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Pre-arrival video: Auto repair shop fire with explosions in Colorado Springs, CO.

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Pre-arrival video from M Maestas of a fire and some small explosions on Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


Colorado Springs firefighters put out a fire at an auto body repair shop at 407 Auburn Street.

The fire started in a vehicle and spread to the building.

All of the employees in the building were able to get out safely.



Comments - Add Yours

  • RJ (in florida)

    i aint movin one block away…cant get no video that way

  • FMCH

    Ok, anyone on here from CSFD? Why did E7 wait to lay in? Why did they drop a boat load of supply like when there was a hydrant IFO the building? What in the world was taking so long to get the fire attack going? The way the person was shooing them away, make me think that she knew Mr. Murphy and his family were on a ride a long with CSFD.

    Dave, I met Willie Wines at Fire Rescue East, shame you weren’t there. But, I guess The Fire Critic needed a baby sitter.

    • driverfirsuv

      Hydrant in a collapse zone maybe? Just spit balling here but maybe police informed FD that they had explosions ocurring? To sum up all your whys? because you weren’t there to tell everyone how to do it! That why?

      • http://msn retiredFFin SC

        Thank you driverfirsuv, LOL and why do people post remarks on here when they do not know what they are talking about. I THOUGHT IT WAS THE BEST OR ONE OF THE BEST SCEAN SET UP IN A LONG TIME THAT I HAVE SCEAN ON HERE. IT WAS VERY SMART TO BRING IN TWO SUPPLY LINES. RAITHER HAVE THE LINES LAYED IN AND HAVE TO MUCH WATER.

        • firefighthero

          Spell check please! Don’t make yourself more of an idiot than you already are.

        • FMCH

          retiredFFinSC. Uh whut? Two 3in lines vs LDH? Too much water? WTF? That has to be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. Your grammar and spelling are terrible. By the by, it’s “scene”, “rather”, and “too”.

      • FMCH

        Funny you mention that. Unless the building was going to fall on the corner, then no. If, as you say, the area where the hydrant is was in a collapse zone, why put both rigs in the collapse zone? Best go back and watch the video again driverfirsuv. You weren’t paying attention the first time.

      • mark

        Or not.

        That hydrant isn’t close to the collapse zone. Besides, if they would put the fire out, there isn’t need for a collapse zone.

        Which police informed them? Because I didn’t see any on scene.

    • FiremanA

      It’s my understanding that the Capt on E7 had already called on scene and was bringing his own water supply. E8 arrived first and positioned themselves for “5 soft suction. Capt on 7’s told the Lt. on 8’s to move. Dumb move by the capt and he should know better. Fire was completely extinguished in less than 6 minutes.

  • Scooter

    WOW WTF was that? For goodness sake car off in a building with maybe some extension. I guess the words on the door of the rig said it all “Paramedic Services” I was at 2 min 38 sec and still no water in attack line.
    1. Get the first line run and going 30 second or so, not pulling 3 lines before charging 1.
    2. People everywhere but not getting anything done.
    3. Fire could have been darkened down or out before they got one line charge.
    3. Glade I don’t live in Colorado Springs!
    4. Strike Da Box! K

  • livindadream

    Scooter I’m with you. I am finding that many departments don’t have standardized duties for each person as they arrive. This leads to delays in doing the obvious. A quick attack is quick only if everyone knows their job. Lots of standing around because there are no clearly defined roles. Its the “Accredited” fire service. “Lets check all the boxes and show everyone we have all the best toys, so Mr. and Mrs. Smith can have a false sense of security!” Meanwhile, nobody is learning their craft and perfecting it. Rather than being good at fighting fires, we are mediocre at everything.

    • firedude

      Amen brother. Lets show Mr. & Mrs. Smith that we have a college degree rather than perfect our craft.

    • FiremanA

      CSFD has some standardized duties but it’s officer discretion. When the Capt starts making strategic decisions it trumps what good Lt.’s try and do. Been that way for years on CSFD. I agree that accreditation and education are far more important to the chiefs and city council than having good effective firemen.

  • ukfbbuff

    “The Camera Never Blinks”….Dan Rather

    Yes, they seemed to be running a “Little Slow”. With the engine and fire building so close to each other, it appears you’d have one person committed just to straighten out the kinks to get an effective hose stream for just one hose line let alone all three shown.

  • Cappy

    Duel 3 inch supply lines?? Really??? With $400,000.00 dollar rigs that does not have $6000.00 worth of 5 inch LDH?? Come on guys..
    Poorly informed/trained decision makers have left an indelible mark on this outfit. Hope the brothers survive the learning curve of the leadership at this dept.

    • Gil

      Not every one needs LDH to over compensate because their daddy didn’t love them.

      • FMCH

        What is that supposed to mean? I’ll take one line of LDH over twin 3in lines, any day.

    • FiremanA

      5″ soft suction would be much better. Personally I think E7 should have stayed on the bravo side and let E8 soft suction from the corner and attack with the 2 1/2″

  • He

    Bumper Turret?????? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  • old man 1

    Not overly impressed except with the engineer who had all of that supply line to get hooked up. He had water way before the attack crew put any of that wet stuff on the red stuff.

    • Anonymous

      Your wisdom is appreciated
      D/E 7

  • Commenter

    Yep, Bumper Turret would have worked better here, too.

    Roll in, hit it with foam concentrate from the tank water on the go, grab the hydrant and finish it by hand. Would have made for a short video.

  • http://none Engine 5er

    If they were worried about a collapse zone then with did they park the engine in it? Also, DON’T park the engine directly below grade of a car fire. Get some water on that thing?

    • CHAOS

      Yeah, guess not everyone saw that video from TX last year of what happenes when you park your tower downhill right in front of the fire.

      • cappy

        Amen chaos… We slipped one time and made that mistake. $4000.00 auto with a three dimensional running spill fire exposing a $400,000.00 rig parked downhill. Plenty of excitement for about 10 minutes. We knew better but overlooked the low frequency high impact aspect of the scene.

  • DCFD

    I’ve figured out what the problem is…A big fat star of life and the words paramedic services on the side of the engine. Too much time spent telling ems stories at the kitchen table and then having no idea what to do when they actually go to a fire.

    • FiremanA

      I’ve seen enough videos from DC to know that your statement is laughable!!!! How’s that DCFEMS working out for you?

  • North Chief

    Again an example of what some of the fire service has become in the last 10 years, medics with bunker gear. Departments with 80% medical runs will get caught with pants down ocassionally. I lived in C Springs many years ago and remember an agressive very well trained and experienced department. Sad to see what has happened.

  • Molly

    My first thoughts were that the 1st arriving engine could see something from the charlie(?) side that we could not, and that they might start their attack from down there. I did not expect them to then lay in when there was a hydrant much closer. Oh well, not really a big deal, wouldn’t be the first time the closest hydrant was missed. My eyebrows started to raise after what seemed like a long time with three engines on scene, 3 lines pulled but nothing charged yet and many seconds watching the guys finish masking up. But, with that kind of set up evolving, I’m betting they knocked that fire down very quickly after the video stopped rolling.

    • FiremanA

      Fire was knocked down in roughly 5 minutes from arrival

  • Fire21

    Very poor example of preparedness. I want to think that CSFD is better than this, and that we were just seeing a really bad day for them.

  • Russ Gregston

    Wow with all these arm chairs around you would think we were watching a football game !

    • Pedro

      We are watching a game. We’re watching paid professionals screwing up a ground ball play, than overthrowing into the dugout, than picking it up and overthrowing towards third into the stands. It doesn’t take an all-star player to understand how the game is supposed to be played, and to recognize a team in total disarray. I didn’t have to be standing on the corner or on the nozzle for this one. We’re not bickering over the color of their helmets or something equally inconsequential. This display of total inability to execute the basics in a semi-competent manner seems to be the increasing norm on this site, and for their department’s sake, I hope it was “bring your b-game to work” day.

      But hey, no ff’s hurt, no occupants hurt, everyone goes home, right? PAR for the course.

  • Scott

    I’m sure w/ all these critical posters, they and their companies were perfect and never did anything that someone else could criticize, right?
    So what if they laid in, they probably didn’t realize there was a hydrant right there.
    I’m glad you all are perfect!! Not!

  • Jeff

    Nice way to lay out an 1 3/4 line in a pile training should be better than this.

  • FMCH

    Obviously, some commenters here are not familiar with us KIC’s……

  • Harry

    I would watch this video again,but ican’t.Got motion sickness once,that was enough.Needed a bumper turret LOL

  • slackjawedyokel

    A little less “crowd control” and a lot more action action needed. Did the pull the tanks off the engine so they could haul more medic equipment ? Get one line going asap.

  • Really

    “Paramedic Services” Yes sir we have a problem. Was it me or did this look lik the first fire ever in this city? I cannot believe that a paid company can look so poor. This is a company officer problem. And yes Im sure that I’ll get the “you dont know these guys” stuff but please charge an attack line in less then 30 seconds its why you get a pension and a paycheck…horrible, horrible, horrible. The sense of urgency in almost every video taken now is bad, and its not like it was a size up delay…..Oh well I bet they have cool open houses and take free blood pressures…..

    • Capt Dick

      The fire goes out in spite of the FDs efforts . The heart attack or baby not breathing….maybe being exceptional Paramedics and average firefighters isn’t so bad , ESP. If its your medical emergency. I’d rather use my homeowners insurance than my life insurance . And yes I’m very confident I’ll be waiting in the front yard if my house catches fire because my family is well trained with an escape plan, adequate working smoke detectors, and properly maintained appliances . If all the aggressive firefighters spent a quarter of their time teaching prevention instead of wishing for a big fire, hmmmmm.

  • Really

    I dont wish for Fires and my EMS skills and Fire Skills are on top. I practice both and provide both services. This video is the norm for places that dont train for Fires. I know the slogan, 90% Ems and the rest Fire / Rescue. But the truth is 90% of the 90% is not a real emergency run which requires skills other than being polite and taking vitals for charting. I would think that the companies in this video do not represent the entire city. I said a company officer problem because how your crew operates is a direct result of your teaching. As for insurance money usage, come on. The Fire Department puts out fires and saves property. You either do that or you don’t. If you don’t, then sell the engine, dont ask for 24 hr shifts and bunk rooms. Run private for profit EMS and get ride of you free loading rig ridding cowards. I cringe when I hear Fire insurance. I can tell you that maany people rent there home and live pay check to pay check, letting there stuff burn down or say that there business can be destroyed cause they have insurance is nuts. So back to my point, these companies collect a paycheck, this is a job. So if I get paid for a service then provide it. Otherwise I suggest you stop putting your hands out for more “entitlements”…Its your job to put out fires, not watch them

  • Lt. Chris

    Anyone ever here of quick water?? 1 LDH supply, 1 deck gun, Knock the hell out of it and then go in and clean it up. 1 to 2 Min;s topps. WTF it aint that hard.

  • Fort Worth Fire

    Here’s one for you KIC’s, maybe that hydrant on the corner was dead! Woah! There’s a though. Unless someone from the CSFD is on here, and decides to post a reply, then we will not know what factors caused the delayed hose deployment. I mean this is a single view from the front, how do we not know that one of the other engines weren’t pulling a line and going in through, what I’d guess, was the C/D corner.

  • slackjawedyokel

    Cappy DICK -working hard to live up to your name huh ? You can be an “agressive” firefighter – and teach fire prevention, AND take a little pride and have a work ethic. Guess I should say “If all the so called “educators” would realize that inspite of all their fire prevention teaching. There will still be fires and a fully funded/ staffed department should train to at least a minimun standard. There was no excuse for not making a quick hit with tank water.

    • Capt Dick

      My point was that it was a fully insured auto shop ( for profit obviously) with no known life hazard. The only known hazard at that point is to the responders. Yeah I agree apparatus placement was less than desireable for my liking as well , but a several minute clip isn’t enough to condemn them. The buildings contents were more or less toast on arrival and I’m sure they made every effort possible to keep the structure in tact for future rebuild/ restoration. Back to my reason for posting, I don’t think just because Paramedic or the star of life is on the rig is any reason to bash them. They laid supply lines and got a couple lines stretched for fire attack. Not in record time to the hard chargers but adequate.

  • PG Insight

    Everybody’s an expert when they’re not there. The only people that possibly got it right are the ones that were there. Enough said. I’m sure the fire went out and I didn’t hear of any Colorado Springs FF tragedy. Sounds like a decent job to me.

  • ?????

    And our command staff think we are ready to take on transport! We can’t even put out fires right!!

  • Colo FF

    To all the armchair QB’s out there, I love how we eat our own. Was this our best fire, probably not. Was this our worst fire, probably not. But as Scott put it, I’m sure that none of you have ever had a scene that went too slow, or looked bad. None of us will ever be able to answer all the questions of this scene but I can do my best to address some issues.

    The first thing right off the bat is you just sound ignorant when you attack the EMS side of any FD. Regardless of anything else, that is what fire departments have evolved into or are evolving into. We do run EMS calls and that is by far the majority of the calls we run, as with any FD that has the same model. Just because you don’t like medicals doesn’t mean it’s wrong for FD’s to provide that service.

    With that out of the way, let’s get to the fire. E7 did not see the hydrant on the corner, so the motto never pass up water applied. We carry 500 gallons on the engines. When E8 arrived they were going to use that hydrant on the corner (with soft suction) but E7 Capt. told them to move cause he was bringing in a dbl. Handsight 20/20, probably take the plug with soft suction. You have to remember, E7 did not have the luxury of the angle we have in the video. They saw heavy black smoke from “behind” the building from their arriving angle. E8 moved up and E7 took the front.

    Watching the video, it does seem to move slower than we all want. The delay came from the D/E having to make all the connections. But as Old Man 1 put it, he was moving as quick as he could. Making a pile of hose, not good. If anyone out there says they’ve never done it, you’re lying. Hose management is key to a successful scene, we can do better. The second line being pulled was a 2 1/2 that was actually used in knocking the fire down (And yes, they were charged just after the video cuts off…I know). On this fire there were only 2 attack lines used, the 2 1/2″ which knocked down the bulk of fire and then the 1 3/4″ to clean it up. What the camera doesn’t show is to the left of the bay door is a loft full of files on fire. There was more fire than just the 2 cars in there.

    The 3rd in engine as someone put it was the truck company. We do not run quints so we run a dedicated truck crew. They (off camera) were controlling utilities, forcing doors (softening the building) and cutting locks around the C/D side. Every seat on our apparatus has a defined role, both on truck companies and engine companies.

    We do not carry foam so that’s a moot point. We do not have a bumper mounted turret, again a moot point. Our policy (like it or not) is to take water on smoke showing. I’m sure that this will create discussion but you all have policies also. Have fun with that one! What should happen is moving faster with charging the lines.

    I will not make excuses for the time it took to pull and charge lines. What I will do is defend my department and my fellow brothers and sisters. I would gladly place my life in harms way for anyone on that scene. As I would do for any of you in this forum. What I will not do is sit idly by and have people bad mouth my or any of your fire departments, volunteer or paid. This forum is exactly what the problem is in the fire service. If I can toss them under the bus then maybe I’ll stay out of harms way. As we have noticed on our department, accountability is becoming a thing of the past. Hold your people accountable. When you have an after action, post brief or critique don’t BS each other. Tell them they screwed up but then help them get better. I do not mind criticism, I actually look forward to it. We all should take the good and the bad from any fire scene. That’s how we learn. Ask questions, provide CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, and learn from our mistakes. Imagine if our elected officials read this. You all, just as much as us are under constant scrutiny of our cities. Break the mold of eating our own to make yourself feel better. I challenge any of you to post a video of your own (and not just the good ones). I’ll finish with, there is never a Monday that roles around in the NFL and they say, we have no film to watch, we did everything perfect. There will always be receivers missed, holes not seen and opportunities missed. What they do is then practice, then practice some more and then come up with a better game plan. Then guess what, the next Monday they do it all over again. I encourage all of you to really look at your post and see what your accomplished. Did you say it to feel better. Well, I hope you do. But know this, you all are the reason why the fire service has fractures. I’m calling you out to be better than that.

    • Capt Dick

      Thanks for taking the time to provide the facts. You are exactly right about eating our own. It’s one of the many Cancers of the modern fire service. A bunch of Ladder 49, Rescue Me, Chicago Fire kids posting there thoughts on here. Stay safe brother .

  • Big Hose

    Is there any truth that the hose bed was charged?

    • Colo FF

      Nope. All lines charged were on the ground

      • CSFD

        The first step is being honest. There is a video floating around showing that!

        • Colo FF

          I just clarified, there was a small pigtail section that wasn’t cleared. Not an entire hosebed.

  • Mtnfireguy

    Colo FF…. Thanks for the insight

  • CSFD

    Yes there is truth to the hose bed being charged, it was a firefighter/ PARAMEDIC who did it. It was not our finest moment.The point I am trying to make is we need to work on our firefighting skills before we look at taking on other things right now. Every Dept. has made mistakes! And learned from them, that is the key.We make mistakes all the time! WALDO CANYON! We jst keep going on and nothing changes! In the most recent post I am sure you are a CSFD person but like me are affraid to put your name to a post. No big deal lets just learn from this and become better at what we are here for FIREFIGHTING!

    • Colo FF

      CSFD I suggest you check your facts also. Not a FF/PM who did it and I never did say it was our finest moment. We do need to learn from every fire both the good and the bad. And trust me, I have no fear putting my name to any post because I stand behind everything I say. Why don’t you give me a call on Thursday, I’ll be riding engine 8 and we can talk about honesty. Mike

      • Mungo

        Seeing that you will riding on E8 I guess the Irons and ladders guys have already seen the video and I dont need to post it to there page.

        My two cents on this scene to all the arm chair chiefs out there, Take a look back at the video. Every FF had a job they where doing, weather it was going to obtain tools, stretch line, do what there molded to do. I live in Colorado springs and also happen to be a FF in a different local Dept, Springs is setting the standard for southern Colorado. I cant tell you the last time I heard of one getting hurt or hearing a Structure Fire be a total loss because of there bad tactics nor lack of speed. I also can say this was a ripper I was approxmently 10 miles up the road and you could see the smoke from it.

        If yall could do better, Im sure we all love to have you teach us. Remember Its not your Emergency, its theirs! Don’t get reckless due to speed!

        Overall it was a decent job and great truck placement video.

  • NutmegStGreenhorn

    My $.02
    The most vocal critics within the fire service are the latest generation (likes of myself) whom have not seen enough fire to have been “schooled” on what its really like. There is no training fire or live burn that can really demonstrate some of the challenges that can be encountered.

    Instead, all they have in their minds is how easy it was and how neat it looked when they were at the academy.

    Does anybody else believe that the FD in question did a decent job?

  • willowbay

    This has nothing to do with the fire per se, but at 2:28 a guy pulls up and gets out to take lots of photos, and his car has no licence plate.

  • Co. D/E

    For those of you who left constructive criticism, thank you for your comments as all are taken in and used to help us and our great chosen profession. The most accurate write up of this incident posted here was done by “Colo FF says” posted above. WIth that, I will not go back and recap this fire again.

    To those of you “arm chair quarterbacks” who feel that they are Gods gifts to the Fire Service with most of you probably having less then 5 years on the job, take note to some of the wiser post above. There is more to most fires then what you can see from a 5 minute video taken at one angle. As a “professional” you will eventually learn to take in all information such as, dispatch info, understanding your hydrant grids, knowing the construction of your district and what each occupancy is used for in that particular time of day. There is a big picture that as you spend more time in the fire service and move up in rank you will eventually understand. Or maybe “You” won’t from some of the post above. Good job dog kicking your so called “Brothers and Sister” as Im sure that is what you would call us when you are visiting our great city and stopping by our stations to brag about how great of a Fireman You are. Here, “We” are a team. We all live work and fight together as one. We are successful because we do make mistakes and then we learn from them. For your non constructive posts, thanks for setting the fire service back another 15 years………….

    • Co. D/E

      Co. D/E is AKA Josh Winter D/E 7 . Got nothin to hide and also no time for the ney sayers

      • Mungo

        If only they had the Idea of how much of a cluster that section of town happens to be. Couldn’t have said it better myself about the consent bitching about how fire attack went.

  • Fire Jake

    For Mungo: I live in Colorado Springs. I am sitting in my arm chair making these comments in reply to your post. The correct words are: their and whether. Two things you should realize: if you think this fire was a “ripper” you haven’t seen many fires. This was a good 2 and 1 (eng/trk)line job that was probably out before the working fire assignment companies got in. Second, if you think the CSFD is setting the standard for tactical operations you aren’t paying attention. And I like the CSFD.

    • Mungo

      Jake, I will be the first to say I am just getting into to the structure side of firefighting over the last two years. I have not seen many fires in the last two years, I use ripper as a broad term. My first fire was truly a ripper when we where 2nd on scene. Also congratulations on correcting my grammar want a cookie?? We are discussing fire tactics not an English lesson. I have done plenty of wildland though. Sorry I have been taught a lot from springs guys. Also I stand with my statement of CSFD setting the standard because I watch them put out my neighbor house out. It looked very smooth and organized unlike many other depts around here.

      Sorry dont like my opinion

  • Koy Wilson

    The only real problem with this site is that it allows you to leave a post without a real name. Blasting a department while leaving a fake or nick name is Cowardly! Period! This was obviously not CSFD’s finest hour. I’m not going to rip everything they did, I think you have all done that. And by the way, some of your comments are worse than what I see in the video. Riding assignments and being able to think outside the box, no pun intended would have helped a lot. CSFD brothers, watching and tabling this with the brothers and having honest dialogue will make you better, just like ALL of us. We cant help that we have more responsibilities than the old days (ems, haz mat, tech rescue), and that most departments go to far fewer fires. So we just have to make do. Network with other brothers, watch videos, go and take hands on classes. For many, that is the only way to learn.

    Koy Wilson
    Truck 3
    Stockton Fire Dept.

  • Ric Jorge

    atta boy Koy … I couldn’t have said it better.

  • Truck Co 4

    I couldn’t agree more that this fire looks bad, but I wasn’t there and I do work for Colorado Springs Fire Dept.
    We don’t have LDH, so we can’t use it. The best we have is our 5″ soft suction or a double, either reverse or forward. Bumper turrets are something we also don’t have. My opinion is that if you are the “strategy and tactics” people writing on here and saying that’s better than a well positioned and stretched hose line, I would challenge that and suggest that’s no different than getting on top of the rig and using the deck gun. On the other hand, that works in certain situations, just not this one.
    Was I frustrated when I first saw this? Sure, but again I wasn’t there and this is simply too small of a shot of the “big picture” from this one little fire. No we don’t get a ton of fire and this was a smaller fire. We did have a seven alarm arson apartment fire, middle of the night in zero and sub zero temps where 85 people were rescued from portable ladders, multiple hand lines were put into operation interior and the third alarm was called within a minute or two of the first in companies arriving which happen to be a few blocks from the station. Hundreds of people were safely evacuated and sheltered, yes two people died but trust me from being there all night, it wasn’t from a lack of trying. We have and will continue to have small and large fires where mistakes are made at both as well as nearly flawless strategies and tactics. Paramedics don’t make fire departments bad. Some of the best firefighters I know happen to be paramedics and I could easily challenge many other firefighters as to their talents and abilities knowing who would come out on top.
    Good job, brothers keep up the good work.