Firefighting, Structural Firefighting, Truck Company

Basement Fire Strategy and Tactics

Issue 10 and Volume 164.

BY John J. Lewis AND ROBERT MORAN Scenario: You are dispatched to a reported structure fire at 12 Bella Court; early radio reports indicate a definite fire with smoke showing on arrival of the deputy chief. You are the officer on the first-due engine company. As you approach the scene, you attempt a three-sided view of the 2½-story wood-frame structure. Thick black smoke is showing from the first and second floors and the open front door. No fire is visible as you move past the structure. Your crew stretches the initial attack line to the front entrance and prepares to enter the dwelling. As you and your crew move into the structure, your instincts and accumulated cue-based experience urge you to rethink your actions. You feel something is not right. At this point, the nozzleman turns to you and states, “Hey, I think it’s in the basement!” (1) Note the…

Subscribe to unlock this content

Subscribe Now