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UPDATE – Helmet-cam: Roof ops at firefighter’s burning home in Throop, PA. Homeowner was driving first arriving pumper.

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This is video shot by 1986sosik showing roof operations by Dickson City Fire Department’s Ladder 23 at a fire around 11:00 this morning at a firefighter’s home in Throop, Pennsylvania (Lackawanna County).

Dunmore Firefighter Dominic Rinaldi was the engineer on the first arriving engine company. His wife and two daughters were not home. Firefighters rescued two dogs and a cat. 

Last Thursday, the Scranton home of an old friend of Firefighter Rinaldi’s had an electrical fire. That friend is Scranton Fire Department Assistant Chief Jeff White.

WNEP-TV:

“I was putting my boots on and I heard my address come over the radio. We came over the O’Neill Highway I could see the smoke and I knew that it was going pretty good at that point,” Rinaldi said

“It was tough, he wanted to get here as quick as possible. I was having him keep his composure so we could get here safe and do our jobs,” said Dunmore Assistant Fire Chief Bobby Dee.

Rinaldi was the engineer on the fire at his home, responsible for supplying water to other firefighters.

He said it was surreal to watch his old friends kick in his front door, and smash the windows he installed only a few months ago.

“Jeff is a lifelong friend of mine and I know what he’s going through,” added Rinaldi.

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  • NY TRUCK

    Natural openings first, sky lights, roof vents etc….. wear your mask and gloves…… don’t get past your cut, and your ladder or escape route. Depth gague on the cutters edge was too deep, vent over the fire or as close as you can, more ground ladders on the other side of the roof would have been good, loover cuts work well also, not as much work for the hook guy….. just to name a few things that I saw!!!

    • Fire21

      NY Truck, in addition to what you said, making one large vent hole beats the heck out of several smaller ones. There might have been reasons these guys cut the way they did.

  • Fire2mark

    Hmmmmm. The airpacks are pretty. I don’t think they were designed to just look good though. I might be wrong on this, so correct me if I am. I thought they were designed to keep you from breathing all the CO, HCN, and chemical soup in the smoke. Or, heaven forbid you should fall through the roof, save your lungs from the heat, fire and chemical soup.

    Keep yourselves safe brothers.

  • Oldironsides

    Fairly evident that they’ve never attempted this before. Maybe on a dry erase board in a firehouse, but not out on the street.

    • RealisticLT

      That’s kind of funny you say that.. We’re you there? Did you have any involment with this fire? It’s fairly easy to arm chair any video you watch, but truth be told … if you we not there, then you do not know. Ok, so one guy didn’t have gloves on. One guy did not have his mask on. It took awhile for holes to be cut… So on and so forth, the list could be endless. But was there any active fire coming through the roof that would neccestate breathing air, cause lets face it – a diesel truck puts out worse smoke then what that video showed! Cutting the roof…may have sounded like the saws weren’t throttled up. Did any stop to think of how thick the roof plywood was or how many layers of that plywood may have been there on top of the possibility of rubber decking??? Lets face it again – I do not care how many layers of plywood there is, no saw will full throttle threw all of it. Or even people saying the roof didnt need to be opened. Whether it did or not, I do believe I notice the IC telling those guys in the very beginning to go open the roof – seems to me they just did what they were told to do… Oldironsides, if your user name is a reference to how long you have been in, then I bet you are no better – nobody is a textbook firefighter. . .and if you claim to be, you’re a liar! It amazes me that other ‘text book’ firefighters have such negativity to say. Only 3 people said their condolences to this firefighter loosing his property! Talk about “brotherhood”…

  • Tom, Sta. 50

    Dave, the fire was at the home of a career firefighter from Dumore Pa Local 860. Dunmore was a mutual aid company with said firefighter driving the engine that was first in. He stated to local news media that he received no advanced warning prior to heariong his address dispatched. As a side note, this was the second time in 5 days that a fire occured in a career firefighters house in the area.

    Just in case any of the arm chair firefighters were concerned, their brother firefighter and his family were all uninjured, dispite losing their home.

    • dave statter

      Thanks. I just got back online and was going to search again. I did see earlier the assistant chief in Scranton whose home burned. That’s awful.

    • Jeff D

      Tom, Excellent point. Brother Rinaldi our thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Commenter

    The payoff for roof ventilation is too little too late with too many people.

    Horizonantal ventilation from the fire room out a window – ideally assisted by a PPV fan in the front door. Much more reliable and much faster.

    If you have fire in the concealed spaces – wall or attic voids – the WORST thing you can do is open up those spaces before you get water in them. Penetrating nozzles, partition nozzles, distributor nozzles or, worst case, very small access holes and a fog nozzle. A 12″x16″x20′ rafter bay would be filled by the steam created by a pint of water. A 20’x40’x5′ peaked attic will be filled by the steam of 2 gallons of water.

    You can’t blow through a closed straw – PPV won’t push fire into the concealed spaces so long as there’s an easier path to take — like all the windows in the fire room.

    If the first engine can perform effective ventilation on it’s own, the truck can be dedicated to search and rescue instead of ventilation. When there are people who need rescuing, you won’t have to choose between ventilation and rescue.

  • http://none Engine 5er

    Three holes? Are you kiddin’ me? By the amount of smoke and heat vented none was needed.

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  • 95%er

    sorry to the brother firefighter on the loss of his home and belongings.

    that being said, roof work was totally ineffective, too little, too late, and not done well.

    if you crack the roof and you don’t get a LOT of smoke, heat and probably fire, out the hole, you didn’t need to open it, or you picked the wrong spot.

    the saw man didn’t make the cross cut which makes it easy to flip the deck. if you do it right, when you make the last 2 cuts, you should be able to tap the 2 sides of the cut and they fold right into themselves.

    private dwelling fires…horizontal venting is the way to go unless you have active fire in the compartment directly below the opening. utilize your personnel to maximize your resources.

  • jon

    i probably would not have called for vertical vent on a low and absolutely flat roof. discovery of multiple layers in the roof structure made it even less advisable (though i assume they had no way of knowing that when they started).

    horizontal vent/PPV is the direction i think i would’ve gone. a low-ceilinged structure like that would’ve been an ideal candidate for a fan in the front and an air exit out the back.