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Firefighting Engine Company Operations: Elephant Hunting with a BB Gun?

Article and photos by Paul Shapiro Does this scenario sound familiar? It’s the everyday house fire fought with the everyday attack line, the 1 3/4-inch preconnect. The 1 3/4-inch preconnect is an excellent choice for the interior attack of a room-and-contents fire, which can usually be handled with flows from 120 to 150 gpm. But what about the totally involved structure when an initial interior attack is not possible because of the intensity of the fire? It’s just too damn hot! The truth is that most departments still use the interior attack flows from 1 3/4-inch lines for the fully involved structures. Can you knock down the typical fully involved house fire with on...

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