BY BILL GUSTINThe construction of a fire building is one of the most important considerations in a size-up. Fire officers must determine the type of construction early in an incident if they are to know a building’s potential for collapse and spreading fire in concealed spaces. Knowing a building’s construction is also critical in devising an appropriate strategy, initiating effective tactics, and determining how long firefighters can safely operate in the building when its structural members are under attack from fire. (1) West Palm Beach, Florida, firefighters begin to attack a fire in an old balloon-fram residence. Fire has already extended vertically through nonfirestopp...

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