Cop douses Christmas light fire with on-board CAFS

Police and fire officer units were equipped with small compressed air foam systems in the summer to slow or knockdown small fires

By Pat Kinney
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — One of the city's new compressed air foam units was utilized to extinguish a Christmas light display fire at a mobile home park Thursday night.

The fire was reported shortly after 5 p.m. on the wooden deck of a mobile home at 2508 S. Union Road, Lot 101. Fire Chief John Schilling said a police vehicle equipped with a compressed air foam fire suppression system arrived in about seven minutes. Officer Chris Copp knocked down the blaze with the foamy substance before a fire truck arrived about a minute later.

The fire resulted in about $250 damage to the deck, Schilling said. The residence was not damaged. An occupant of the mobile home twisted an ankle when jumping off the deck while exiting the residence.

Schilling said too many electrical elements of the holiday display, which included inflatables as well as lights, were plugged into the same outlet.

In July, the city has fitted three public safety SUVs -- two in the Police Department, one in the Fire Department, with equipment to shoot compressed air foam from a 50-foot hose to extinguish small fires. Public safety officials have likened the equipment to a giant fire extinguisher, and previously saw them used in Charles City.

The equipment is designed help police or fire safety units arriving at the scene ahead of fire trucks to extinguish or control a blaze until they arrive.

"It did what it was supposed to do," Schilling said. "These aren't indoor firefighting tools. In this application, it worked really well."

It's the fourth time one of the systems has been used since they were acquired in July. "We have had three other uses, car fire, grass fire and oily rags outside of a restaurant," Public Safety Director Jeff Olson noted.


(c)2015 Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (Waterloo, Iowa)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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