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Master streams used to control bus fire. Pictures from Anne Arundel County, MD.

Pictures on this page courtesy Chief Drew Mutch, Cape St. Claire Volunteer Fire Company

Details on Davidsonville, Maryland  bus fire from

Members of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department were called to the commuter parking lot at routes 50 and 424, Friday morning, for a report of a bus on fire.

Division Chief Michael Cox told 9News Now when firefighters arrived they found a compressed natural gas DC Metrobus fully engulfed in flames.

Cox said the bus was driven by a mechanic. A spokesperson for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said the bus was not in service and test were being conducted at the time of the incident.

There were no firefighter or civilian injuries but Cox said the fire caused damage to about 12-14 other vehicles that were parked in the immediate area.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Comments - Add Yours

  • Mick Mayers

    Nice use of the master stream. Looks like a good job to me.

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  • herman glick

    How embarrassing. Elevated streams for a bus? 12-14 additional cars damaged….No exposure lines? Rear of bus not vented?

    Somebody please explain this one..

  • observer

    it’s anne arundel foundations savers, enough said…the only hazard was the CNG but the tank isn’t that big and has an automatic vent relieve so that the gas is either contained or released slowly.

  • doobis

    Yeah, they must not be a “real” fire department since they are not right up next to the venting LP gas powered bus with hand lines and no facial or airway protection.
    Too bad that they get to go home to their families without any battle scars to show how they valiantly fought a non life safety issue fire.
    The insurance companies must be livid!

  • KF

    @ glick—-elevated streams, not just for any bus, but this one was powered by Compressed Natural Gas…..why put guys in danger unneccesarily? What are you saving?…..fight that one from afar, god forbid the gas explodes….pack up, and go home.


    The Insurance Companies are not livid, because the scenario above is the same scenario at a house fire, therefore, the Insurance companies are very happy because homeowners in AA have had there insurance doubled which means more money for the Insurance Co.

    I realize stretching hand lines to put any fire out is foreign in this county, but if you can’t put it out with your wagon pipe and have to set up a ladder pipe for a bus fire, then pack your bags and find a new career. The whole set up is quite embarassing, as you have not only a ladder pipe in service, but 4 people walking around with their bottles on and their nowhere near the raging bus fire….

    Nobody said you have to go up in it, but what if someone were inside of the bus that fell asleep and missed his stop because he was drinking Steele reserve all day…Yeah didn’t think about that scenario did ya…Thats real right there son….Or what if there was a first due or second due fire that needed that ladder truck to make rescues, but couldn’t respond because they were heroically putting out a bus fire while the engine crew watches in amazement….

  • Anonymous

    This is one reason why one would take the master steam approach to a CNG vehicle fire.

  • dave

    The guys complaining about the elevated streams would probably tried an interior attack

  • Stop bitching and man up

    You guys who are saying ‘master streams are great!’ and ‘they would’ve tried an interior attack’…are clearly misinformed and have never encountered this type of situation. Are you aware of what the assignment was in this incident? They wound up with 10 Engines, 4 Trucks and 5 Tankers…FOR A BUS. There is no way that anyone should try to go into a bus that has nobody trapped inside….but really…that many pieces of apparatus? A ladder pipe? Awful. Simply Awful. You guy’s keep reading your material and preaching other people’s words. The men will be out there learning for themselves and keeping the tradition alive.

  • LADDER18

    Thank the Lord for the FIRE SERVICE ARMCHAIR QUARTERBACKS CORP. I thought they had vanished. Where o where would our fire service be without them ?????????????????? hmmm Lets see ,CNG run bus obviously on fire, no life hazard on the bus, no major exposures,and most importantly NO BROTHERS KILLED OR INJURED !!!!!!!! Looks like a good job to me.

  • SoCarFFEMT-P

    Dave, not before they put on their Superman underoos.

    I can just imagine the proponents of an “interior” attack on the bus.

    F/F #1 “Hey, they must be using jet engines to power these things now!”
    F/F #2 “Don’t worry, all we have to do is turn off the ignition.”


  • ME

    So the Chief in the one pic is a DC Fireman. In that picture the rear of the bus is off with what looks like very little extension into the rest of the bus. The next picture shows the wagon pipe in operation with NO water supply established and the bus is now 100% involved. Any idea when they may have thought to hook up their supply lines? Also that is E3, and that intersection should be E7′s first due, and could very well be accessed faster by PG E43 or E39. Next we have a ladder pipe in operation because its “dangerous to be near the bus” but we put a guy at the tip with halyards in place that are SUPPOSED to be used to operate that tip instead of a person.

    Now also pay attention to the picture with the Chief in the begining with the unknown substance that appears to be a trail leading right to the bus that is now on fire. Yet the engine pulls right up on it the trail. Glad it wasnt a flammable substance that could have led fire right back to the fire engine.

    The main issue with this bus is relief valve or not, CNG is very hazardous. And utilization of some proper engine company tactics could have probably handled the incident. But fact is, ALOT of us have no experience with these types of buses, so better safe than sorry.

  • Tampan

    “The Insurance Companies are not livid, because the scenario above is the same scenario at a house fire, therefore, the Insurance companies are very happy because homeowners in AA have had there insurance doubled which means more money for the Insurance Co. ”

    This is one of the more idiotic things I have read recently. Hookman doesn’t know much about firefighting or insurance as it turns out.

    Maybe ought to give up prognosticating until he can find a clue.

    Clueless for a 100 Alex.


    I don’t think the fireman commenting about the firefighters on this incident are to worked up that there was no interior attack nor do I see it mentioned. Seeing that interior firefighing is a foreign skill not practiced in this county or many other parts of the world, nobody would have expected these impersonators to go inside the bus…Then again, you would actually have to get closer than the individual operating the wagon pipe to know if anyone was inside. Remember, nobody is inside until the fireman say there isn’t. Well thats if your a fireman….

    However, I’m sure the people who expected to go home to their families after work, would have at the very least, appreciated a few handlines to the left and right of the bus, so they could drive their vehicles home…I guess protecting property is out the window as well….Thanks AAFD, truly a work in progress….

  • Doing it.

    I cant imagine why the county has such a high turnover rate of firefighters.


    Tampax…thanks for taking the time to interact and lower yourself down to my level..I take great pride in all my posts and for you to think all of my replies are idiotic, is truly an honor.

  • Anonymous

    I am a big proponent of getting the first line in service quickly. An 1 3/4″ could have been stretched immediately using tank water while water supply was being established. At the same time, a 2 1/2″ could have been deployed and placed in operation quickly once the water supply was established, which shouldn’t have been long as it looks like they laid out from a hydrant. I’m not saying this is better, just what I would’ve probably initially done…


    I would have went heavy duty with the ladder pipe..Oh wait, they already did that..

    Anne Arundel County Fire Dept..destroying your property since 19??

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  • Captain

    I bet money that if they had decided to attack with handlines and things went bad and killed a firefighter, you guys that are talking this junk would have been asking “why risk lives when nothing is to save”!! As a line officer, you make decisions based on the info you have and what you see, if you werent there then you cant second guess them! Why do we have to bash our own, because I just bet somewhere at some fire, we all have done things that others have talked negative about!

  • fireman

    Wow. I guess you guys don’t have 2 1/2 lines down there? If you are going to call the cavalary for a bus fire and break out the ladder pipe, protect the exposure cars. All they did was put water on a fire they obviously didn’t put out, until it consumed all if not most of the fuel.


    Dear 12-14 Cars,

    On behalf of Anne Arundels weakest, we the firefighters are deeply saddened for your loss. The mission and primary focus of our jobs is to save lives and protect property.

    We realize that no lives were at risk during this bus conflaguration, but we 1. Didn’t take the time to check if someone was inside of you sleeping and 2. Didn’t bother to protect you so that your owners could drive you back home..We lost focus long ago on dealing with the Class A type fires, but never thought we would lose total focus on protecting property. Though we brought out the big guns on this one, we simply failed.

    Those who might be interested at the unique application of utilizing a ladder pipe to attack a bus fire, are probably gazing at a fire podcast or studying your NIMS manual for your upcoming multi jurisdictional drill. We fully realize that some of you will never again get your tires rotated, oil changed or live out your manufacturers warranty, but we’ll come down to the junkyard oneday when the time is right after the emotional scars have healed.


    The 3 Alarm box assignment that sat and watched a ladder truck destroy your extended warranty.

  • Video

  • Video

    E31 arrives followed by PG e816 and e843. Non-hydrant area, called for additional tankers.

  • mark

    So all those saying this was a great job are also saying that if the CNG tank had BLEVE’d they were all within safe distance?

    How about some foam?

    Not saying we need to kill ourselves saving a bus, but this seems a little beyond ridiculous.

  • JJ

    No wonder you lost your friggin job. Do you have anything nice to say about anyone or anything? Apparently not, judging by your numerous comments that spew from your mouth. Any other intelligent person that was attempting to get thier job back, would be prudent and keep a low profile. But I guess you haven’t figured that out yet. If, by chance you do get it back, it will be a sad day for the DCFEMS.You really are a disgrace to all the hard working,honest,and decent people of the fire service in general. I hope you grow up soon.

  • Molly

    Hookman, why would you search that bus for someone ‘Steele reserve sleeping dude’ when this was driven by a mechanic doing a test run? Here’s a crazy idea, why don’t you talk to the driver for a few seconds to see if anyone might possibly be in there? Or does a proper size up not fit in with your hero attitude? Plus, take a look at the smoke pushing from the front door in the first picture, with that condition any once living creature on that bus is now well past dead. But by all means, get in there, crawl around on your hands and knees and sweep your hands (or your NY hook as you might have) over every single melting seat, just to confirm that the driver was not a murdering liar. Good luck to you. Oh, and sorry there are no pictures of someone looking inside every parked car to check for more sleeping people, guess that means it never happened.

  • DCFD Backstep Grunt

    Hook, here is the training video that AA County goes through as well. This might explain things. Thank God I dont live in this area too. Check out this video.

  • Fire

    I think Billy Goldfelder’s moustache just stood at attention when he saw these brave Dragon Slayers in action… least no one broke a nail. Good job Hookman, I almost crapped myself reading your message to those poor vehicles.

  • herman glick

    Sorry, been away….. No I wouldn’t risk lives but the shut off for the CNG flow is in a panel at the right rear. That eliminates the fuel feed to the engine. You now have an engine fire with….no fuel. Keep screwing around and you’ll end up with a bus that’s fully involved.
    Whether CNG/LPG/Propane etc. attack the fire, cover the exposures and cool the tanks to eliminate the BLEVE hazard and the fire will go out.
    I hate when I agree with Hookman. I’ll just try and be a little more diplomatic than he is.


    Jane Jane(JJ)…are you saying if I didn’t talk nice on here or on any other forum or blog, I might still be driving my ladder twuck…So basically your saying I lost my job for saying bad things about people on a blog, while I was off duty, utilizing my own computer and did all of this on my own time. Hmmmm…WOW, if that’s the case, then I did file my multi-million dollar civil suit in the right court for violations of my first amendment rights and for violations of the D.C. Whistleblower Proetection Act.

    So while I await my appeal hearing on the golf course, I should keep a low profile, because the D.C Office of Employee Appeals is monitoring me here on Statter911 or is my fate resting on the hands of Denise Rubin and the 2 women under him?

    anyways,thanks for your kind reply and taking the timeout to make me apart of your comment. To put as much emphasis on me, rather than the actual topic, is a real ego boost to my inner self. Just when my self worth reaches an all time low, its kind people like you that lift me up.
    BTW…if you have a Bar# and are licensed to practice in US District Court, let me know….ahh forget it…I need someone who can atleast spell “their” correctly.

    Hey Good Golly its MOLLY….wow spoken like a veteran who’s been near, on top of or within a hands reach of the knob of many bus fires..I’m glad to see someone like yourself taking a bus fire so seriously. If I were going to be serious about this particular incident and talking to the bus driver who took this out on a test run would provide critical information, this would require me to use a bull horn, because I’m 3000′ away from the bus, so I won’t be able to talk to him.
    And your right boo, screw the 12-14 cars, there not worth protecting right?..I mean someone could have left their wedding ring inside or something valuable that they treasure, so who cares right. Just like a house fire and saying let it burn were not gonna risk our lives even though we chose a career to save lives “AND PROTECT PROPERTY”…THATS RIGHT PROTECT PROPERTY…even if it means we get a lil boo boo on our ears from the heat…..And who cares if someone might have been cat napping while waiting for their loved one or friend who commutes to their job right…Hate to get that close to actually know or think outside of the box for that remote chance right MOLLY….next time stick to the Home & Garden Blog…I heard this months featured blog is about saving your perennials from the hot and humid weather.

    @Fire…i cried…it was very
    @herman…I remember going to the Bladensburg Rd Metro Shop and I don’t think I remember 99% of what they said, but I remembered the most important thing and that was where the CNG shut off was located….

  • 30+ on the job

    Unbelievable, the dumbest comment goes to the person who wants to shut off the valve to the fuel. Simple recognition that the relief valve on the cylinder is open and feeding the fire would tell you that option was lost a while ago. There is no valve in line with a relief valve for a reason. The relief valve is the pencil type flame shooting straight up in the middle of the bus with very little smoke coming from that flame stack. You can hear it as the first engine approches.

    Engage brain before running mouth.


    Dave…where’s comment #33 at?




    Sorry #34


    Hey Hookman … Where’d you go ?? Miss ya Lil buddy. Do they have WiFi in jail ?? Got a job yet ??

  • Molly

    Sorry to get you so defensive Hookman, you seem very passionate about your beliefs. Do you seriously think the driver will be standing next to the blaze? A bullhorn, Really? The more you write, the more you sound like an excited little junior with a hard on at his first fire.
    I didn’t say anything about saving or not saving the parked cars, that’s something you made up in your little head. I agree, exposures should have been the priority here, but just because YOU didn’t see someone checking for occupants does not mean it didn’t happen. Stop being so tunnel visioned and open your mind up a little.


    I’m right here…Where are you?
    I’m not in jail, but if I were, the WiFi sounds like it would be a great perk on top of the free meals…No job yet, unless playing golf is considered a job..No it can’t be, I’d have to turn pro and be paid for my game.I’ve played enough the last few years, I should try and get my PGA Golf Professional card..Thanks fo checkin up.




    DCFD Backstep….I just watched that…HOLY CANOLI BATMAN….Attention Attention the following areas are in great danger in regards to Fire Protection……

  • Anonymous NOVA EngineDriver

    wow, for someone who lost his job for running his mouth, you obviously learned your lesson. Your egotistical analysis of a fire you saw on YOUTUBE do nothing to enlighten or educate the readers, other than show the newbies here who know nothing about you what a complete dumba$$ you are and why you are no longer employed by DCFD. I heard from a little birdie that you were also run out of Leesburg. Listening to your words of wisdom was about as big of a waste of time as reading “Probie Days” and listening to that other piece of $hit Engle preaching his garbage and how he lied through his teeth when Dave interviewed him about the Riverdale fires. Go crawl in a hole somewhere Sullivan. You’re no longer a fireman. You may have received a paycheck from a big city Fire Department once upon a time, but you’re about as worthless and disgraceful as Engle to call yourself a fireman. Have fun playing golf, maybe I’ll hire you for the day next summer to be my caddy and hold my beer when I tee off.

    To the AA firemen, I’m not going to armchair quarterback, but my 2 cents… It was a total loss upon arrival, there was no probability of any “steel reserve” drunks to survive, cars are insured for a reason, and nobody (not even the has-been HOOKMAN) has enough experience with CNG vehicles to try and be a hero. You kept a safe distance (utilizing a fixed master stream from a ladder truck), the fire eventually went out and everyone went home.

    Let’s not forget the CNG explosion that happened in Seattle.

  • Legeros

    Google CNG bleve for an easily found PPT overview of the CNG explosion in Seattle involving a passenger car.

  • Who cares

    We wonder why the fire service is going down hill. The bus was not saveable. The bus could not and would not be repaired…so why risk anything? I am all about getting in their and putting out the fire…but this was a loser! Think about what you post…you are giving some new guys some bad information. What if they take your advice and attack the next CNG bus from the inside? Do you think someone might have gotten hurt or killed if they were near the tanks that vented? One last thought…you are sitting in one of the safety nazi’s classes or reading one of their articles…they have the video of the bus fire…and they ask the class…Can you believe that some dumbass fire fighters wanted to attach this from the inside? Again, please think about what you post! You are giving the safety nazi’s material that they will use to keep us from going into the ones we should!


    Oh Wow….I must have missed this reply by NOVA AMBULANCE DRIVER…..I’m gathering you’ve followed my stellar career both through the volunteer and career ranks or volunteered with me, but either way I’m taken away on how little you know about me past or present.

    I’m gathering your another disgruntled NOVA employee who didn’t get hired by a BIG CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT, so your consolation prize was to work in Northern, VA so you can craft the art of exterior firefighting.
    I know it was scary to wait in line at one of the firehouses to get an application, but you shouldn’t have run away.
    For whatever reason, I’m assuming I won’t be on your Christmas card list this year?

    So Boo, talk to me…..what is it that eats you up inside….did I not wave to you while responding on a BOX or did I scare you as I veered my ladder truck in the opposite lane and you peed your pantelonies while you were sightseeing. Oh I know….you came to my firehouse and I….
    1. didn’t let you touch my dirty gear
    2. didn’t let you sit in the drivers seat of the ladder truck so you could make siren noises and pretend you were going on the big one.

    Sunshine…I realize I upset you, but you will never upset me. When you see something that I write on hear or read something scribbled on the inside of a portable john about me and it gets your Dora the Explorer underwear up in a wad, take a few minutes to collectively think and relax before you respond back to me ok…You may think you know all about me, but you have no idea….trust me you have no idea….Save this reply to me and pin it up on your cork board, because in a few months you’ll want to read your reply back to me…kisses

  • Pvt.


    I would be ticked if I had something valuable to me in one of those cars and it was destroyed because of that operation.

    The car in Seattle blew up because the relief valve malfunctioned. That bus’s valve did its job and the tank was venting before the first engine got there.

    Option A:
    1. put the bus out from some distance
    2. cool the tank and let it vent
    3. additional companies protect exposures

    Option AA:
    1. position so far away your wagon pipe won’t penetrate (fire grows)
    2. reposition engine, set-up a ladder pipe (fire grows a lot more, starts burning up cars)
    3. extend the ladder and realize your halyards aren’t hooked up (oops, guess that’s the drill next shift)
    4. put a member at the tip even though we’re all about keeping a “safe” distance (what exactly is a “safe” distance?)

    Oh and NOVA, that little birdie said he was “run out”? I think you misunderstood. I’m pretty sure that bird said, “The circus music he was hearing was hurting his ears, so he had to run out.”

  • Joe Hebert

    I don’t understand all the negative criticism. The only time these attitudes should be displayed is when witnessing a blatantly unsafe action. There was nothing unsafe about the strategy and tactics used at this bus fire. There is always more than one strategy for every emergency. The strategy used here allowed application of “big water”, which it obviously required. It also provided safety for the personnel involved. The tank may have been venting, but was exposed to flame impingement. There was no way of knowing if the cylinder would become over-pressurized. The video was not long enough to determine if the needed manpower or water supply was available for additional lines (i.e. exposure protection). As far as I know, there was only “property” damaged, the fire was extinguished and everyone returned safely.

  • mark

    Legeros, so the answer to my question is: they weren’t far enough away even using the aerial then.

    Thanks for the info. I’ll pass it on to our training officers so we will know to not make an “interior” attack on a CNG powered bus if we ever have one.

  • Reality

    Are you serious with sending FFs into that situation for a search? How about a little risk benefit analysis. Bus in full bloom = untenable atmosphere for survivors. How would you like to tell a family member that their loved one died while checking for a skeleton?

  • PPFD

    HaHa, you MD and DC douche bags keep me entertained. Really, what’d cost you all on this fire? Ah thats right nothing. In the grand scheme of your self important lives does it really matter if they used a ladder or an air tanker, (that would have been pretty bad assed! And you all know it)


    Ease up oh salty warriors of Eastern, Md..Swallow what pride you have and learn to have a little fun at your expense..Trust most, that utilizing master streams on this Bus fire was comical to those who routinely put fires out and PROTECT PROPERTY..

    Learn how to laugh at yourselves and others, when its their turn or better yet my turn. Rather than get into a heated debate over what is the obvious, learn not to get so worked up…Since all of the pro safety gurus have spoken and the bus was a loss, maybe next time instead of dumping the tank in a minute on the bus, try using a few handlines on those 12-14 cars, then set up the ladder

  • Ouch

    DCFD Backstep Grunt says

    Hook, here is the training video that AA County goes through as well. This might explain things. Thank God I dont live in this area too. Check out this video.


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  • Anonymous NOVA Engine Driver

    @ PVT… sorry pal, I’m not risking my neck for something you felt was so VALUABLE that you left in your car at a PARK & RIDE lot. What could be so valuable for me to risk my neck for.. your IPOD? pack of Kool menthols? Garth Brooks CDs?

    and this “NOVA Ambulance Driver” just made time and a half. How’s your appeals coming along?


    DCFD Backstep…damn..that video must have been so bad that AACFD told the user to remove it or else..

    @Time and half..I’m glad you were able to earn some extra cash..My appeal will becoming up in the next month or so and I am very confident the judge will reverse the decision in my favor.just a matter of time…JUSTICE FOR HOOKMAN..HIP HIP HORRAY!!! GIT SUM

  • StiffRichard

    Here’s a neat concept I’m going to recomend at the next COG meeting:

    Before leaving quarters when dispatched on any type of incident, all Chiefs/Command officers shall post all dispatch info on this forum and not take any on-scene action till all you “chiefs” have had a chance to analize it and give your recomendations. Further, it shall be the responsability of the on-scene commander to discuss pay parity, working conditions, union strength, how ego’s will be effected, and pending lawsuits in other jurisdictions prior to taking any action to mitigate the incident.


    Sounds good stiff Richard or do you prefer to be called Dick?

  • Down South Fireman

    Holly brass couplings!!!! That bus is blazzin!!!!

  • FM18

    Guess the onboard fire suppression system didn't work this go round!  I witnessed one go off one day at a distance near GMU in Fairfax and the entire bus disappeared in a white cloud of powder!  Thought the bus had been hit my a bomb or something and scared the heck out of me!.  The suppression system is impressive when it works but not impressive at all when it doesn't!