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Reality Training
by Reality Training

Taking command: Industrial-park fire

Given the layout of the buildings, the contents and manpower available, how would you attack this fire?

By Robert Avsec

This feature is intended to spark the sharing of ideas, information and techniques to make firefighters safer and more effective. The following video and discussion points must not be used to berate, belittle or criticize those firefighters. Rather, in the spirit of near-miss reporting, please use this feature as another teaching tool to help you better do your job. Please leave your comments below and use this material in your own department. I hope you find this Reality Training valuable; stay safe and keep learning.

Fires at industrial parks can present a variety of hazards and tactical challenges to responding firefighters and officers. Particularly in smaller complexes, one can find an auto body repair and paint shop next door to a carpet warehouse that is adjacent to a medical supply wholesaler.

These occupancies are generally in ordinary-construction buildings with masonry walls supporting the roof structure composed of lightweight steel or wood trusses. Or, they may be in metal-clad buildings over a structural steel framework.

In either case, the interior walls are usually constructed using sheetrock over wood or metal studs; some older buildings may have concrete walls separating occupancies.

Discussion questions

  • What is your evaluation of the tactical operations that you see taking place in the video?
  • What adjustments, if any, would you make if you were assuming command of this incident?
  • How does the concept of "big fire equals big water" come into play for this scenario?
  • What role does fire stream management and water management play in this fire scenario and why are those tactical concepts important?

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Samantha Renee Heart Samantha Renee Heart Wednesday, February 05, 2014 3:52:47 PM Ok number one: it's ineffective as they are hitting the roof fire in the auto repair shop, but it is obvious that it started in the kitchen place next door in number 6 so you need a line there on that fire. Two: 1 3/4 inch lines 3 of them as opposed to 2 2/12" lines and an 1 3/4" big fire big water also if there was a ladder truck available I'd set up ladder pipe operations for the roof fire if not use the trucks monitor so that's 1, 2, & 3. Number 4 have the next in engine company establish a water supply if needed set up a water relay & maybe tanker operation with tanker shuttles & have a reliable & efficient water supply.IF using ladder pipe operation the first in engine company establishes the water supply.
Blake Mayo Blake Mayo Saturday, February 08, 2014 4:53:56 PM This fire is not big enough for big water, instead the overhead doors need to be held open and crews need to enter area 7 to push the fire back into area 6. This was a single box alarm. A ladder company would be utilized for venting, overhaul and salvage
Brian Fuhrmann Brian Fuhrmann Sunday, February 09, 2014 10:21:12 AM I agree with Blake, take a stand at bay 7 and contain the fire to bay 6. Looks like a lot of water was being sprayed at flames and smoke above the roof with not much being applied into the area where the base of the fire was (into bay 6). I think a 2 1/2" blitz line into bay 6 would have been beneficial at getting the fire knocked down quickly.
Dan Reed Dan Reed Sunday, February 09, 2014 11:19:05 AM get in door 7 and attack the fire. 9 minutes in and only two lines and two guys?
Ron Gill Ron Gill Sunday, February 09, 2014 11:29:51 AM Great video of ineffective fire attack methods
Steve Howarth Steve Howarth Sunday, February 09, 2014 11:04:20 PM The main consideration was to stop it spreading into the garage unit. There should have been a jet in that door way sooner and the the attack for the kitchen unit should have been from in the doorway and not just pouring water into smoke coming from the roof. These units collapse pretty quick so a safety officer would have been a priority. An ALP should be set up ASAP. 3 pumps ALP job done!
Steve Howarth Steve Howarth Sunday, February 09, 2014 11:06:58 PM The involvement of cylinders is always a danger at these types of units!

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