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Raw video: Ladder rescues from house fire in LaPorte, Indiana.

A fire on Saturday on Jackson Street in LaPorte, Indiana. The description with the video says five people were brought to safety. I have been unable to find further information on the fire.


Comments - Add Yours

  • Fire21

    If I was rescuing the 2nd guy from the roof, I'd have moved the ladder farther left to get away from the smoke, and what looked like a likely ignition at any time.  As it turned out, the wind blew the smoke away, and the window didn't ignite.  Good rescues.
    In the 2nd video, why are there firefighters milling around and no-one has a hose?  Did they forget it, or are they too far from the engine?  Maybe they hadn't received an assignment.  Just wondering…….

  • Anacostia County

    Their assignment should of been go inside and put the fire out. 

  • CaptHoCo

    looks like to ladders on scene. No engine yet.

  • We’re Screwed

    Quints for everyone. Then they can eat cake.

  • Firefighter113

    I thought the same thing untill the last five secs I saw they were calling for the operator to send water to them

  • Former Chief

    Fire21,  Did you take Dave Dodson's "Reading Smoke" class?  You are spot on, the turbulent smoke emitting from that window looks like it is ready to light off any minute.  They probably got lucky.  In the second video, they have a handline and are waiting for water, which probably means they're going "defensive"?!  REALLY!  Does no one go in and put the fire out anymore?!  Looks like there are a whole bunch of people waiting for someone else to go inside.  The apparatus in front of the structure is a Squirt.  At least it has an aerial device, BUT IT"S NOT A TRUCK.  Can we PLEASE leave the front of the building open for the Ladder Company, which by the way pulled up and is now out of position.  I'm not sure if this is a single family or a boarding house or SRO, I'm assuming the latter.  I don't understand why there isn't a line going in the front door, at least horizontal ventilation for starters and a search being started because that building is occupied until the FD says it isn't.  And if they don't get water on that soon, they are going to burn the building down and possibly the "D" exposure.

  • Dom

    In the second video the guy who is packed up is holding a hose. It does not appear charged yet.

  • mark

    CaptHoCo, what about the wyeappliance on the back of the squirt? Or the LDH in the hose bed?
    I'll be waiting for the guy from MO informing us that was not heavy, black smoke pushing from that window, either.

  • Fire21


    Former Chief, I haven't had the priviledge of attending Dave's class, but have read articles on reading smoke. But mainly 35 years of experience, 2/3 of it as an officer,  have taught me what a fire is showing by what the smoke is doing.  This video is very clear…I'd like to have seen further as to if it ever did light before they got an attack going.
    But obviously I haven't learned to be observant enough to see when a firefighter has a hose in his hands!  i apologize to those who saw the hose in the 2nd video…I missed it.


    • Former Chief

      Nice call 21.  I had to watch the second video twice to pick up the hoseline for sure.  We all miss something at one time or another, even me. :)

  • WagonDriver11

    This video (#1) came real close to being on the news amd other What could happen shows. That smoke coming out of the second floor window was nasty and ready to flash. While the first person was getting ready to come down the lady the smoke conditions really began to change. At that point someone should have told the guy still on the roof to move to his right (CAMERA's Left) and position himself on the otherside of the front door, then reposition the ladder to that side and continue to rescue.  That extra 5-10 seconds wouldn't of made the rescue less risky due to the color and force of the smoke comign out the window beside both victims on the roof. Also the people on the second roof of the "D" exposure could of also be relocated to the "C" ( rear) of their structure to get them out of harms (smoke and poss. flashover) way also.
    Like some of you, Im also wondering about 1) about 10 FF's in the front yard walking around. 2) no one seems to thrilled to be going inside 3) No one even made it to the front door to open it up or to check on conditions inside 4) No search was being perpaired, Noing that you had active rescue's inprogress. 5) Watching Vid #1, there is a Squirt just passed the front door that being a squirt carries water & hose lines so why no lines layed and pulled? Doesn't take 10 people to throw 2 ladders or the need for the other 8 to stand and watch? 6) 2 people, 1 line thru the front door could 1 protect the search crew and 2 keep the fire in check and from extending to the first floor by way of the stairway.
    Hope that some people use this video (Vid #1) as a training aid.  This could be anywhere USA at anytime. What would you do, How would you handle this situation? What tactics who you use etc…. 
    Now Im not saying anything was done wrong during this vid (#1), Each call, each fire, each emergency has many way to do things.  

  • Jeremy

    Dodson's video or attending a Smoke Reading lecture should be mandatory for every FF. I was waiting for it to flash on them. They got very lucky. Sucks the truck got cock blocked by the engine.

  • Cpt. Pressler

    I appreciate the comments from the armchair firefighters who weren't there,  I was there.  First due is a Quint with an engineer, captain and a firefighter – 3 persons.  Everyone else is a cop or a medic (non-fire based).  Priotity 1 in La Porte is LIFE SAFETY and it was addressed, successfully.  The fire originated in the only stairwell to the second floor (C/D corner).  This happened to be an exterior stairwell.  A quick 360 (not caught on tape) revealed no extension in the basement or first floor.  Residents confirmed lower floors were vacant and all persons in the second floor were out safely.  With immediate life safety hazard mitigated, who wouldn't knock down the fire in the stairwell prior to making entry?  I guess we could have attacked from the A side window where the smoke was coming from, it would have been like fighting a basement fire.  Once the stairwell was knocked down, the attack crew advanced to the inside for commplete knockdown and a second floor primary search.  And why the limp hose in the back, the engineer was setting the outriggers and was a little delayed in charging the line.  At the end of the first video you see him at the rear corner of the apparatus accessing the switches.
    The facts remain, 5 saved, property loss isolated to the stairwell and 1 apartment and no firefighter injuries.  We typically operate with 10-14 firefighters, there were 12 on duty for this fire. 
    Please use this as a tool for what we did right and what you thing was wrong, but don't publicly demean us when you weren't there and you have no idea how we operate. We (as a profession) don't always do things by the book but we get it done.  Thanks for the comments and stay safe.

  • Brandon Roark

    Agreed with Capt. Pressler (whom I do not know).  However I am familiar with Laporte as I drive through it every day to my FF job in SB. I love all the arm chair Firefighters out there making comments about what "they" would have done. This is a great video of smoke conditions, and ff's remaining calm exacuting numerous rescues. use it as such. You shouldnt be allowed to critique a fire when you dont know the fire, the department, or the equipment they use. 
    Kudos to our brothers in LaPorte. and more over thanks to Capt. Pressler for his appropriate response (Im not so sure I would have been so polite). 

  • Former Chief

    Capt. Pressler, thanks for shedding some light on the details of the operation.  Congratulations to your personnel for the rescues.  You know Firefighters are a very self critical bunch.  I never would have guessed there were no interior stairs at all.  That's a very unusual layout, at least in my experience.  I hope you agree that the smoke pushing from that second floor window looks ready to flash.  Also, could you tell us why you don't leave the front of the building open for the Ladder Company?  Lastly, as far as the life hazard issue, several years ago my FD responded to a working single family residence structure fire.  On our arrival, the neighbor told us no one was home.  We had heavy fire conditions on the first floor, so much that the interior stairs were compromised.  Our personnel entered the second floor from a window and on a secondary search located a 5 year old boy who succumbed to smoke inhalation.  He was found under a blanket on the floor in his bedroom.  The FF who did the VES went right over top of the victim when entering the window.  Most of us had a hard time with that one although we know that due to conditons on arrival, there was probably nothing we could have done.  I can only recommend to you that no structure is unoccupied until you confirm that.  Thanks for clarifying some of the questions raised by the video.

  • Oh Lord

    Good job on the grab.

  • Mr arm chair

    While I understand where Capt Pressler is coming from,  consider this…the fire goes as the first line!  Right?!  Good!  So the one fireman u have, stretches, as the boss does a 360, all while the driver throws a ladder to the roof.  The officer meets his fireman, back outfront, who now has a charged line, because the driver ran back and charged it (while not worrying about outriggers on an ENGINE COMPANY!)  And the fireman and Capt go in and hold/knock/extinguish the fire while the driver steadily assists with these not so urgent rescues and the truck gets there to finish up the search. 

  • Anacostia County

    Quints are the downfall of the fire service.  Departments that have them need SOG's that state that companies either operate as an engine company or a truck company during initial fire attack.  If you are the "engine company" on the assignment the driver should be concentrating on engine stuff and not be worrying about the outriggers.

  • Cpt. Pressler

    Thanks for the polite words. Our inner city is littered with single family dwellings converted to multi-family units.  I wont assign blame to this phenomena, but it is ultimately ours to deal with.  The dark smoke is a concern and was taken into account.  It is nice that we can critique this as a success and not a loss. 
    Regarding leaving the front open for a truck, in LP we did — like it or not our Quint, like the guys assigned to it – serve many roles often at the same time.  It was a pumper and a ladder.
     A primary search was conducted as quickly as conditions would allow.  When 5 persons, who were just in the structure 5 minutes ago, tell you that all persons are out you must make a slpit second decision to believe them or not.  For the immediate time, we did. 
    My heart goes out to your guys who lost the little boy and thanks for sharing that so we may learn to be less complacent.
    One more thing, the first in captain was recently promoted, this was his first working fire as an officer and I am very proud of him – I  was on the last in engine.  Once agin, it may not have been pretty or by the book, but it was successful.  Thanks for the comments.

    • Former Chief

      Thanks Capt,  We all learn as we go, or at least I hope we do.  Believe me, if you saw a video of some of my FD's jobs over the years, there would be much to critique.  We had a Tele-Squirt quint once so I know to which you speak.  We replaced that after twenty years with a 105' rear mount Quint.  Much more effective.  Thanks for the kind words on our fatal.  We all second guessed ourselves a lot after that one.  The family actually sent us a very nice letter with a picture of the little boy thanking us for all we did.  As much as we appreciated their thoughts, we didn't feel like we deserved it.  That note and picture is still hanging in the fire station.  You are right, complacency kills.  Please tell your new Captain congratulations and good job.  Stay safe.

  • Dickey

    Good Job Capt. Pressler!!!!
    Some of these armchair quarterbacks need to be put down. I personally didn't see anything wrong with what happened from the videos. Life safety is #1 and that was the priority.
    Good Job!!

  • KeepOnTruckin’

    REALLY????? NO ONE, out of 21 comments, picked on the most pressing issue of this video?  This is what this site is for, to recognize mistakes made and debate tactics so others may learn.  I am glad everyone is safe. But I digress..
    Forget what you read above (me). I do not care about all that stuff.  Start at 0:25 on the top video.  Tell me what the two people who enter screen left "dressed in turnout gear" are carrying.  Tell me what the guy trapped on the roof could really use.  WTF ARE YOU GUYS DOING?