What size line would you take?

This was a fire I was on one night over ten years ago.  It was a great learning fire and the tactics had to be changed for a successful stop.

I can tell you that a great deal went right this night and there were things that happened away from the fire that paid huge dividends.

If you are the first arriving unit and officer, explain where your going and what your doing.  I’ll give you a little information to help you along.

-This is in a rural area, no hydrants.

-The house is old. Old newspaper and straw were found in the walls during overhaul.

-We had plenty of manpower.

-On side B there is a door that leads to the kitchen and the stairs go up from the kitchen on that side, just so you know.

I would like to see a great deal of feedback on this one.  Please let me know what operations would be going on away from the fire.  After I get enough comments, I will post what we did and why it worked.

As always, thanks for your continued support and use this however you want for your training purposes.

Stay safe and be careful out there.


  • Dave LeBlanc says:

    My first thoughts are if the house is that old, then the fire is somewhere other than where you can see it. Thinking balloon frame.

    Stretch a line to the first floor and check for fire in the basement before committing to the attic. If the fire is only in the attic then I would try and get it with the water on scene. If it was in the basement and then that would include first floor walls, I am going to try and keep it in check and then make sure a good water supply has been established.

    I will admit to not being hugely experienced with rural water supply operations, but I know there are a bunch of different philosophies as far as when to attack and when to wait.

    Sounds like a lot of truck work is needed from your description, and based on the photo there is no doubt that once we find it, the lid needs to come off so we can get it.

  • Marques Bush says:

    I keep forgetting about basements because I don’t have ot deal with them being below sea level but my first thought was to get to the attic.

    I to would be stretching to the first and having the second line at the door ready to back up the first wherever we needed to go to. I do not know anything about basement fires, but I would once both of my lines are in place have the ceiling opened and got to town.

    I do believe a lot truck work is needed here.

    The most important is bringing the water though. Call for the tenders early hopefully pre-planning was done and this was done on dispatch.

  • Jeff Schwering says:

    We have the pleasure of these types of houses, both in town and our first alarm areas. I agree with Dave, balloon frame, this might take awhile fire. With plenty of manpower, a number of things need to be addressed with this being a no water area. Basement checked immediately, line or two to each floor. For rural ops, a water suppy needs to be secured, lake, pond, whatever. A tanker, no not an airplane, midwest term, shuttle must be set up, drop tanks, etc. As Dave and Marques have stated, this is a labor intensive fire even if it’s only the attic. Truck work required big time, even though the engine guys are doing it. The first 5 or 10 minutes of this job, will dictate the next 5 or 10 hours.

  • Bart Bartos says:

    It is difficult to tell from a single snapshot what I truly have so I will apply some assumptions to my calls that may change with additional facts.
    1. Call for tankers en route and lay my plan out for water supply to the incoming units.
    2. Conduct a 360 size-up of the fire building. From the photo it appears to be fire and heavy smoke coming from the attic of the dwelling. 1st floor appears clear and we may have something on the 2nd with the blacked out windows on side a. Is a basement present?
    3. I radio my report and mode of operation.Rescue Mode, 2nd engine deploy a back-up line ( to protect interior stairs) and 3rd will have RIT.Special service unit will have search. If I had the manpower I would get a hole in the roof as quickly as possible.
    4. I select a line that will get me quickly to the 2nd floor assuming there is no fire in the basement or 1st. If I want to get quickly to the 2nd floor my experience tells me that the stairs are generally located next to the front door and sometimes even blocked by an open front door. After making the floor I would pull ceiling and apply water into the attic space (a good fog would achieve a maximum steam conversion in the attic space). I will also check knee walls and other wall voids for hidden fire.

    If I find heavy smoke conditions on the 2nd it will be vital to get the vertical vent. of the roof sooner than later.

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