What Would You Do? Fire In a Six-Story Commercial Building

By John “Skip” Coleman

This fire occurs in a six-story commercial building in your downtown area. All floors have occupants, but there are many vacant areas on all floors with the exception of the first floor, which is completely occupied. Please view the video.

Assume you are responsible for initially establishing command at this fire.

Other units responding are what your department would send on a report of a fire in this occupancy type.

Answer the questions below or make your own strategic, tactical and task level questions to answer.

Can crews safely effectively enter and work?      Yes        No

Could there be savable people inside?                  Yes        No

Will you allow offensive (interior) operations?  Yes       No

First assignment:___

Second assignment:__

Third assignment:__

Fourth assignment:___

For fire attack:  Size of line (Control)__  : Taken in from and taken to:  (Confine)_

For ventilation


For search


For backup. How___

Skip Coleman: Firefighting RoundtableJohn “Skip” Coleman retired as assistant chief from the Toledo (OH) Department of Fire and Rescue. He is a technical editor of Fire Engineering. a member of the FDIC Educational Advisory Board; and author of Incident Management for the Street-Smart Fire Officer (Fire Engineering, 1997), Managing Major Fires (Fire Engineering, 2000), Incident Management for the Street-Smart Fire Officer, Second Edition (Fire Engineering, 2008) and Searching Smarter (Fire Engineering 2011) and 2011 recipient of the FDIC Tom Brennan Lifetime Achievement Award.

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