Row House Fire: Philadelphia

Video by: phillyfirenews. Video info: Row Home Fire in West Philadelphia on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. The fire was located on the 1600 block of N. 60th Street. Video provided to PhillyFireNews.com by Fox29

Apply Intentional Command to efficiently synchronize resources and effectively attack rapidly evolving, complex and severe problems.

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  1. What is the occupancy?
  2. What is the life hazard?
  3. Where are the occupants?
  4. Where is the fire?
  5. What is the fire doing to the building and where is it going?
  6. What is the ventilation situation?

What problems are created, and what tactical and Command solutions (strategies)  must be applied?

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2 thoughts on “Row House Fire: Philadelphia

  1. 1. Two story residential row house occupancy. Looks like it may be vacant/abandoned with the debris in the first floor front window. Also looks to be a wood frame structure with a flat roof.
    2. Life hazard is on the first floor and adjacent/connected structures. Not sure how deep the structure is…C side may have some tenable atmosphere on 2nd floor.
    3. Occupants may have been vacated a long time ago. Question neighbors. Evacuate neighbors.
    4. The fire is on the alpha side 2nd floor. 1st floor appears clear as of now.
    5. Fire is consuming all available fuels on the 2nd floor and is weakening and compromising the roof above the second floor. It is also spreading to the exterior of the structure and is beginning to communicate with connected structures.
    6. The fire is venting through the windows on the alpha side and is getting plenty of ventilation. The flow path seems to being going right out the front windows of the second floor.

    With limited resources on scene….
    -evacuate surrounding/connecting structures and first floor of involved structure while your driver works on water supply (pictured in video)
    -advise an incoming company go to the Charlie side and report conditions
    -establish water supply before committing crews inside.
    -fight fire with deck gun from exterior to knock the fire back with big water and to cool conditions down interior.
    -send fire attack crew in through the front door to make an attack on fire from within once exterior attack has been successful
    -conduct primary search of structure and exposures and check for extension
    -have crew ladder the roof of adjacent structure to take a look at the roof of building involved.
    -problem that may be created is if fire is unable to be extinguished with crews available then focus on containing the fire and protecting the exposures. (keep it to a row house fire instead of a row of houses on fire)

    I”m no expert so I know I’m missing things or may be wrong with my approach. Any constructive feedback would be appreciated. I like things like this that provoke thought.

    • Jim, you effectively used OODA (observe, orient, decide, and act) to identify the problems (fire, smoke, evacuation, rescue, and water supply) to match with your available resources. Each of those problems (strategies) requires sensible tactics to be successful. It’s important that the initial incident commander, whether a company or chief officer, recognizes the immediate demands and begins to forecast the future needs. Intentional Commanders are proactive and build the foundation for a successful operation. ….Billy