First-Due Residential Fire

Video Clip provided by PGFD Captain Greg Zalenski, Station 812 -College Park (MD)VFD.

An mid morning fire in a Single family (SFR) residential structure challenged arriving companies as they went into operations. A video clip depicting the responding fire chief enroute and arrival provides a good sequence of the events, fire severity and growth. The 2,074 squre foot (SF) residential occupancy built in 1988 of wood frame construction did not have any immediate exposure concerns and was readily accessible for operating companies.

Make this a training opportunity; Some things to think about….

After reviewing the video, stills and aerials; as an arriving company or command officer-what some of the operational concerns you would have upon arrival with the volume of fire showing and progressing?

  • In this incident, a second alarm was transmitted as a precautionary measure.
  • How would you determine the need for additional resources?
  • How effective would your box alarm assignment be based upon your current deployment critera?
  • Would you have enough personnel and equipment to effectively and safely engage in combat fire suppression, search and rescue and support operations?
  • How would the dynamics of this event change- if there were reports of unaccounted civilians?
  • How would you defined the command or tactical risk profile of this evolving incident?
  • What concerns would you have related to the actual or suspected construction features? 
  • In the event of a collapse, compromise, entrappment or fire induced condition resulting in a firefighter mayday and need for RIT; what operational  considerations  would you need to consider, assign or implement?

Incident Overview From PGFD NEWS; Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson

Firefighters from Beltsville (MD) and surrounding stations were alerted to a house fire in the 4100 block of Ulster Road on Monday April 11th morning just before 10:00 am.

Fire/EMS units arrived within minutes and encountered heavy fire coming from the 2-story single family home with an attached garage. A precautionary 2nd Alarm was sounded as fire consumed the garage and had extended into the second floor and roof area.

As firefighters were advancing hose lines and searching for any occupants inside the home, a roof collapse appeared imminent and all personnel were ordered to evacuate the structure. All firefighters self evacuated safely and the firefight continued from the safety of the exterior. Once the bulk of the fire had been knocked down, firefighters re-entered the structure to complete searches and extinguish the remainder of the fire. With the exception of a family pet dog, no one was home when firefighters arrived.

It required about 40 minutes to extinguish the bulk of the fire. There were 60 firefighter/medics, command officers and support personnel that operated on the scene of this incident.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and estimated fire loss is still being tabulated. An adult male neighbor sustained minor lacerations to his arm when he broke the window out of a rear door to allow a dog to escape from the burning home.

Site Plan of the Residential Occupancy

A-B Side

Aerial A-D Side

Photo By M. Brady, PGFD

Photo By M. Brady, PGFD

Filed Under: BuildingsonFireCombat Fire EngagementMiscellaneousTraining Division


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