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Must see video: Explosion at rapidly spreading fire in single-family home in Arlington, Texas.

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This is a pretty wild video from Arlington, Texas yesterday morning shot by tview07golf. The videographer, Sean Short, was driving around and followed a header of dark black smoke into the neighborhood where firefighters were dealing with a fire on the inside and outside of a single-family home. The fire spread to a second home on Side D.  At 9:46 in the video an explosion occurs that appears to be centered in the garage of the original home. It appears that no one is injured by the blast.

None of the half dozen or so articles I could find mentions that an explosion occurred. This includes at least one news organization that attached Sean Short’s video, but apparently didn’t bother to watch it.

Marcus Moore & Marjorie Owens, WFAA-TV:

Firefighters in Arlington battled a three-alarm blaze that fully engulfed one home and threatened others Wednesday morning in the 6100 block of Kelly Elliott Road.

The homeowner, who was able to escape the burning home with his dog according to fire officials, was taken to a hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Patrick M. Walker, Star-Telegram:

While en route, the first battalion saw how heavy the smoke was and called for a second alarm. Upon arrival, a third alarm was called as a precaution, (Arlington Fire Department spokesman Lt. Kevin) Seeton said.

“We would rather be aggressive on the front end and have extra manpower than be trying to catch up later,” he said.

Officials said the fire threatened the houses on either side of the blaze, but firefighters were able to protect them.

John Burgdorf,

According to AFD spokesman Lt. Kevin Seeton, a fire that was left unattended in the home’s fireplace overnight was determined to be the cause of the blaze. The only occupants in the home at the time were the homeowner and his dog, both of whom made it out of the house OK, according to Seeton. The homeowner was transported to a local hospital to be treated for minor smoke inhalation.

“The fire fighters did an outstanding job aggressively fighting the fire and in being proactive in protecting the homes next to the house that was involved” said Seeton. “With the amount of fire and heat, both houses would have been destroyed if the firefighters did not take action.”

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Comments - Add Yours

  • 8truck

    I’m not one to advocate using a 2 1/2 but with that amount of fire on arrival that would have been my choice. PPV wasn’t the best choice either. This fire was asking to be opened up vertically. I would also like to know their staffing. It appears they’re riding short.

  • Eric

    Where was the 3rd alarm companies? Where were the firefighter’s that were being aggressive and proactive?

  • FMCH

    Um, not sure what I just saw there. The news report said it was a 3rd alarm fire. It seemed like there were only 2 trucks on scene for a good 10-15 minutes into the video. Bad tactics. Should have used bigger lines and the ladder pipe as soon as they saw the fire getting bigger. The deck gun from the engine looked like it may as well have been shut off for all of the good it did. Took waaaaay to long to get anything acomplished….that being said, this is only one side of the house we’re seeing…but still….

  • FMCH

    And what was up with the guys just walking around not doing aything? They could have pulled exposure lines etc. Anyone from AFD who can shed some light on this fire?

  • linguini27

    Is it me or did the firefighters just nonchalantly take their time getting things ready. I know safety has to be a priority, but a sense of urgency may have helped the house on the right not catch fire if some water was on the fire a little sooner. Not wanting to be a critic, but everyone just seemed to take their time getting hoses out, etc.!

  • linguini27

    The video is painful to watch! Are the firefighters controlling the burn, containing it so it doesn’t spread and letting the house burn to the ground, or what??? Seriously!! There’s guys everywhere at times and no water on the house!!! I’m not a firefighter, but there seems to be an issue here that should be resolved before another house is on fire, and these guys show up for a coffee break.

  • thefyreman

    Do the even teach RECEO (rescues, EXPOSURES, confinement, extinguish, overhaul) anymore?? A little water on the Bravo and Delta exposures early on would’ve gone a long way to protect them – instead, they’re getting a PPV to the front of the nearly-fully-involved structure??

  • Anonymous

    One thing, PPV fans are the worst thing you can use at a working structure fire. When is the fire service gonna learn. Hey lets blow LOTS of air on this fire, DUH what do you think is going to happen. Not bashing just on AFD because lots of fire departments still do this.

    • Anonymous

      Wrong. Very effective tool when used properly.

    • Anonymous

      Suggest you read the FE book on PPA. PPV fans are VERY effective on fires, if used properly(which it isn’t here).

  • mtnfireguy

    Exposures, Exposures….

  • http://barnettshalehell, kimfeil

    the small explosion at 9:47 into the video could have been avoided if people did not store hazardous chemicals in their garages….there should be some type of incentative to get a refund on unused flammable products….the low price of natural gas is a boom for the chemical mfg industry and so chmeicals will only become more affordable or “pushed” to the public and businesses….like the flame retardant that is used in home insulation has recently been found not to work, and add to environmental pollution…we love to posion ourselves for money.

    • 8truck

      I don’t know about you but that appeared to be more of a smoke explosion to me. Garage door is intact, no vertical vent, and they put the fan in the doorway which prevents the smoke from escaping through the man door. This leaves a large buildup of smoke that auto ignites. That’s just what I saw, I may be wrong.

  • OldSutterOne

    That’s a hella good water system! Two master streams plus hand lines! Nice modern equipment with paid staffing, no immeadiate rescue issues. What could possibly go wrong???? I’d like to hear the answer to that one from someone who was there.

  • D. Schaefer

    Two engines and a truck whats up with that I would like to see the run card for a dwelling fire in this area.I agree with the other comments these guys took their time also protecting exposures are a must.

  • Fire21

    I’m just befuddled. I could write paragraphs about what I saw here, but I won’t. Sad, very, Very, VERY sad. Excruciating to watch.

    But I wasn’t there………

  • Small town guy

    I’d like to hear more details about this fire as well. This is only one view of the fire of course, but this isn’t what I expected out of AFD. I would also expect to see more apparatus and personnel on scene if it was a 3-alarm considering they have 17 engines and 5 quints, so I’m a bit confused on that one.

  • A brother firefighter

    It appears that these firefighters are sick and tired of their meals being interrupted by civilians and there non important emergency’s. They are showing everyone what they think of being bothered to put out a fire during meal time. Maybe the people in this town will think twice about bothering these firefighters again.

  • doobis

    I am not so sure the fan was that big of an issue with this fire like many others have criticised. I think the windy conditions and heavy fuel load were the real issues. Those master steams barely made a dent, at least initially.

    I am also under the impression that after that explosion the decision was made to keep people back for a while. That house was long gone. Of course protect exposures, which they did. Could they have moved quicker, perhaps. I can’t tell enough of what was going on from this video to be overtly critical. Maybe they were working on water supply, maybe they were sizing it up with a 360, maybe they were ensuring there were no rescues needed.

  • Rescue1

    Wtf….was this movie set?! SMH…..holy shit! I agree with some of the comments with regards to PPV….. Really? If my dept. implemented that in our SOPs …..1. I take a halligann to it! 2. I throw my retirement papers in! House fully involved, exposure problems, not to mention HIGH winds….and someone is rolling in a fan!!! C’mon man!!!

  • Scott

    I’m like a few others, where was all the help? Usually on fires smaller than this you’ll see 40-50 guys and 10-15 pieces of apparatus. Yes they could have done a better job covering the exposures. That house shouldn’t have caught fire. I kept waiting to see an engine (or master stream) and a whole team of guys come from the right w/ lines and start knocking down that side and rear. It never happened.

  • OldCityCaptain

    All I have to say is…….”COME ON MAN!!!!!”

  • JD

    Sad, I hope they gave their checks back for that day.

  • commenter

    I can’t see what’s going on here that well, maybe we need to send one of the SoMD cameramen down to TX.

    PPV to the house is textbook for a garage fire. You want to counter the fire pressure at the garage-house door, and make sure mass flows from the house to the garage, not the garage to the house. A fan blowing through a house is not going to materially change the fire conditions in an open garage. However, it will slow the spread to the house, and more importantly improve conditions in the house for any victims and those searching for them.

    This is right-to-work TX, so we’ll assume 3 man companies:
    1st E: With the Header, Hydrant to Fire with 5″, leave a man to hook up. Driver connects LDH and pulls the preconnected blitzline (bumper turret would be better), and places it in service himself. Dumps tank into garage. OIC does 360, establishes IC, and verbalizes a plan to his crew and the first alarm companies. The plan in this case is optimistically “Blitz attack of the garage with transition to PPA from side alpha of house”. Hydrant man charges LDH and relieves Driver. OIC directs him to wet exposure D-1. Ideally, the blitz line is an aspirating Vindicator nozzle and the crews are using Class A foam. The foam part is likely in TX. OIC orders driver to prep for PPA at front entry by stretching and flaking a line and bringing the fan out and starting it. Driver already knows to fill tank and to leave fan facing out.

    2nd E: with 3 man companies and no apparent rescue, the second company must arrive before an interior attack commences. In this case, as soon as the 2nd arrives, they lay a line and make ready for the attack. Shut down the blitz line, turn the fan, watch what happens, let it stabilize, and then send the attack line in.

    Truck. Rapid primary search and then help with hooks.

    • dave statter

      commenter, I try to stay out of the discussions on tactics unless I can’t contain myself, but I do read them. Why are you wanting to throw the tank water on or into the garage? The report I saw says fire started in the fireplace. While I am guessing there is already some fire in the garage, the garage seems to be the one area where there is no fire visible from the outside. At least as I recall seeing. What am I missing?


      • Commenter

        You’re absolutely right Dave. I couldn’t see the fire for the trees and shaky cam. From reading the copy above, I somehow assumed that it was a garage fire. No point of hitting the garage if its not on fire.

    • 8truck

      Where the heck do you see a garage fire? Fire is showing from the BC and DC corners.

    • commenter

      Since it’s not a garage fire but an inside & outside fire, with no quick access for vehicle turrets
      1st E FF: forward lay 5″, make hydrant connection, operate handline
      1st E D: forward lay 5″, LDH connection, stretch and flake handline(s), preposition fan & entry equip
      1st E OIC: 360, Establish Command, Announce Plan, Control incoming units.

      First engine should be able to knock fire on outside of building and kill the flashover inside the building. CAFS lines would be great here, for the ease of moving by a single firefighter, or a single firefighter with intermittent assistance from an OIC or Driver. The stable foam would be good for the D-1 exposure protection as well. Second choice would be a 200+ gpm aspirated foam stream from a Vindicator nozzle on a fairly maneuverable 1.75″ line.

      Second Engine would make the actual attack, with the IC coordinating actions, using his firefighter as the OV man, and the three members of the incoming engine as an attack team.

      Truck would make a rapid primary search and assist with hooks.

      This all should be coordinated prior to the fire.


    Whatever the reason for what is shown, this video in the public domain does little to enhance the public’s image of the fire service. No one in the fire service today — in Arlington or elsewhere — can ignore their public image. Both career and volunteers need every bit of public support they can get. It may be “just another house fire” to the FD, but to many people seeing this on YouTube or on the news, it is a very real emergency. This video and some others shown recently seem to show a rather casual attitude towards someone’s house burning down.

    • Doug

      Can’t dispute that – WAHEID hit the nail on the head. I’ll leave the tactics to someone who has more of a clue than I, but the lack of urgency that the FFs are showing doesn’t speak well to anyone viewing the scene (either live or recorded).

      As I was watching the video, one concept was going through my head – do your job, do it well, and you’ll be fine.