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More must see video: Watch the explosion rip through attic during house fire in New Chicago, Indiana.

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Watch what happens during this Ed Malik video at 6:18. Watch the white helmet fly off of the officer and the door slam shut. The fire was earlier today at 402 Madison in New Chicago, Indiana. According to Ed, no one was injured in the blast.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • rural chief

    Awesome video!
    They were fortunate to have a hydrant in the front yard for a water supply.

    • Anonymous

      Awesome? Sigh…wow….

  • Anonymous

    I guess instead of an evac signal, they use the airhorns like a starter pistol here… Nobody wanted to go inside so they hit the evac to get nobody out, then half of them decided they were ready to go inside so they could make sure the guys spraying water outside were putting it in the right place I guess… wow.

    • TJ

      Sure looks like there were people coming out as the air horns are blowing. (Guy in the red lid and the guys who come out with them?)
      Also, I have always been taught that airhorns are an evacuation signal, as well as having evac tones.

  • Truckie23

    I have a big question that I ask my self everytime I watch one of these clips and for the life of me I can never come up with a good answer.  Why firefighter and officer tend to forget to wear their PPE? Also the Chief or Deputy Chief who ever it may have been in this video should of spent more time whatching the condition of the fire and not on the roof or in the building.  He might of had a better chance to notice the thick smoke pushing from the building and could of pulled his crews out sooner.  The up side to this is no firefighters where killed because of the lack of command and leadership at this incidetn.  Remember the PPE that is on the trucks and that is bought for you is ment to be worn this could be the only thing that stands between you seeing your family and a LODD.  Be Safe all.

  • Grant Mishoe

    This is a truly sad attempt at "firefighting". They are real lucky no ones was injured or killed.

  • Grant Mishoe

    to Rural Chief… really… "awesome"… really.
    Yeah… there was a hydrant in the front yard… shame they never used it. A little bit of water through the ceiling would have kept that fire in check.
    Yeah… "real awesome"

    • ltfd seattle

      Yes- water into the attic, via the ceiling, right after entering through the door!

  • 95%er

    No Stockton Gold Star being awarded here!

  • Anonymous

    Instead of watering the roof maybe that 2nd line shouldve been backing up the first.

  • livindadream

    That was painful to watch. These guys are patting themselves on the back when this should have gone out with minutes of arrival. They did everything they could to burn the house down, hell even the wind wanted to help. We could go step by ugly step, but I'll leave it with, I hope everyone is okay. 
    "If you don't do it everyday, do it every drill"

  • i know everything

    White helmets kill brain cells. Cold fire anyone?

    • Fire21

      How about just a plain old decent interior attack?  No ColdFire needed.

  • 8truck

    I see guys with hooks but apparently they never used them.

  • 30+ on the job

    Total lack of any situational awareness, lack of rapidly but predictable changing conditions.  Lucky they did not kill someone.  Embarrassing to the service.  I remember a video form these people dressed up as firefighters from about 12 to 18 months ago.  Same results.

  • Anonymous

    You Gotta love the Chief! No gloves, no chin strap and no SCBA yet he manages to get in the middle of every operation on the fire ground at some point and never seems to Command anything! I would like to know what the ceiling in that house was made of because evidently it was impenatrable by all known firefighting methods! LOL! Stay Safe Brothers!

  • Anonymous

    I normally don't comment, but this thing was terrible, start to finish. So many weakensses, I'm too lazy to type them all. Please, step up your game folks.

  • Scooter

    WTF was that show?  Please tell me there was cement keeping them from opening up the ceiling to the attic in the one story addition.  A managable attic fire in the addition and it gets burning like that…. come on man…. get in hook the ceiling squirt squirt fire goes out check for extension in the main house game over.  WTF please tell me I am missing something here NO ZIP in their step,,,, took forever to run the line….and Strike Da Box! K

  • Holmes

    I watched this video with my girlfriend and she was able to point out all the mistakes that these vollies made. That was a laugher, they were very lucky that no one was killed.

    • fyrfyter2001

      It has nothing to do with "Vollies"!!  (which by the way make up 75% of America's firefighters)  It has EVERYTHING to do with training and knowing what you're doing!!!!  My dept. and most of the ones around us in the whole county are "Vollies", but our department does NOT fight fire this way and neither do the ones around us for the most part!  This was the idiot(s) leading the blind!!

      • Mike

        Hobart, Illinois FD is a career fire department with 4 stations, 48 members and they are IAFF Local 1641.  Look closely at the back of the coats of those Vollies!!  Wow, can't believe that these were Career Firefighters…Do your homework next time you want to bash Vollies!!  

        • CFD E77

          Hobart is in Indiana

          • Bob the Builer

            As is this fire. New Chicago VFD is the first in engine, Hobart FD is the second in. There were both volunteers and career firefighters on this box.

  • Anonymous

    This is very sad, looks like a lack of training and leadership!!!!!! Very sad.

  • Captain NJ Retired


  • Erik

    I hope that the folks who responded here watch this video back, read the comments and address the issues here. SAFETY OFFICER!

  • Helmets protect heads, not stupidity

    Worst fire attack ever! No command appeared to be established, an officer interior with no pack or mask, the fact that their helmets were blown off means not wearing them properly, and to top it off, exterior attack from the roof while crews were interior. Good job new Chicago freelance dept. only thing good was no one was hurt. That was even a miracle

  • mdff

    Poor effort, we are not in Mechanicsville anymore!. No moving with purpose or aggresiveness. The first engine that arrived, New Chicago and it appears they did nothing except block most of the intersection.First  attack line came off  Hobart engine, 2nd in. Why no apparent 2nd line. Safety alone warrents a 2nd line. Should of hooked up 2- 3" lines to the hydrant as it looked like it only had 2-2 1/2" NST connections. No RIT Team, no stratagy or semblence of a definate cooridinated effort.

  • Rudedawg

    The 1.75" line is beat again. Can anybody try a 2.5" for an attack? Anybody? The deck gun is there for a reason too. BIG FIRE=BIG HOSE=BIG WATER=FIRE OUT!

    • Mack Seagrave

      Improper line choice, poor nozzle selection, improperly flowed lines, improperly directed streams and lack of proper ventilation [verticle & horizontal] all played a part in this less than well handled incident.

    • 8truck

      It was only beat because it wasn't used properly. A good truck crew could of made the knock with a can at the beginning of the video.

  • Anonymous

    The saddest part is this was totally predictable….anyone who has sat through aa reading smoke class could see that the turbulent smoke was getting worse and worse, the smoke was telling them they just were not listening.

  • Up there doin

    Wow what a disaster!!  A real miracle no one was killed at this job.  From the video it would appear as though this was not a backdraft or a flashover.  This appears to be another source of pressure wave, something let loose from the fire going unchecked in the attic.  This truely is a sad display and even more sad is that these individuals probably think we are the ones that are doing it wrong.  We will see a NIOSH report from one of these departments if they keep doing the job like this. 

  • sr

    Put water on the base of the fire and the fire in the roof will stop progressing. Dont waste time opening up a roof space that is about to burn through. NEVER critise the firefighters. They are just doing what they have been taught! Critise the training.

  • Shh….

    First things first. Get dressed PRIOR to arrival. If you're going to play fireman at least look like it when you arrive. Looked pretty sad. I will give the guys on the roof the benefit of the doubt, maybe there was a roof built over a flat roof but either way that fire should have gone out much MUCH faster with all the resources on the scene as quickly as they were. Looked like a 1 firefighter and 4 Girl Scouts with hooks fire to me. Just Sayin…

  • BackStep

    I saw 2 things that no one else brought up. 1st thing, I HATE QUINTS but if your on a house fire get that thing in the air, you could have easily put the stick up to the main house roof and checked on conditions. 2nd, do some cardio because the guy that came off the ONE STORY ROOF was spent, at my job you have plenty of other responsibilities on the fireground once your done opening the roof. Is it hard for firefighters to know when they get out of shape?

  • RIZZ

    OH MY GOD!! Please tell me these idiots aren't the ones who posted this video. Because if thats the case, then they are most likely proud of their actions. I've never seen anything like this before. Amazing.

  • Former Chief

    In spite of the best efforts of the Fire Dept., the house did not burn down completely.  They tried, but the house beat them.  What appears to be a fire contained in the roof of the one story part of the house around the chimney is spread to the rest of the house due to poor tactics and an obvious lack of knowledge, training, brains, you name it.  Poor apparatus positioning to start.  Just about no one ready to go to work when they arrive.  Like others have said, they're lucky they didn't kill any of their people.  rural chief, awesome video of how not to fight a fire.

  • rich EFD

    5 minutes in and they finally get water going, guy venting roof when they should have been putting water down the roof,piss pour job

  • Truckie88

    That fire is a truckmans dream, get in and pull ceiling with the hooks. It could have been KO in 10 minutes. What was the roof man digging for, that smoke was coming out hot & heavy?

  • 8truck

    Reading the facebook comments above makes me wonder what is being taught in some counties. Its a shame that departments think defensive operations are the only way to go. I guess its accepted in their communties to sacrifice the entire house because fire is venting through the 1 story edition. smh. Truckie88: sure is a truckies dream, too bad there wasn't a truckie on scene.

  • John G

    They saved most of the window glass!

    • 95%er

      and the lawn and trees and bushes!

  • Bob Sacamento

    I agree with 8 truck, these people on here want to go defensive and are worrying about a chin strap on somebody's helmet. here is what they should be worrying about-put water in hose-pull ceiling for about 30 seconds-put water on fire. you dont need a 21/2", a deck gun, 2-3" lines to a hydrant. this fire could have easily been controlled by the water on the truck and a couple of halfway aggressive guys. 

    • LT15

      THANK you! Most of these comments are as bad as the video!

  • rural chief

    What I met, by saying the video was awesome, was that the smoke conditions that transpired during the fire were incredible. As far as the firefighting tactics, I have my opinion on them, but I was not there and do not want to be an armchair firefighter.
    Where I am at, when we fight fires outside of city limits, we do not have the luxury of a hydrant. We have to rely on a water truck. We had a major structure fire in a rural area in January and the lack of water did not help our firefighting. At least we had enough water to spray down the fuel tanks.
    If you have the luxury of hydrants for water supply, great. Some of us do not.

  • Professional

    Total lack of training burned this house down…Luckily no one was killed in this disaster. No gear, firefighters (and I use that term loosely) on a roof that already vented itself…Too many mistakes to list!

  • Oh Lord

    The only good things I can point out on this one was that (a) no one got seriously hurt or killed and (b) the fireman that had enough sense to hit the air horn for the evac. Other than that…Pit-ta-ful…..a true loss of words.
    -Be safe out there

  • Anonymous

    Wow. So many mistakes!!!!!!  Of all the ones mentioned, did anyone notice that the guy gutting the roof came down, took his helmet off & was not wearing a protective hood underneath. Flames could have easily shot him in the face.  These guys were all really fortunate they werent hurt/ killed. Margie Lee

  • Embarassed Again

    The pumper that the first line comes off of and the ladder truck (quint) are from Hobart (IAFF Local 1641) – from Hobart FD website:
    Hobart Fire Headquarters 
       400 E. 10th Street Hobart, IN 46342   
    ISO Rating: 4 – 9
    Hobart Fire Department is a full time Fire / EMS department that serves a population of 26,500 over an area of 25 sq. miles in the Northwest corner of Indiana. The department has 48 FireFighters staffing four fire stations located throughout the city providing Fire and EMS services.
    Hobart Fire Department provides both fire protection and ALS ambulance service to light industrial areas, residential areas, and a large shopping mall corridor.

  • Anonymous

    Any possibility that the hip roof was built over an existing flat roof? Could that explain the extreme smoke/fire conditions coming from the attic and their inability to get to it, as well as the reason for the smoke explosion?

    • Anonymous

      That would make sense, the roof FF wasw pushing it pretty hard  to no avail. But you have to open it up from the inside quiclky regardless.

      • Anonymous

        Pretty difficult to pull an existing roof to get access to the void space above it, if there were two roofs, from below with hand tools. But hey, shame on us for thinking of other possibilties and giving the brothers the benefit of doubt! These boards certainly attract the MUTTS.

        • 8truck

          Its done all the time. Adapt and overcome!!

  • Up there doin

    Ive watched this video a few times now, its like a train wreck you just cant look away…the only person with a hook was the guy on the roof (who appeared to be attempting to spear his co-workers from above, which in turn made him very tired)  I really just cant understand the logic here…..someone please explain this madness to me

  • Tom

    And we wonder why, in this day and age, that we have un-necessary firefighter fatalities! What was the IC thinking when he was on the roof…abviously no IC training at all! Where should he have been…in the front yard directing firefighting operations…perhaps he then would have ordered som horizontal ventilation. Glad this fire department doesnt protect my community.

  • Frank

    Roof should been opened at highest point main part of structure! That is No. 1 rule when venting a building .

    • Firefox

      Frankie, you smoking the funny stuff?  Seriously dude, you suggest opening the roof over an area that has no fire?  So you want to pull the fire from the one story addition up and into the main dwelling?  Nice.

  • Anonymous

    Any possibility that the hip roof was built over an existing flat roof? Could that explain the extreme smoke/fire conditions coming from the attic and their inability to get to it, as well as the reason for the smoke explosion?
    Or would people rather just bash than ask questions and try to give the benefit of doubt?

    • Up there doin

      Anonymous…really???  Have you seen the video??  Hidden roof or not, this is sad!!

  • BC 201

    Excellent job by a demo team to start a home remodeling job!! Huh? That was a House fire??
    Never mind.

  • PPFD


  • Robert M

    REALLY???? I dont have to repeat what was said here, there have been other "video diaries" on this department and they went ALOT better.  From the open coat officer on the roof to the roof guy scooting down an almost flat pitched roof.  We all should take a look at this and learn from it.  Yes leadership does lead from the front, yet you dont have to be the front guy in the front door.  Looked as if this was a chimney fire spred into the attic, bread and butter.  To end on a positive one, at least they are catching some fire…….
    Be safe boyz 

  • Anonymous

    Just so everyone knows, the guy on the roof with no scba and a white hat is a batallion chief from hobart fd and if you watch the video the first guy to go in with a white hat is the chief of hobart fire.  There are almost no firefighters from new chicago fighting this fire.  Its paid professional firefighters making these mistakes.  Lets clam with the vollie comments and get the facts straight.  I was at this fire and know the facts.



  • Rocco

    I remember my first fire too. Defensive? That's whats wrong with the fire service today. Lets all sit outside with our safety vests and spray water from the street. Find a new profession if you can't handle it. There is no place for cowards on the fireground.

  • mark KIC, MMQB

    Well, it is Monday morning…….
    To give them the benefit of the doubt, I am guessing either a flat roof with a pitched over top of it as well more than one addition causing problems getting at the fire because of a lot of void spaces.
    However, it is strange that it took well over 5 minutes (with editing taken into account) to not get any water on the fire while one guy and an idiot are knocking a hole in a roof.
    The rest has been pretty well covered, other than a 2 1/2" or deck gun for this house? Really? Maybe for exposure protection when they allowed the inevitable to happen, but from the start? There wasn't enough fire to come close to justifying "BIG WATER" when they arrived on scene.
    Nice work burning down the house, boys.

  • Dean DaSilva

    What an embarassment to the Fire Service. This a typical "bread & butter" operation. The Officer with the white helmet is just plain reckless. Shows again that Officers are the worst violators when it comes to safety 

  • Walker

    Lets set the tactical operations aside and discuss the change in fire conditions that blew the door shut, knocked the chiefs helmet off, and temporarily increased the intensity of the fire. Why did this happen ? What caused this to happen ? How can this be prevented ? Has anyone ever experienced an event like this ?

  • bread and butter

    Pull ceiling hit with water, fire out long before it ever gets going. Even if there was 2 roofs cut the first one off and hit with the line to keep it from spreading to main building until you can get it all open

  • jack coleman

    Total disgrace to the fire service. Please contact me and I will be more than happy to train your department in basic firefighting. We can do much better than this. Glad your guys are o.k.

  • Anonymous

    I have not heard anyone mention the wind conditions on this fire.   While their operation was shotty at best.  We all can learn a little about the effects of wind driven fires by watching this video.  The front door is a damn wind tunnel fueling the progression of this fire.  Now dont take this the wrong way, an aggresive coordinated intetior attack would have knocked this rather quickly.

  • jbc

    basic principle of staying low seems to be long forgotten. first sign of unntrained amatuers. If we assume the white helmet is IC he's the big problem, all over the place with no clue as to what is going on around him. But thats just an assumption as are many of the comments. It may well be company officers wear white helmets also. Just becaouse there is an aerial apparatus there doesnt mean they are actually organized into traditional engine and truck companys. BUT the facts of the video are clear; smoke condition says it all as does the origin of the fire showing. lack of any firefighting concept even on the basic level. Sad display. We cant see how the structure was laid out inside, but it distrubs me when I see firefighters standing up making entry. But thats just my take on it. (after doing he job for almost 33 years)

  • ukfbbuff

    I agree with Grant Mishoe.
    The "Ideal" operation is put a hole in the ceiling from below and hit it rapidly with a hose stream.
    From the  video start up to the evacuation order was given, I did not see any condensing steam from the involved ceiling/ roof area. Or any other horizontal location/windows.
    So, one question is: What was the hose team doing? Another is, and this would be known only by those there on scene is the cause of the Flashover. Was it a propane cylinder off gasing?
    A different internal room charged with  high heat and smoke, waiting for it to be opened?
    The "Rain Roof" is a thought, but by reading the smoke condition changes, the IC, if he were in proper posiion could have gotten a better view on the lack of progress in the fire attack within the first few minutes.
    At least no one appears to have been hurt at this fire.
    Very "teachable moment " here.

  • Toma

    Chief's job. Size up. Indication is sometype of heater on the addition has malfunctiond.
    Pull two preconnects while 2nd engine establishes water supply. >  Truck company to ventilate and search.  Rapid spread not evident til later.  Velvet smoke indicates possible back draft conditions. After a  360 establish IC.  Set up Rit. Order 3rd line 2 1/2 backup.  Hose team to make entry with  hooks pull ceiling and extinguish.  When the fire vented on the area where the Firefighter tried to vent . It was   time to sound the horns and set up a defensive postion by opening up the 2 1/2 and a pipe  fromt eh 1st due co.