High-Rise RIT Saves Trapped Firefighters

Issue 5 and Volume 156.

By David Pegg What began as a “routine” fire in a Detroit, Michigan, high-rise soon escalated into a “Saving Our Own” operation. On October 17, 2002, at 0443 hours, Detroit (MI) Fire Department Engine 1 and Ladder 1 were dispatched on a “still” alarm to check for smoke on the 24th floor of the 25-story First National Building. The building encompasses an entire city block and has entrances on all four sides (Bates, Congress, Cadillac Square, and Woodward). On arrival on the Bates Street side, Engine 1 called for a full assignment, which brought an additional two engines; a squad; and Chief 1, David Hood. Detroit has reduced the number of companies responding to automatic alarms because of the high number of false alarms. Thus, Engine 1 and Ladder 1 found themselves with a working fire on the 24th floor, fully involving a storage area and an office area approximately…

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