A newly released video out this week of more helmet cam footage. This is a great learning tool. Too bad some departments don’t take advantage of using technology to learn how to improve our operations.
I like this video particularly because it verifies what the flow path movement has been saying for years. Fast Water via Transitional Fire Attack & Controlling the Door can reset your fire back in time giving your crew a safer environment to work from. Why wait until you actually see fire to finally engage the fire? Several things worth noting that can make a difference in making a positive impact on the fire growth.
#1: Read the flow path! In this case a bi-directional flow changed to a uni-directional flow shortly after the exterior door was opened. (And remained opened for a considerable amount of time while gear was donned, hose flaked, and hoseline purged of air.) Meanwhile, the fire significantly intensifies as the nozzleman ask, “Do you want me to knock it down?”
Bi-directional and Uni-directional flows are convective heat transfers and can significantly transfer heat faster to cooler surfaces than other forms of heat transfer. So, when uni-directional flows are encountered you can anticipate a greater flow path velocity and a faster fire growth rate as seen in this video.
#2 Control the openings if feasible to control the fire.(In this case, there was an attempt, but the door was compromised due to heat.) The failure of the openings was due to the permitted fire growth thus compromising the windows and doorways.
#3 Reset the fire via a Transitional Fire Attack in order to slow fire growth and make conditions tenable for the interior attack.
#4: Surface cool around you as you proceed. The fuel around you is pre-heated and must be cooled to prevent ignition or re-ignition. In some instances, “penciling” the ceiling isn’t enough to ensure thermal energy absorption is occurring and doesn’t mean your fire corridor remains a safe egress point.
#5: Compromised attic spaces become a part of the flow path problem. When a ceiling fails, super-heated fire gases travel upwards at a higher velocity. The opening from an adjacent window can serve as the inlet for a unidirectional; flow into the attic space. Try a transitional hit on the fire room if you suspect the fire has breached into the attic from the fire room… the results may astonish you.