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Early video: Apartment fire in Derby, Connecticut.

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Read story of man involved in his second rescue attempt at a burning building in the last three years

Above is early video of a fire on Thursday at an apartment building on Olivia Street in Darby, Connecticut.

New Haven Register:

The fire early Thursday afternoon that heavily damaged a six-family apartment building at 92-94 Olivia St. was caused by a cigarette, Fire Marshal Phil Hawks said this morning.

He said the building is uninhabitable “right now, because we had to cut the power because of the water damage.”

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Shh….

    Why ???????

    • 95%er

      why did the fire go out? because they put water on it while the engine crew was advancing the line up to the third floor.

      why did it go out quickly? because they put water on it quickly.

      why did they do this? because they used the tools that God (fire apparatus builders) gave them. (a/k/a deck gun)

      why do you ask why?

  • Seasond Vet

    It’s amazing: Layout, heavy stream into the fire while handlines are being stretched, aerial to the roof, ventilation = FIRE GOES OUT.
    Not the normal 10-20 guys standing around or milling around the scene watching the fire get bigger with no clue what to do and no chemical additives.
    I”m sure those with little to no experience will knitpick this.

    This is a refresher to most of the videos shown here.

  • Depressed Fireman

    I was really hoping to see what a well place attack line was gonna do. Not a bad call on the deployment of the wagon pipe, though. They flowed only what it took to get a good knockdown, and then went interior. Nice job on leaving the front open for the ladder. This building would have been a real b!tch to use ground ladders on, but it sure would have been nice to see somebody going to work on those.

    • 95%er

      the problem with a well placed attack line is the couple of minutes the fire would be free-burning as the line advanced up the stairs. a 3 story building without standpipe, probably a tight stairway, plenty of bends…maybe 3-4 minutes at best.

      remember a few weeks ago Dave posted the FDNY apartment fire…it takes a lot of time to move the line in through the interior. That fire was on a higher floor and it probably wouldn’t have been viable to hit it with a deck gun.

      in 3-4 more minutes, that fire (and plenty of it) would have been heavily into the cockloft and probably 2-3 more apartments. by the time the crew made the top floor, the hallway would have been going good and they would not have made a quick push into the fire apartment.

      i don’t know if the IC called for the monitor or the engine did it on their own, but it saved the building and made it easy for the interior line to push in. someone knew what they were doing because they shut the monitor down before the crews got in the apartment and let the steam lift, rather than pushing it back on the interior team.

      we need to see more of these videos.

  • PatPat

    not too bad overall..unmarked ?? police car in the way of fire scene at 1:07, great use of the deck gun at 1:47 to darken things down a little, too much iron lung work even the officers setting a fine example! and Why are white hats running the nozzle? they should be doing white hat things.

  • 95%er

    give these guys the Stockton Gold Star.

    Supply Line charged before the truck even arrived, nice hit with the deck gun while the crews are stretching the line, fire out in a few minutes.

    most other departments would have burned off the top floor. (which is what i expected to see with that much fire on arrival in an old building.

    i wasn’t sure about the aerial positioning, as there were 3 sides without wires, but it might have just been camera angle.

    2 thumbs up, this community got what they paid for with their fire department.

  • Appropriate use of transitional attack.

    There you go. The proper application of what is now being called the transitional attack or “quick hit”. Rapidly advancing fire, no chance of survival in the immediate area of the fire, delay getting the interior line in place on an upper floor. Quick application directly on the fire to reduce temps and stop the advancing fire, line in immediately, aggressive search, open-up, extinguish and done.

    This tactic, has been used for many years with great success when appropriate, not all the time.

    As I started to view the video, I was waiting to see if they would give it a hit to “reset” the clock and that’s just waht they did. Nice work all around.

  • Johnny Awesome

    Sitting here saying, hit it with the deck gun, hit it with the deck gun.

    What did they do… They hit it with the deck gun…

    Starting Overhaul. Great Job…

  • FFretired

    Great initial attack! Heavy fire showing means knock it down quick, then get after it. Good job to all there. You don’t see this done very often, still taking time to stretch 1 3/4 lines for the first line fire attach. Wake up folks, you need WATER to get a quick knock down!

  • Joe

    Kudos to all involved this fire was fought in the middle of a week day with all volunteer departments

  • Joe

    Also to be noted is the first due firehouse is on the same street less then 2 blocks away. The first due ladder which respondeed from their station about a mile away set up on the street on the #2 side

  • Rudedawg

    The prayers have been answered. Finally a video of a fire department that does what fire departments are supposed to do. I almost thought there wasn’t any hope left in the world. Show this video to as many people as possible. Maybe, just maybe; it will spread across the United States like an infection that the Center for Disease Control won’t be able to vaccinate against. Oh, by the way; notice how that deck gun/wagon pipe really pushed that fire throughout the whole building and burned everybody in it’s path!!!!!!!!!!!!


    At the 1:30 mark, it was up for discussion if it was a 1 3/4″ or 2 1/2″ line fire. At the 2:30 mark, after that less than a minute with the wagon pipe, no more discussion. Nicely done, troops.

  • xrescuex

    This is something that is very rarely seen, quick blast with the deck gun and they bought themselves at least 5 minutes to stretch the handlines. This is critical when manpower may be short. Don’t be afraid to use this tactic when appropriate as you can see it worked very well.
    Fire goes out when you apply 500 gpm + in the right place. The rest was a cake walk for the interior crew.
    Great job.

  • Firemike71

    Ok… you got me. When I first started watching this video, I said to myself, I’ve been down this road before and it ends with a parking lot.. Too much fire, a long stretch, old building. I would never have hit it from the outside with the gun, I have never been a fan of “darkening it down” from the outside before going interior.. And I would have burnt the place down. These guys did an awesome job, and I learned something!

  • Maybe some that wouldn’t listen will now?

    Often, a picture or in this case a video is worth a thousand words. In an effort to provide some additional history and for the information of all, what is now being called the ‘transitional attack” is not, by any means, a new tool or tactic. In fact, it has been in use for at least 32 years that I’m aware of and with great success when used appropriately. In Chicago in the early 1980’s it was initially called “quick water” and later the “quick hit”. It has been studied (informally) during training fires in burn towers and acquired structures and actual field application for all of these years and the myth of pushing fire was cast aside many years ago. The tactic was employed, repeatedly, with firefighters stationed just outside of the fire room on many training fires and we found that the proper application of a straight/solid stream into the fire compartment for a limited time did not “push” fire.

    This is not a “one size fits all” tool and was never intended to be used on all fires. Further, it is not a defensive attack, it is indeed an offensive attack intended to quickly apply water to the fire in order to reduce temperatures in the fire compartment and therefore, slow the fire’s progression. The “quick hit” or transitional attack was always intended to be followed immediately by an aggressive interior attack. The reasons for using this tactic then and now are to improve the chances of survival for building occupants that still have a chance if we can get to them in time if they are not in the immediate fire area or rather, they are remote from the fire and especially if they are behind a closed door. Additionally, the proper use of the transitional attack will improve firefighter safety for the same reasons. It can be used when a fire has self-vented and when, for any number of reasons (manpower, difficult stretch, upper floor, etc), there will be a time delay getting water directly on the fire from the interior.

    The reason this has come to the front of the line for discussion is that the “anecdotal” evidence gained over the past 30 plus years in Chicago, the Chicago Metro region and many other
    places across the country, has now been validated by science. The recent publication of the results of the work UL and NIST have done in an effort to improve firefighter safety, has brought this tactic to a wider audience. Do yourself a favor and take the time to review the research and make an informed decision and please, try it under controlled conditions first.

    For those of you who think that this information is new, even to the FDNY, the following is a direct quote from the latest edition (4th/2011) of the WNYF (With New York Firefighters) magazine. This excerpt is taken from the second article with the first part appearing in the 2nd/2011 edition of WNYF. By the way, “WNYF is an official training publication of the New York Fire Department.” The article is titled “Mastering Ventilation to Decrease Firefighter Injuries and Deaths at Private Dwellings” and it reviews the results of the UL study “Impact of Ventilation on Fire Behavior in Legacy and Contemporary Residential Construction”.

    From the section “pushing fire”:
    “Another area of interest studied during the 15 tests was to determine if an operating hand-line was capable of pushing fire. In each of the tests, data were analyzed, looking specifically at conditions throughout the structure’s post water application, to see from the video and temperature data if there was any indication of pushing fire”.

    “There were no temperature spikes in any of the rooms, especially the rooms adjacent to the fire room, when water was applied from the outside at the ceiling with a straight stream. In most cases, it appears that the fire was slowed down by the water application, which had no negative impact on occupant survivability”.

    “Conditions on arrival shall be evaluated and the attack strategy of a transitional attack from the exterior needs to be carefully coordinated with and communicated to all units. If visible fire is evident on arrival and the line still can be rapidly advanced into the interior, water should be applied on the fire momentarily to reduce heat production and burning. The stream shall be directed at the ceiling of the involved room flowing water for approximately 10 seconds to control the main body and reduce temperatures. If the visible fire is knocked down in fewer than 10 seconds, the nozzle should be shut and the line repositioned to the interior of the fire building. This tactic will increase civilian and firefighter safety”.

    Here is a link to the UL study:…
    Hope this helps.

  • CTFF

    thanks for all the positive feed back on our departments

    here is another fire in the mid 1990’s, same town, same type of tactic applied

  • old man1

    Reminds me of the good old days in my city when real firefighting was still being performed. GREAT JOB.

  • mark KIC, FMQB

    What is going on here?

    Big fire, big water? What a concept. As for Maybe, blah, blah, blah. You are obviously not a real fireman. Only real fireman go interior, every time, no matter what. Enough of this fancy BS studies that show FACTS and such like. Tradition is tradition, don’t you know? (sarcasm, I agree with you completely) If you don’t believe me, watch those idiots in PG.

    Surprising some of these guys aren’t advocating for horse drawn steamers yet.

    Anyways, nice job, kudos, congrats, way to go, etc. Thanks for giving many of us hope for the US fire service.

    Bet it would’ve been a cast iron bear to get a 2 1/2 up that stairwell.

  • Hoarding

    One thing you cannot see from this video is the fact that the fire apartment was occupied by a hoarder. Made initial attack, search, and overhaul difficult.

  • YankeeBoy

    Someone ought to show this to the “professionals” in Boston… 7 alarms… Really?

    • BH

      Yeah, really. You should go tell E56 that the situations are so similar that they should have done what CT did. After all, the building constructions are exactly alike, the fire load is exactly alike, fire origin, location, and spread are exactly alike, the exposures are exactly alike….

      Oh, they’re not? I see, you’re just a troll.

  • 95%er

    CTFF, nice work by you and your assist companies.

    I love the video from the 90’s…2, count them, 2 deck guns and the fire is out in about 5 minutes.

    why is this so difficult to teach to other departments?

  • led by the dead

    Outstanding way of doing business !!!!!!
    One of the above comments referenced the UL/NIST study==Thank you .
    We all need to add this thinking to our tool box. A “BLITZ” operation has it’s place in many runs. PLEASE make sure that the interiors crews are in a safe location prior to hitting it with a gun. It works!!!!!!
    This style of firefighting does make our job safer.

  • ukfbbuff

    Great Job Darby FF’s.

    This method of fire attack is briefly shown in Vince Dunn’s “Flashover” DVD/Video produced in the 1990’s. The idea presented was essentially to increase time to flash over using an exterior hose stream until the interior crews could get inside and go to work.

    That being said, the majority of FD in the US have always gone interior because of the belief’s of:

    A. “Pushing fire”

    B. Maintaining the Thermal Balance

    C. Affecting Victims inside the structure.

    And so, the practice continues. Not considering Chain/Rotary Saws for Verticle Ventilation or PPV Blowers for Horizontal Ventilation.

    Hopefully this video and other like it with the UL/NIST studies will help to change attitudes and fireground operations.

    Finally, while FDNY BC John Salka may disagree with this methodology of Fire Attack (he wrote about in his article:

    “Transitional Is Whack”

    He too Must come to terms with 21st Firefighting Practices. The Fireground isn’t was it was 10-20 years ago and this method is a Very Useful “Tool” in our “Box” to use.

  • chief 200

    I remember transitional attacks from the 60’s and 70’s.Very common considering the status of SCBA and the lack of actual protective clothing rather than a water-shedding raincoat. This was successful for several reasons. Engine placement and the ability to identify the time-progression from stratching a handline into position and where the fire is expected to be by that time. That’s the condensed version. Staffing-deficient departments (most of us) should pay attention. A couple of other things to remember: A pre-connected master stream (besides the apparatus mounted eck gun) is extremely valuable when angle, reach, and access are an issue that preclude using the deck (wagon) gun. When blitzing from the tank throttle to an aprroximate pressure before opening the gun to avoid wasting water before the stream is pressurized and dumps without hitting the fire…you can lose valuable gallonage from that. Also, the argument (discussion?) over what size handline to use will never be validated from either side of the size issue. With heavy fire and minimal staffing, I go in the direction of getting a line in place that will be worth the effort; enough flow to extinguish fire, not engagae it in a personal wrestling match. The second line will likely take longer. Alot of discussion on water supply tactics as well. Depending upon size-up and the availability of staffing, proximity of second due engines, etc I go for laying the initial supply line as oppossed to waiting for the second-due. Not EVERY time of course, but especially when there is significant fire showing and a transitional attack is likely to be ordered. Finally, with respect to the size issue; with the right nozzle and hydraulics 2″ hose can be valuable to short-staffed departments. Hdraulic “rule of thumb” calculations have been shown to way off when correctly flow testing ALL of your departments nozzles, apparatus, discharges and various brands of hose. Even the same apparatus manufacturer delivering identical units have shown to have significant variations. Good job indeed.