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Helmet-cam: Abandoned house in East St. Louis, Illinois.

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This is video from in East St. Louis, Illinois of an afternoon fire throughout the attic of an abandoned house. Whenever we run video like this someone always asks what kind of camera was used. In this case it’s a Fire Cam 1080 helmet camera.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Anonymous

    Looks like they did an outstanding job, no screaming and yelling just a little ceiling pulling and hose work. Great job

  • Anonymous

    That pike pole was useless…. lol

    Open that ceiling up already..

    • BH

      The National Standard Hook- proof of 200 years of tradition unimpeded by progress. :-D

  • http://@FFYates2 FFYates2

    Wow, can we PLEASE get a real puller? Sheetrock hook? NY hook? Maybe, let’s try an attic ladder. At least I didn’t see the PPV.

  • City truck man

    I like how the firefighter with the helmet cam told the other to stay out cause he didn’t have a scba on, and that hook was useless ny style hook, drywall puller, long halagan. But agreed happy to not see a ppv operation, the attic ladder would have done much better from the start

  • Cosgrove

    A Revolving distributor on an extension pipe would make short work of that job.

  • plc947

    The hook doesn’t make the man…….it’s what he does with the hook that matters.
    And, they called for the attic ladder, was slow getting there.

  • Uncle Buck Carpenter Jones


    • Anonymous

      Agreed. Stretch a line to protect the guys doing a quick primary and then once complete, let it go.

      • HPZ

        I hope to god the citizens of the city you guys “protect” dont read this. Get the F out of the fire service. These guys did a fine job.

  • WFDT

    Why did these people risk a sprained ankle, much less their lives, over an abandoned, derelict structure?

    Oh, they had a camera.

  • VK

    Seriously??? Do you guys need to find something to bitch about on every fire? You are so quick to write off every structure and let it burn. How are we supposed to be proficient in a life and death situation on the big one if we don’t have the practice on the 2 cent fires like this one. With your logic there should never even make interior attacks on training fires because we might get hurt. Since we sure can’t have training fires like we used to, this is as close as it gets. I’m glad I live in an area with generally aggressive fire companies and not where you ‘fight fire’. At least that way, if something ever happened, my family and friends would at least have a chance of being rescued from a fire. And fires usually don’t randomly occur in vacants, people could be trapped. There is typically a person involved in the ignition, whether it’s intentional or not.

    Great work, quick knock of an attic fire, everyone went back to the station uninjured.

    • HPZ

      THANK YOU!!!! I just started posting our videos and I cannot believe the comments it gets! These guys are unreal.

  • Anonymous

    I totally agree with VK. and uncle buck, If you were a real fireman you wouldn’t care if it was abandoned or occupied. You must be either a career guy who just collects a paycheck or a volly who is a tee shirt wearing bitch!

  • Anonymous

    VK, so tell me what the point was. So we stretch in and put the fire out only to have a contractor tear it down the next day. The camera tells no lies. There were no exposures to worry about so the only thing that was accomplished here was creating less debris for the dump truck to haul away. Before you jump down my throat about not knowing my job, I have been doing this for 20 years and probably stretched more line than you ever will super hero. I will not argue not doing a primary search but once it’s done, so are we. Its obvious that this home has been vacant for some time.

  • Bob Sacamento

    Fog it all in the top BOBBY:)

  • http://@FFYates2 FFYates2

    Like VK said, If you don’t get in there and put the fire out like there’s someone to save then you shouldn’t be doing this job. Every job is occupied until searched. I know a lot of 20 year guys with your same mentality. It’s like a cancer, aggresiveness needs to be perfected.

  • Anonymous

    Ohh, 20 years on and I’m still aggressive. I still love running fire and get pissed when I miss one. You never know, I might have had to push you out of the way once or twice FF Yates. Here is the difference between guys with my thinking and those with yours. I don’t want to make the front page of the paper as a LODD for nothing other than a dumpster with a roof on it.

  • VK

    Anon, not claiming to be a superhero, and I guarantee you have run more lines than I ever will (truckie, sorry!). Just someone who knows my job and sees the shortcomings of the FD of the future. After dealing with a real LODD of someone very dear to me, the grave risk of firefighting hits home more than it would to most.

    Your points are very valid, but where do you draw the line? You and I both know that the training we can have now (especially for the rookies in fire school) doesn’t hold a candle to that of the past. With that in mind, how do we teach and continue to learn without actually fighting fire how it presents itself in the real world? What do you see as an acceptable level of risk for an interior attack? And how do you expect someone to perform safely and effectively at the peak level required for that working fire with rescues to be made if they have never been allowed to make an interior attack on a BS fire?

    • Anonymous

      Okay, I will agree with you 100% on your most recent post. We have sanitized training to such a point now that the supposed training that we do now is a joke. Some departments dont even allow their guys to train in anything other than burn buildings. Last time I checked, you can’t hook anything in a burn building so its just a tool that someone grab becuase the instructor said so. But, and a big but, sometimes the risks in these types of environments (and im speaking about the fire now) far outweigh any good that could possibly be done.

  • Chief 62

    Well here is one I can proffer an opinion on. While I whole heartily agree to the analogy this was a dumpster with a roof on it, why, once a safety check is done, no floor to colllapse is ensured, not turn it into a Training opportunity?

    My biggest dilemma presently is the huge influx of well educated, bright young members who have graduated the Academy, are text book smart with NO EVOLUTION experience under their belts. Now if the Regs are in the USA like they are in Canada respective to where, how and why we need Live Burns and obtaining the neccesary permits, with all the Environmental issues we never had before to deal with won’t a run like this work for the said purpose.

    My Training Officers continually point out to me the lack of exposure the young ones have and encourage me to permit such an attack as went on here. Now I do not have the benefit of knowing if this was indeed why what was done on the clip what it did allow was PRACTICE, and perhaps for some of the Junior members was indeed a very Useful excercise. Its so very different than when I started 38 years ago and learned on the Job trial by fire and a lot of it.

    As the head of the department and ultimately having the Safety and Welfare of my people as a constant concern, tactics and strategy such as this clip demonstrated were very valid and I would embrace the opportunity. Running endless Medical Calls and Auto Alarms doesn’t allow for any real world experience facing the Red Devil.

    There are some very intelligent and well seasoned FireFighters who offer opinions on this Blog, I can tell from the approach many are fellow Instructors for the comments indicate where they are coming from. Silly attacks, feather fluffing about years of service etc.,my stones are bigger than yours in the end doesn’t accomplish anything.

    I cherish and my Instructors/Supervisors embrace the limited opportunities permitted us nowadays to make an effort such as this one into a learning experience for all. The caveat to any operation is ensure SAFETY is covered then enjoy, how many of us have gone home to family and friends and boasted a little to one and all, We Had a Fire Today!!!! Guys Stay Safe, Be Happy.

    Congrats Dave, you deserve it Blog of the Year, when we see Willie and Fire Boy in Indy next month I’ll bring a small pacifier for Rhett from the North North side. Have a great weekend. Chief out.

  • Crowbar

    Let the roof burn off then have at it with the ladderpipe.

    Risk nothing to save nothing.

  • Anonymous

    Were can I pick up one of those X-Ray Cameras that every one is using these days to justify not doing there job. BTW Good job East St Louis glad to see there are still some real firefighters left in this profession.

    • HPZ

      Nice to see some good comments. Its unreal how some of these guys attack anyone who puts a video up. these guys did a fine job.
      Check out ours on youtube HPZ1442. they are helmet cam

  • JD

    Sounds like a bunch of firefighter don’t like doing their job on this post. It is on fire so put it out, that is what the Citizen’s expect. Solid work for these guys.

  • Anonymous

    It sure was strong work. The X-ray camera showed me that the floor was covered in drywall from the ceiling and walls that were falling apart. It showed me no lap was completed to make sure nothing was under them. It showed me that no one came ready because one of the guys had to be told to get a hook. All and all, great performance. Does anyone remember Walter Harris. If not, let me remind you. He was a Detroit fireman killed while operating on an abandoned house. So what was gained by him giving the supreme sacrifice? Well, it should be a lesson that apparently some of you didn’t get.

  • Mike
  • The52nd

    The video doesn’t tell enough of the story to determine if the tactic used was wrong. I’ll give the guys the benefit of the doubt that a sound size up was done, and that using their experience they felt interior was the way to go. Truth be told, from the little that could be seen on arrival, and the smoke condition on the first floor, had I seen the structure to have not appeared to have at some point suffered structural damage I’d have done the same thing. Good work guys.

    There are a lot of reasons to do an interior attack. My dept does interior as a matter of course. First due officers, and chiefs make the decision to not go in based on what they have upon arrival. They use their experience, and size up to make that decision. It is my belief that you should practice how you play. If you are an interior dept, then attack a fire like this one as you would any other. The day you start to waffle between tactics is when you’ll make a mistake.