Leadership

New Ladder Use at High-Rise Fires

Issue 7 and Volume 134.

New Ladder Use at High-Rise Fires FEATURES The need for a new or different way to fight high-rise fires was on my mind after an incident in which fire trapped 20 persons in an 18th-floor Manhattan conference room. The stairway was cut off by flames, and the contained heat made fire fighting especially difficult. After an aggressive attack, however, all were rescued—although five occupants and 22 fire fighters were injured. Only two hand lines off the standpipe were needed to extinguish the fire, but the heat on the fire floor forced a frequent rotation of fire fighters. It took two hours and 70 fire fighters to extinguish the fire. No lives were lost this time. I wondered about next time. Whenever intensive heat or fire prevents a timely interior advancement of hand lines, we must have an alternate method of attack, I thought. We needed a better way to place…

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