Thursday, March 6, 2014

Interior Fire Attack

Almost all of us have this one fire problem in common: the 1½ to 2½-story dwelling and the challenges it presents. These structures are usually single-family dwellings, but some of the larger 2½-story structures may be renovated into two- or three-family dwellings. One specific challenge these structures present is the knee wall, a confined space in the half-story above the tallest full story. The half story can be finished with either drywall or lath and plaster, depending on the age of the structure, and used for living space or storage. The knee wall is a vertical wall that stretches about 3–4 feet internally from the floor toward the peak of the roof. 
A concealed space is created behind the knee wall and usually extends to the eaves; it may be used for storage space or as a means to conceal plumbing or electrical wiring, which will increase the risk of extension

A thorough and accurate size-up will greatly increase your chances for success when fighting a fire in a structure with knee walls and concealed spaces, because it will help you determine many important aspects of the structure, such as the type of building construction, the height of the building and the location and extent of the fire. These elements should give you clues as to the possible presence of knee walls and the aggressive measures that you’ll need to take to confine and extinguish the fire. Often, these buildings are wood-frame construction, but depending on the building’s age, they may also be balloon-frame construction. If you identify balloon construction, stretch hand lines to all floors of the building. The truck company will also need to prepare for aggressive roof ventilation.

The interior will vary within these structures, but for the typical 1½-story, single-family dwelling or Cape Cod-style home, the interior stairs will be close to the front door. The bedrooms are likely to be located on both floors of the home, with one or two on each floor. With this layout, hose lines should initially be positioned to protect the stairs and any occupants, with at least one hose line between the fire and the occupants. The second line must serve as a back-up line to the initial-attack line. If you determine that the initial-attack line has the fire controlled, the back-up line can then be repositioned above the fire. As soon as the initial-attack lines knock down the fire, the ceiling and outer wall spaces must be opened up and the line operated in the void space. If the back-up line must stay in place, a third line must be stretched above the fire as soon as possible.

1 comment:

  1. So interior fires are a lot more complex than i thought, i just though they burned up in like 5 minutes.