A full structure fire alarm has been struck for a dense residential area in the neighboring district. You catch the alarm while on the way to shopping and as you accelerate you see the first in engine sitting in the parking lot of the grocery store a block ahead.

You’re first due now.

On arrival you have light smoke from the garage of a 3 story type 5 house, approx 30 feet wide and 100 feet deep with the neighboring homes of similar type and so close it prohibits a 360 size up.

Your firefighter has made contact with the owner who states heavy smoke in the rear of the garage but no fire. Inside visibility is clear and his definition of “heavy” is clearly based on never seeing a fully smoke charged room.
In the back of the garage is an over heated electrical panel leading to the elevator control room, the door to which is blocked by storage bins and piles of laundry. Cutting the power immediately makes the electrical box stop buzzing.
As you exit the garage and send your firefighter to search the upstairs for signs of fire, the Battalion Chief calls on the tactical channel and asks for a report and if the entire alarm assignment needs to continue, they have another fire call nearby and could use the units. The engine you passed at the store is now arriving on scene and the officer is listening to the radio dispatch for the other fire.

What is your report and decision about additional resources? You make the call.

Agree? Disagree? Have something to add? Why not leave a comment or subscribe to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader?