Basement Fire Strategy and Tactics

10/01/2011
BY John J. Lewis AND ROBERT MORAN Scenario: You are dispatched to a reported structure fire at 12 Bella Court; early radio reports indicate a definite fire with smoke showing on arrival of the deputy chief. You are the officer on the first-due engine company. As you approach the scene, you attempt a three-sided view of the 2½-story wood-frame structure. Thick black smoke is showing from the first and second floors and the open front door. No fire is visible as you move past the structure. Your crew stretches the initial attack line to the front entrance and prepares to enter the dwelling. As you and your crew move into the structure, your instincts and accumulated cue-based experience urg...

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