Portable Blower Unit Proves Valuable at Smoky Fires—Recommended for Use by Smaller Departments—Operates Unattended

THERE is no question in my mind regarding the value of smoke removal for aiding in the extinguishment of fires and reducing smoke loss.

We have had gratifying results with a Homelite blower which we purchased in 1934. It has enabled firemen to enter places, and has minimized the smoke damage.

Floor Cleared of Smoke in 20 Minufes

A fire occurred some time ago on the second floor of a department store which had a floor area of about 50 by 100 feet. Fire broke out in about the front part which was used for offices. Fire was of considerable intensity, but due to its accessibility and the proper direction of fire streams, was quickly controlled. However, the entire floor was heavily charged with smoke. The blower was placed in use after the fire was under control, and in about twenty minutes, the floor was entirely cleared of smoke by the use of this blower. This helped to reduce the smoke damage to the floor contents.

At another time, fire broke out in an apartment of an apartment house and practically destroyed an electric refrigerator. It was impossible to enter the kitchen of the apartment involved, due to the escape of the refrigerant. The Homelite blower was put into service and in a short time, it was possible for one to enter the apartment with safety.

Basement Quickly Cleared

At a third fire in a basement, heavily charged with smoke, the blower cleared out the smoke in a reasonable length of time, after the fire had been controlled by hose lines.

I believe that this type of equipment could he adapted for use by smaller departments, but that larger departments need to develop an individual unit with greater capacity.

I have been experimenting with a large exhaust fan. electrically operated from our Light and Rescue Car, but without any definite results.

Self Contained Gasoline Unit

The Homelite blower is a self-contained gasoline driven unit. Our method of operation is for one man using a selfcontained breathing apparatus, to carry this machine inside the area that is charged with smoke. The engine is started and a collapsible canvas exhaust pipe is put out through a window or other convenient access to the outside air. As soon as the blower is started, it is left to perform its work without further attention.

The time required to clear a building of smoke depends, of course, on the area of the space and the capacity of the machine.

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