Venting the Roof

Take a look at this video and let me know what you see. I posted the still frame from this video and had some great responses. Now, here is the whole thing.

What do you see and what would you do different if anything?


  • Fire Critic says:

    The first thing I would have done is had my SCBA on. I would have measured the conditions to see if I actually needed to be on air or not, but I am not breathing smoke if I dont have to.

    Secondly, I would not have vented the roof. It seems to me that there is a window on the side of the house near the top of the pitch. All that needed to be done is pulled some ceiling and used positive pressure ventilation. Therefore no need to cut the roof. even if the ceiling was flat near the pitch you could have just pulled ceiling. Venting the roof like they did seemed like a lot of extra work that didn’t pay off too much.

    The roof ladder should have had its hooks deployed prior to sending it to the roof as well. And once there they should have had it in place before cutting. I realize it is difficult to stay on the ladder and cut, but it is possible.

    Work smarter not harder.

  • dc802 says:

    I have to agree. It seems to be late in the fire.

  • Bobby says:

    takes a long time to cut a hole

  • Clint says:

    Why the need for two holes. When venting how about starting with your top cut first. The farthest cut and bottum cuts. Also lets not step in the hole we are cutting. Proper body placement when using the saw in case of kick back. Finally once the hole is cut lets get off the roof and not sit there to admire our work.. Just my two cents.

  • dp9214 says:

    SCBA, too late in the fire, and was standing on the roof, NOT the roof ladder.
    When the task is completed, GET OFF THE ROOF!

  • Charley Cashen says:

    First, it looked liked the fire was out. Was this training? I’m so sick of hearing about positive pressure ventilation. That is what truck men everywhere call plopping a fan at the door and starting it up and letting it run on auto pilot. You can tell, both by the turnout gear and the amount of equipment and personel on the scene, that fires are scarce. Bottom line is the fire is out and no one was hurt. Yea they need to work on a few things, but that falls on their admin. Big city fire deptartments need to work on things too. Stay safe

  • dc802 says:

    I don’t think it was training. Thanks for posting.

  • Curtis says:

    I don’t think the hole was necessary either. It was, as stated earlier, venting from the window at the peak. But if you’re cutting a hole, only 3 rafters wide. Go inside the farthest rafter away, across the next rafter, then inside the 3rd rafter (closest to you and your roof ladder). As far as making your cuts, 1. Far side. 2 and 3. Top and Bottom. 4. Near side FROM THE LADDER!! When the cuts are complete, the section of roof should just pivot on the middle rafter and you are done. SCBA is a must, the gases and smoke are still hot and who know what the heck these people had inside the house.

    Nobody is perfect, we all need to train. But training should not be on the scene.

  • detroit don.. says:

    ok…detroit style…no tank..dfd would not have opened the roof..the only thing we would have done was chopped open the parts of the roof that was still burning so that the guy on the line can give a good washdown..and oh yeah..we eould not have used a roof ladder…’s a shame but it’s the truth..

  • Doubleflash says:

    It looks like breaking the upper windows could have accomplished good ventilation a lot faster. Fiddling with the roof wasted a lot of time.

    Was there some reason Coplay didn’t try an interior attack?

    I have to agree that it looks like this department doesn’t see a lot of fire calls. Training would help a lot.

  • raoert alman says:

    Did anyone notice at 7:24 the fire fighter at the bottom using a pike pole and he’s trying to push up thou the roof,But notice that there is a fire fighter above him.Lucky he did not kill him. LOOK AROUND YOUR WORK AREA.

  • Nick Morgan says:

    I have to agree with Charley Cashen and detroit Don. Probably didn’t need a vent hole by then. I noticed many safety violations, but I’ve seen them in my own FD, been guilty of a few myself, but would never allow or encourage that now. Maybe they’ll let me teach my “Peaked Roof Ventilation” class up there someday. 🙂

  • alex says:

    the fire fighters shoulfda all had the scba mask on even if there not on air, the guys on the roof kept stepping on the part of the roof he was cutting he coulda fallen in and he one fire fighter was sitting on the top of the roof where it was strucutally ompromised, and there was a fire fighter inside the building wen the were still ventilationg, he could been hurt or even killed if the roof fell in from them cutting, and a few firefighters didnt even have air packs, u cant save property or life if u cant breath

  • fireemt57 says:

    i see two out of 3 people with packs on but no masks. theres aout 1 to many people on that roof and use the window on the side. also put the sheilds down, theres always debris plus it provides a small amount of protection from smoke going into your eye. i agree with everyone else also

  • CBEMT says:

    Used two different saws, lots of cuts, and still didn’t get it open as much as they cut it.

  • NICK GRAUDS says:

    Looks like these guys were determined to do something even if it was wrong PPV and an interiror attack seem like it would handle it.The purpose of venting prevents alot of problems like flashover and progression, fire was at the end of structure high peak roof and not alot of smoke. I agree with the others alot of work for no payoff no charged line on roof either but that may no be this dept’s SOG.

  • Chris says:

    WOW!A halfway decent Saftey Officer would have shut this op. down in a second.Definitely think it boils down to a training issue.Too much stuff to list.We don’t have that many fires and we may look the same but I would hope not.Doesn’t make a difference where it was,it is a very good training tool on things to avoid.Thanks for the video.

  • greg says:

    memo to firemen: fire needs oxygen. When you vent a building you turn a smoulder into a blaze.
    I was in a chinese restaurand waiting for dinner. i smelled some smoke and saw a little coming from the top crack in the kitchen door. The staff started looking alarmed and I went back to help. Smoke was pouring up the basement stairs. the fire department arrived whickly. There was no sign of fire, just smoke, They proceeded to break lower windows and started cutting a hole in the roof (2 story building. This took a good 10 minutesand almost immediatelt fire could be seen through the smook of the lower bottom floor. to this point no water was hosed onto the building. In minutes the whole building was ablaze and no water was sprayed on it, just on the buildings adjacent. The place burned to the ground before my eyes, but the adjacent buildings were undamaged.
     It looked to me to me that if this is a standard procedure, it;s not surprising that firemen never lose a basement.

    • dc802 says:

      When done correctly, ventilation should be coordinated with suppression efforts. Ventilation is a vital tactic that removes heat and combustible gases from the building. Without knowing exactly what you experienced and where, the blanket statement that ventilation should not be performed is inaccurate. In many instances, victims can have a better chance of surviving and firefighters can make the interior environment tenable enough to effect a rescue by ventilating. Can it be done wrong, absolutely. Just understand that your one experience is limited and this tactic has worked with positive outcomes for thousands of fires.

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