Issue 4 and Volume 155.

BY BOB PRESSLER The alarm comes in at 3:20 a.m. It is in a section of town that has undergone some construction recently. The dispatcher’s description doesn’t give much extra information: a report of a possible building fire, smoke in the area. As the officer of the first-due truck company, you take a mental inventory. You think about the area to which you are responding, the “prevalent” building type found in that area, and who is working this shift. The time of day could be a problem. You most likely will encounter a lot of sleeping people, in a poor area where there are few smoke detectors with working batteries. As you get closer to your destination, you see a column of smoke, darker than the night sky, rising into the air. The engine company turns into the block and has to slow down because of heavy smoke in the…

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