First arriving: How do you attack this fire?

A known explosion, heavy flames and strong wind present challenges for the first-arriving crews; how would you lead and attack this fire?

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.

When a structure fire is the result of an unidentified explosion, the incident commander and all personnel on scene must be cognizant of three possible outcomes: structural instability, damaged utilities lines (gas and electric) within the structure, and released natural gas or propane within the structure that will intensify the fire.

Discussion questions

  • What does your size-up of the situation reveal?
  • What would be your incident action plan for this fire? 
  • Was truck placement ideal?
  • What would be your tactical priorities and how would you prioritize them?
  • What would be your safety message that you communicate to your tactical leaders as you assign them elements of your incident action plan?
  • What factor does weather play in attacking this fire?

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