Fireground Size-Up: Row Frames

Issue 5 and Volume 156.

By Michael A. Terpak The row frame, as the name implies, is a row of attached wooden buildings that can vary in height from two to four stories. Each individual building can range in width from 20 to 30 feet and in depth from 40 to 60 feet. The number of attached buildings in the row can range from three or four to as many as a dozen or more, all with a common cockloft, a common cornice, and—in some cases—a common basement. Let’s look at the 15-point size-up represented by the acronym “COAL TWAS WEALTHS” for row frames. CONSTRUCTION Row frames’ construction and inherent building features present some of the greatest challenges for the fire department. They are Type 5/wood-frame construction, encompassing balloon and braced frame designs. With balloon-frame design, fire officers must anticipate how fire can extend through the buildings’ interior and exterior wall channels with no restrictions.…

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