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Construction Concerns for Firefighters: Concealed Combustibles - Building Construction

Articles and photos by Gregory Havel At fires and other types of incidents, firefighters sometimes get into trouble because we make incorrect assumptions about the structure that we will be working in or near. These assumptions are frequently based on appearance. Photo 1 shows a small commercial building that is being remodeled. The exterior was brick, and will remain brick, with a new main entrance. Removal of some of the exterior brick shows that this is not a masonry load-bearing wall, but a wood-frame load-bearing wall with brick veneer. Since this structure was built in the early 1980s, the studs are 2x4 and the sheathing is polyisocyanurate insulating foam board with foil facing. Th...

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