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Daniel's Block Fire-BACKDRAFT

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Uploaded on Dec 17, 2006

Shortly after companies were in the building removing occupants. The plate glass storefront on the mercantile space dropped out lazily and smoke began to poor out of the store. Command reported the conditions to the companies operating on the upper floors, 2, 3 & 4 that a fire condition was present on floor 1. Eng-3 officer replied that the smoke and heat condition on the upper floors had deteriorated significantly and that the smoke was "Boiling" out of the floors and walls. Eng-3 officer gained accountability of the 7 members on the upper floors and began exiting the building. At the same time fire began blowing out the front of the store. Members using hooks removed all of the plate glass from the storefront. Within seconds heavy fire was blowing out of the front of the store on #1 floor and extending up the front of the building over the roofline. All firefighters were ordered out of the building. Within 5 minutes of the firefighters exiting the upper floors the second floor collapsed.

A defensive operation was ordered and 2nd-3rd-& 4th alarms were transmitted. Free burning fire continued as heavy master streams and big lines were put in to operation.

At approximately 01:33 20 minutes after the fire broke out and free burning fire was involving the structure on floor #1 & 2 the Backdraft occurred.

The backdraft was intense and forceful. It is believed that accumulation of gases in the basement of the building were building up and eventually let go. Precautionary measures of taking out the plate glass storefront were beneficial in reducing personal injury.

When viewing the footage it appears that memebers were directly in front of the building, however members were at 45-degree angles to the front. Operating lines. All members operating were in full protective clothing and SCBA. This helped reduce injuries as well. Engine 1 personnel operating in the rear of the building trying to force a door were blown back across a parking lot when the backdraft occurred. The top portion of the steel door folded from the force.

This video was taken from a police cruiser parked approximately one block away. You see signs of smoke churning at this angle. From the front of the building the smoke did not appear that way.

This backdraft occurred after ventilation had been completed and heavy fire burned for over 20 minutes involving the structure as well as contents. In addition, heavy streams operated on the fire well before the backdraft occurred.

We have experienced these types of building fires before. The large open spaces and concealed spaces allowed these gases to build up to explosive concentrations. Proper PPE certainly helped prevent injuries to our members. It was clear to us that this fire had been concealed within the walls and floor of this building and burning for a period of time before it was reported. The balloon frame constructions allowed for this fire to go unnoticed and gain headway





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