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Arrival video & fireground audio: Garage fire in Cheektowaga, NY.

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Video by Don Murtha III of a garage fire early Wednesday morning handled by the U-Crest Fire Department in Cheektowaga, New York (Erie County). The fire is at 206 Clover Place and the fire department is located about a half dozen homes away at 255.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • cbj

    Firefighting vs putting the fire out quickly. The UFC is a perfect venue for watching or engaging in a fight. Our business should be about quick and efficient fire protection for our customers. Using an inch and three quarters line on a volume of fire such as this is the same as watching a gross mismatched MMA fight. I doubt that line was flowing much over a hundred gpm. No doubt there will be arguments about my comments, but if we arrived to find that recreational vehicle that is in front of the garage burning most of us would pull the 1.75″. So how do you justify the same with a fully involved garage adjacent to two residential dwellings already showing signs of damage from the heat? Thankfully that would not be my problem. With half the number of personnel arriving on scene as I see here there would have been two 2.5″ lines in service and an immediate hydrant supply charged. Even with the hydrant situation being dependent on another engine for a supply I would still never condone the decision to stretch an obviously under-sized, under-flowed line as an initial attack line. Beat me up if you will, but this is yet another example of the dependency on small hand-lines and the failure of officers to recognize the need to quickly extinguish the fire, protect exposures, and solve the problem quickly instead of doing prolonged battle. Eventually it will run out of fuel, and we can say we extinguished the fire.

  • Jay

    1 3/4 lines have no use here….maybe after knockdown. This is a 2 1/2 all day long.

  • Fire21

    They certainly arrived with enough manpower to operate a 2-1/2 and more. As it was, once that 1-3/4 got in operation it was obvious they were just peeing into the wind with it. We can’t see where the other two 1-3/4 lines were deployed, but I’m guessing they were for exposure protection somewhere off-camera.

    I’m would have used a quick shot down the driveway with a deluge gun…that would have erased a lot of BTUs, but there may have been some water supply issues that we don’t know about. Anyway, there doesn’t appear to be any further exposure damage once they got that 1-3/4 working, so I guess all is well. And it looked like everyone was going home. Just saying……..

  • Statgreg104

    Come on guys, Big fire.. Big Water!!

  • JustSayin’


    Looks like St. Louis aldermanic President Lewis Reed was correct when he said,

    “The firemen in the county don’t really fight fires. They get a call and watch the building burn. ”

    Who da thunk it.???

    • CHAOS

      Except, of course, that knucklehead was talking about the “firemen in the county” around St. Louis, and not those in Cheektowaga NY, which is about 750 miles away.
      Other than that little factoid, you’re dead on.

      • JustSayin’

        Was he.???
        Didn’t hear him define any specific “county”.

        He is obviously very knowledgeable since his statement applies well beyond STL.
        (as this and many other vids tend to document)

        This man should not be running for Mayor… he should be a Fire Chief.!!!
        Maybe in DCFD or Detroit.!!!!

        MAYBE your FD Mr-C.!!! Need a good man.???

        • CHAOS

          No, we’re good, FireGears, I mean JustSayin’.
          Maybe you could list all the competent FDs for us (in your humble opinion). We all know how you feel about the troops in NYC.

          As far as the candidate, he needs to get a better brain-to-mouth filter installed. Regardless if you consider the context as “THE county” or “no specific county”, I’m willing to bet a tankful of magic bubbles that this won’t be the last choice sound bite coming out of him.

          • FireGears


            THANK YOU, Mr. Chaotic, for allowing me to live in your mind “rent free”.
            To be suddenly “drug” into this discussion is quite an honor.!!!

            How kind of you to remember.!!!
            It means you really do have a soft-side, which should thrill your life-partner.
            Or, it indicates you need to increase your medication.

            BTW, Keep dwelling on those “magic bubbles” and you might one day figure it out.!!!
            Till then, be safe and work smart.!!!

  • Motor City Madman

    Big Fire, Big Water. You have hydrants and lots of personnel. Grab a 2 1/2, blitz nozzle or deck gun to start. EXPOSURE first. Garage is gone. You can see the 1 3/4 is doing little. Maybe use it for exposure and big guns on the fire?

  • Crowbar

    More training needed.

  • Anonymous

    The Firehouse was located a few doors away from the incident and most Firehouses have hydrants near them. There should have been a supply line laid for this amount of fire as should the 2.50 handline deployed and in service before a second 2.50 handline was deployed and in service. Also, both 2.50 lines should have had tips on them. The first line should have been working the right side of the fire to cover the exposure and fire. There was also enough of Officer’s on site and why was none of them giving the nozzleman any direction of where to put his water as they thought it was more important to pull siding off the house. It also seemed the nozzleman was new at things as he had no SCBA on. Come on guys (3) 1.75 handlines as it looked like the fire was just laughing at you guys in the IAP that you choose.

    Do your selves a favor and compare the water dispensed in a 2.50 vs 1.75 and write back to the site of your results so everyone can learn from this.

    Be Safe!!


    “But, we always pull the 1 3/4 …”

    Do they carry big lines on their rigs?? And, if they do, what are they carrying them for if not stuff like this?

  • Mack Seagrave

    A decent quality 1 3/4″ line is capable of flowing approximately 180 – 200 GPM. It’s likely that the line shown in the video was not being supplied adequalely for the fog nozzle that it was equipped with. Just because a fog nozzle is advertised as producing 250 GPM doesn’t mean that it will do so regardless of how it’s supplied. Also, if a department insists on using fog nozzles for structural fires the fog nozzle should be set for straight stream to get maximum reach and penetration. A smoothbore nozzle eliminates a couple of problems: As long as the bale is open all the way, it will only provide a straight (solid) stream of water with excellent reach and penetration and if it’s not supplied properly it’s quickly recognized as there will be no reach to the stream. In this video the IC should have quickly recognized the fact that the line that was operating was having no effect on the fire. It didn’t seem to affect the outcome in any serious way in this case, but if lives were in jeopardy or exposures were more threatened that line would have resulted in a very negative outcome. Handline and nozzle selection as well as proper supply and operation of same are (must be) considered as ‘Bread and Butter Basics’. There is no valid excuse to show up with the wrong equipment and / or lacking the knowledge to use it properly.

  • Scooter

    I got about a minuet and 30 seconds to run the line and get water… not counting the time the camera was cut off. A least 4 guys got off the rig and only 1 with an air pack, met at the side of the rig and stood there looking at the hose before running it. Sad showing on running a line (30 Seconds or LESS!) EXPOSURE… HIT THE EXPOSURE FIRST! I would still use the 1 3/4 line (straight or solid stream)… hit the exposure first (fog) and then you can quickly move the line around the fire. 2 1/2 to heavy to move and not that much fire. All under the roof and need to move a lot to hit it. Strike Da Box! K

  • JW

    Exposure lines should almost always be 2 1/2″.
    As far as the water supply goes, from the time the first unit (of unknown type) got there, they gave a size up and the first in Engine should not have to request a supply line from the next engine. I’ve never undestood this practice and always lay our own line when working incident information is available while en route.

  • Anonymous

    If you go to the U Crest Fire Department and click on apparatus you read information of their engines. Engine 1 new attack truck is used to attack the fire with tank water until other units arrive and has a CAFS first in the area.

    Their 4 wheel drive pumper when upon arrival connects to hydrant and supplies Engine 1. So the video everyone just watch is the method this department does all the time per their information given with the pictures of the apparatus.

  • D. Schaefer

    Back to training poor fireground ops.

  • LucifersCar1

    Seems that they gave the nozzle to the rookie. The Chief told him (or her) to hit the exposures. The exposures were hit for 2 seconds. Problem solved. Fire wasnt going anywhere. Using a 2.5 could have got someone hurt or caused more structural damage. There might have been hoselines inside both exposures with thermal cameras. If they wasted all the water on the wrecked garage, there would have been no water to work inside the exposures.

    • 8truck

      Which is why you grab your own supply…

    • Eng1

      Got someone hurt? If you don’t know how to manage a 2 1/2″ don’t get on an engine

  • truckman37

    Wait, wait, who’s job is it to call the size of the line? THE ENGINE OFFICER! Obviously poorly trained officers and inexperienced. And don’t tell me that no one commenting has had a 1 3/4″ line first in on an obvious 2.5″ line job. It happens, but knowing this company, it happens all to often.

  • BH

    I like how the gasoline-filled jet ski just sit there burning- something they actually have a shot at putting out with that under-pumped line- while the garage fire just laughs at them.

  • cbj

    The 2.5″ is “too heavy to move” is one of the worst excuses used today for making poor engine company decisions. Any engine company tactics training program or course beyond FF1 will put that misconception to rest. Proper training for officers is step 1. Follow that with a good understanding of your equipment capabilities, fire behavior and realistic policy. A 2.5′ can be stretched, operated and moved, especially with respect to exterior ops and exposure protection with 2 properly trained firefighters with no problem. It can be operated stationary with one as well. The only thing “dangerous” about a 2.5″ is the untrained officer and untrained firefighter, which is also dangerous in any situation. Speaking for our local tactics, it would be no problem to lay a 5″ LDH forward supply line, put a 2.5″ in service followed by, or simultaneously with a “portable master stream” device with a crew of four total. As for the flows capable with 1.75″ hose I agree, but few departments actually flow test their equipment including all pumper discharges, hoselines and nozzles. Identical pumpers purchased at the same time can show sometimes drastic differences in flow capabilities. Some of the more popular combination “automatic” nozzles require periodic service (factory or service tech only) to operated as advertised. Regardless of the smooth bore vs combination debate, it is flow that extinguishes the fire. More fire officers and firefighters have a better understanding of their rifles and shoot guns ammunition and capabilities when hunting than they do with their basic firefighting weapons. A streams a stream and a bullets a bullet right? Unless it’s a booster line, i want nothing less for structure use than 180gpm

  • Anonymous

    Should have been a 2.5 line all the way with that much fire and a supply line laid by 1st in Engine. Watching this and plotting the times this must be the normal tactics of this company and it starts with the Chief. Guys you should research and see what other departments do and their skills. They are plenty of books, video’s and rent a instructor or guest speaker to teach your company. Times-03:22 Chief orders E1 upon arrival in service w/1.75, 04:00 E1 on location doors open and looks like a Chinese fire drill- some with SCBA and some not, group huddle at crosslays including white hats, 04:56 1st line in service and putting water on jet ski,05:25 pump racing and stream weak, 05:40 back up man kinking line- pressure must be weak, 07:48 hoseline finally moves closeras prior to this stream is semi narrow and where is a 2nd line with all people walking and standing around. 08:08 shows 2nd line but its during mop up of a trash pile.

  • Anonymous

    glad to see that most of the comments on here mirror my thoughts….WTH?!!!! That was unreal….They are lucky they didn’t lose a lot more than the garage and some siding. BIG fire = BIG water, PROTECT your exposures. OMG