First Arriving Network
Powered by the First Arriving Network,Reaching 1M+ First Responders Worldwide

Raw video: House fire in Mason City, Iowa.

A house fire at 1502 South Pennylvania Avenue in Mason City, Iowa on Sunday.


Comments - Add Yours

  • http://msn RETIREDINSC

    Oh my, Looks like they had a hard time with this one. It also looks like this house had allot of add ons. I hpoe that there was water flowing before that speedy hookup to the plug. Man that was a fast hookup.Enjoyed the nose hair shot.

  • John Woods

    Would it be to much to ask for a few hooks inside, pull some drywall down and get a line up there – and what's with the line in the vent hole – have we not learned anything over the years? And last but not least, how many fire dept. employees (did not say fireman or fire fighters) does it take to open a fire hydrant ? Because you know that is what those two cops are joking about. For those of you out there that do a good job, please keep up the good work and for the others – please start to read, train and speak to some fireman about how they practice their craft. If we keep going down this path the public will not have any use for us – just a good insurence company!

    • http://msn RETIREDINSC

      John, way to go and well said. Sometimes I get so tired of riping people apart. But at times things need to be said.

  • Crowbar

    Anybody out there who still thinks you can't push fire around with a hoseline?

  • Jimmy

    Great tactics! Keep it up! One line fire and a truck company with a couple hooks. Unreal!

  • 2w5

    Line in a vent hole… sure hope no FF's were inside… Wait to vent and  then line in vent… Not in any books I know. I f I was inside and got pushed out would took a axe to that line when we made it out

  • Anonymous

    The bystander says "They cut the hole so the fire comes out and won't spread to the rest of the house" And then the firefighter sticks a nozzle in the vent hole and pushes the fire throughout the attic! Unbelievable! The bystander has a better understanding of ventilation than the firefighter.

  • Mr. Questions

    Just a hint here fella's…If there is heavy accrid fast pushing smoke out of the vent hole…DON'T LEAN OVER IT!!!

  • Jim Coleman

    I have a couple of questions, is this a full time department? What has become of the fire service, why not use the manpower inside opening up the ceiling? This is a total disgrace to the fire service! Mr. Statter why do you continue to post these videos that depict the fire service as a bunch of men who are absolutely clueless as to how to handle fire suppression? Since when do you open the roof and stick a hose-line in the vent hole? How about open the roof and then pull the ceiling and then extinguish the fire with a hose-line. If you continue to post these videos, the perception to the public is that we are totally inept. The departments that do it right have nothing to be concerned about, its the departments that are clueless that are in for a rude awakening from the residents that they serve. Take care and stay safe.

  • Hook-n-Ladder 20

    Ok ………Where do I begin?! Since I'm a Truckie ,Lets start with the topside ventilation, or lack of, in the beginning of the video, A line was stretched into the interior for an initial attack. Was there an horizontal ventilation opposite the line?! Surely, vertical wasn't done. I saw a group of guys holding a Union meeting in the Garage! WTF?! Lets get a ladder up ,and cut some holes for the interior crew. I don't know what they teach in IOWA , but,  I know back East, We DO NOT CUT A VENT HOLE AND PUT A LINE IN IT! To Bad we don't have the rest of the Video and see the house burned to the ground.

  • Dickey

    Firefighting 101
    Hose + vent hole = house in basement.

  • Midwest FF

    My initial thoughts at the very begining of the video.
    1. vertical vent.  2. pull ceiling.  3. put out fire.
    Guess I was wrong, didn't see any of that in this fire.


    While I never advocate running around like madmen, a little sense of urgency would be nice to see.  The water supply operation and the outdoor meetings made it look like a training burn.  Bet the interior troops enjoyed seeing this video; it explained some of the conditions they suffered through.  I'd love to hear the FD's explanation of their ventilation practices (or lack thereof).  Line in the vent hole…amazing.  Everyone missed the same day of fire school?


    And the beat goes on…. And the beat goes on….

  • Depressed Fireman

    Let me start out by saying that I am not defending putting a line in a vent hole in any way.  But,  I am always trying to get into the minds of the people doing what appears to be stupid things.  The only thing that I can think of here is if there was a roof built over top of an existing roof, and they deemed it easier to get water to it by putting water in from the top.  From the looks of the smoke, this doesn't appear to be the case.  The smoke appears to be from the involvement of a much larger compartment than a void created by putting one roof over the top of another roof.

  • Not in the Midwest

    Lucky for us we have all these experts here to pick apart every single FD across the country! Well, except for Detroit and Gary  because " they get a lot of fire" so they are exempt from standard and safe firefighting practices.  Maybe in this case they had some unforseen circumstances, like one roof assembly built right on top of another or maybe a plywood ceiling.  I don't know.  I wasn't there.  I would love to sit in on the critique of this fire, to hear the MCFD perspective though.

  • Sean

    From their website, MCFD is a paid department operating out of one station.

  • SFC

    This video is a must for every fire academy in the country.
    The footage at 5:57 shows exactly why you never flow water through a ventilation hole. You could clearly see how the fire was pushed out from the eves. It also depicts how an interior crew could be severely burned by a foolish move. 
    Your thoughts?

  • doobis

    Too bad it wasn't a training burn; it was an interesting lesson on fire behavior in relation to how hose streams can push fire throughout a structure.

  • DL

    Not in the Midwest, I dont consider myself an expert in anything but I do consider myself a knowledgable fireman.  As long as these videos keep getting uploaded to the internet they will be nitpicked by firefighters across the U.S., just the nature of the beast.  And this one is no different. 
    Maybe there was two roofs but we will probably never know, all I know is that I would never do what they did.  Their job was done and it was time for them to get a new assignment.  I have been to fires in my own town where this happens and half the damn roof burnt off and more damage was done than should have.  The reason was because basically pure laziness.  The DC pulled everyone out because the interior crews stated that the smoke was starting to bank down and they couldnt find access to the attic, all they needed to do was pull ceilings.  This is one of two shifts out of four that are known to pull this type of crap all the time.  Anyway bottom line is what we see in this video is just more firefighters standing around while buildings burn. A shame.

  • Tower5Ladder

    This was a nickle and dime fire, that got turned into a circus.  Hose lines in vent holes, two employees on a fire hydrant, alot of walking around with no tools, or a clue, the list could go on forever.    

  • E-11

    the hole cut on the rear of the house was not a vent hole it was an access hole. it apeared to be a porch that had been enclosed an would of had 3/4 tung and groove boards for the ceiling making it almost impossible to pull from the inside. many older houses have converted porches front and back  

    • Robert Kramer

      Can’t pull tongue and groove? Maybe you need some Wheaties…..



  • wackshack

    I still think we need an exchange program with the midwest. We would have a field day in fly over county.
    We could give them 30 days in the hole,they would return home a changed group.
    God Bless the DC/Metro way of doing business!!!

    • We’re Screwed

      Is that why the DC burn unit always has a fireman in it? or DC has the highest fire fatality rate in the country, short of an indian reservation? 

  • mark

    They have purty trucks…….

  • Mr. Questions

    Here is how not to get nit-picked on Statter…
    1. Train, train, train
    2. Know your district and the buildings in it
    3. Know your area and the streets in it.
    4. Know your equipment and how to use it
    5. Train, train, train some more
    6. Keep up on current best practices and techniques.
    7. NO freelancing!!!
    8. Train, train, train some more…
    So the next time your on a fire and the video camera is running you'll look like professional…paid or volunteer and you won't get nit-picked

    • mark

      I wouldn't really consider the comments nitpicking. Something as ignorant as sticking a line in a vent hole is not nitpicking. Taking who knows how long to cut the vent hole in the first place is not nitpicking. Dressing a hydrant in under 2 minutes wouldn't be fodder for nitpicking.
      But you do have valid points.

  • Anonymous

    Yes Mr. Cameraman it is dangerous and yes, they are going to burn teh whole house down. 

  • Mason

    the house did not burn. It is as it is in the video, ceiling was pulled in 4 rooms, breezeway, porch, Kitchen and bathroom. A small hole in the porch roof from an insulating job gave access for the fire to move into the porch attic. The fire started on an outside deck, went into the sofit and attic. the hydrant was stuck shut. had to wack the hydrant wrnech with a sledge, you can hear it in the video. there was fire from the garage attic to the original house wall. Not perfect but not as bad as the keyboard cowboys make it sound.