Fighting Fires on Rooftops Undergoing Rehab

Issue 110 and Volume 162.

BY WILLIAM SCHULTZ A fire within a structure can pose any number of challenges for firefighters. Take the same fire and place it outside and on the rooftop of the building, and now you have the makings of an extreme challenge. The Wheaton (IL) Fire Department has faced this extreme challenge several times over the past few years in structures whose roofs were being replaced or repaired. The first was on the rooftop of the four-story Billy Graham Center-Barrows Auditorium on the campus of Wheaton College, the second was at one of our high schools, and the most recent was an extra-alarm fire on top of a local two-story elementary school. In these incidents, the fires involved not only the roof structure itself but also stored construction materials in the area for the rehab work in progress. Additionally, firefighters were confronted with heavy fire conditions at the onset of the…

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