venting?
  • Search and rescue?
  • What about exposures?
  • Do you have a plan B is Plan A doesn’t work and what is it?

Discuss this with your crews and share your thoughts. It is really good to hear other’s ideas and thoughts on these fires.  Stay safe and be careful.


  • Tough fire. First things I think of when I look at this are: daytime, likely hood of sleeping occupants decreased. The front door appears to be leading to a common hallway, meaning multiple residential or light commercial. The lack of parking right up front leads me to residential. Judging from the newer construction I hope sprinklered, but judging by the amount of fire, they are not there or not operating properly.

    As first engine I hope to find the seat of the fire. Protecting that hallway will be key to getting a search team up to other floors and units. I will deploy our preconnect line (1 3/4″ 200 ft) to that door and protect that area from fire spread.
    This is my decision based on the rapid and heavy response my Department will be sending, allowing the truck companies to consider ladder placement, which from the photo may be on the D side of the front door, but the fire is holding to the first floor for now, and self horizontally vented, so no need to be on the roof yet.
    Our rescue squad will need that hallway clear to get to the interior stairs for their search, then other lines can be stretched and we can move on to the seat of the fire which appears to be in the second room at this point, moving away from us.

    Training lines from the outside will do nothing to this fire as it grows inside. Stretching a large line will be cumbersome to advance as we make progress. Big fires call for smart water, not big water. This is still just a 2 room fire at this point. If we go defensive too early, it will keep running through the entire building before you have your monitors set up.

    Quick attack to keep that hallway safe is priority one in my book.

    If I was at my old department, I’d take a deep breath and hope another engine was coming, eventually, and take a defensive stance. But there were only 2 of us then.

  • Captain Opus says:

    Judging by the Probable Residential Nature of this fire, It would be a Single alarm, with One mutual aid company to stand by at one of our halls, and another to act as our F.A.S.T.(The Depew Fire Department Covers an area of aprox 7 sq mi, with 170 Volunteer members. Our Initial response during the daytime is 5 engines, 1 Ladder, 1 Rescue. The Department is broken up into 6companies, and 3 halls)

    Our Inital attack(from our E4) would be from the front to attack the fire, and protect the common hallway using 1 3/4in cross-layed preconnect(150ft) Being that our engine can only carry 5personelle, including a driver, a second line is difficult, if not improbable. Given i could possibly have 4 interior members, the second team would pull a 200ft preconnect speedlay off the back, and taking a 100ft hirise pack with them, go around to the back or side of the structure to make entry and perform a quick search of the upper floors(Department procedure dictates search teams mujst have a hand line with them.)

    Being that the fire is blowing out the front windows, I am not willing to place a team from the ladder company on the roof to start vertical ventilation, when the fire has obviously horizontially vented itself.

    The second engine in would take care of the exposure on the #2 side, and also pull off a 200ft preconect to join the attack through the front door.

    Plan B is to do the opposite, attack from the back or side to try to keep from pushing the fire into an unburned area, and to protect the common hallway, while a search crew goes through the front door with an attack line.

  • george hobbs says:

    Again control of the stairway is very important .first line should be able to darken down this fire pretty fast
    and of course search and rescue will be done by the ladder co .My dept sends two engines and two ladders on dwellings with 4 on each eng and 5 on each ladder 18 ff’s can kill a lot of fire . If needed we can strike the box and get two more engines and a rescue co and DC air unit etc I think i would order the box upon arrival. .

  • Fire Investigator John Thomas says:

    Blitz attach knock down the bulk of the fire mop up with 1 3/4″ to the main floor and then 1 3/4″ to the second floor.

    First Truck should start with a primary search on the first floor then the second floor.

    Second truck secure the gas and electric

    Plan B would be to back out all companies and start with master streams into the first and second floors.

    The department has no time to waste to get on top of this fire because of the amount of fire this has been burning for sometime. Building collapse is not far behind.

  • Stone says:

    We run a 4 man(on a fully staffed day) Quint. 3 Back up Engines staffed with 3 are on our heals within 3 min.

    So first would be a 3 sided look or 360 if feasible. 2.5 deployment with 2 FF’s making a dash from the outside(officer continued size up) and simultaneously have D/E pull and deploy the 1.3/4, after securing water make a push w/ 1.3/4.

    Our next due unit secure truck Co. ops, 360 securing utilities, by venting adjacent windows, and forcing doors around the rear. and making a reasonable push to search.

    3rd due take a b/u line and make a push to search upstairs and safe areas ect.

    Plan B is heavier water application maybe a RAM monitor if the fire is deep seated, back out to defensive if warranted(it appears to be newer light weight construction)

    In a nutshell

    Great photo and comments!

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