Firefighting

RAPID FIRE SPREAD AND OTHER DEADLY HAZARDS

Issue 6 and Volume 149.

RAPID FIRE SPREAD AND OTHER DEADLY HAZARDS by Francis L. Brannigan, SFPE Even experienced firefighters sometimes do not realize how fast a fire can spread even without the presence of a special accelerant, but an ordinary wood environment can provide fuel for extraordinarily rapid spread. The following is abstracted from a letter from Captain John Norman, Rescue Co. 1, City of New York (NY) Fire Department, author of Fire Officer`s Handbook of Tactics (Fire Engineering, 1991). At the time this book was written, Captain Norman was also an assistant chief of the Inwood (NY) Fire Department. Chief officers could hear at home the conversation between the dispatcher and an emergency caller, who, in this case, reported a fire in the bedroom. Norman responded immediately. Response time was two minutes; but, on arrival, fire was out 16 windows on two floors and 20 to 30 feet in the air. Fire already…

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