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UL’s FSRI releases online training based on Ga. near-miss

Fire dynamic simulations and firefighter interviews create lessons and recommendations from a Cobb County fire in which four firefighters were burned


Fire Safety Research Institute

By Bill Carey

COLUMBIA, Md. — UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI) made online training available this week based on a near-miss incident during a fire in a garden-style apartment building in Cobb County, Georgia.

The online training course focuses on the events in which four members of the fire attack crew were burned. A review of FSRI’s analysis of contributing factors, as well as information from firefighter interviews, points to evidence-based recommendations for the fire service.

On Feb. 9, 2022, Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services responded to a fire in a ground-floor unit in a garden apartment building. Upon arrival, the blaze was a post-flashover fire in a bedroom. Initial extinguishment was attempted by an interior team, which was unable to quickly locate the fire. An exterior fire attack through the bedroom window began before the discovery of the fire by the interior team. Shortly after the fire was discovered, a mayday was called. Four firefighters received first- and second-degree burns.

Four fire simulations were performed in support of the analysis. These included a simulation of the event as it unfolded and three simulations looking at the impact of alternate tactics. The simulations provided insight into the heat present in the apartment during the fire and the impact of the interior and exterior suppression on conditions inside the apartment.

Six contributing factors were identified, including:

  1. Size-up

  2. Communication and accountability

  3. Delayed exterior attack

  4. Lack of entry hall protection

  5. Apartment layout and construction

  6. Thermal imager use

Mayday procedures and training were included as a positive contribution that helped avoid more serious injuries.

Based on the contributing factors, five recommendations were made, including:

  1. Improved size-up

  2. Exterior fire control to prevent exterior spread

  3. Protection of exit pathways

  4. Basing fireground tactics on known information

  5. Recognizing when a change in tactics is needed

Read the full report from UL FSRI here.

Learn more about FSRI’s Study of Firefighter Line of Duty Injuries and Near-Misses.