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Pre-arrival video & radio traffic: Daytime house fire in Cheektowaga, NY.

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Don Murtha III (murthad02) on the scene before the first engine at a house fire at 39 Flora Drive in Cheektowaga, New York (Erie County) on Monday afternoon.

Here’s some of Don’s description with the video:

Cleveland Hill 9-1 went on location reporting a working fire. Command further reported heavy fire on the 1st floor of a 1 1/2 story dwelling with extension to the 2nd floor.

U-Crest, Pine Hill, Forks, Rescue, & South Line (FAST) responded as mutual aid to the scene. Hy-View provided fill in at Cleveland Hill.


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Comments - Add Yours

  • phillyrtoll

    they did a great job, best I’ve seen for sometime

  • Coal Cracker

    I think the hose line that had the hole burned in it had a better idea than the guys on the end of it. It appears to me that if the hadn’t burned through in just then way it did and knocked down the substantial exterior fire this whole operation would have gone very bad. I think at the very least the roof would have burned through.

    Advancing into a structure with uncontrolled fire auto-exposing up the exterior is a bad idea. I would have darkened that down before entry. Knock it back in and then knock it out.

    • He

      Yep,,,,EXACTLY what Coal Cracker said !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Black Helmet

    Heavy!!! Seemed like there was a delay from guys going in and water actually being applied. Must have been toasty in there during that time. Great video, super agressive but got the job done. We blitz attack that kind of fire then go in and finish the job. Pretty hostile fire just to be walking into. Auto venting from multiple windows, turbulent heat driven smoke pushing out the entrance. This video had potential to be on the close call list had that hose burned through any more or burst. Agressive interior work is what the US Fire Service prides itself on but there are some other tactics out there that work and in turn are a little safer for you and your crew. Be safe everyone.

  • Lt. Chris

    Don’t go in under arcing wires DUH!

    • willowbay

      I was thinking the same thing, as you can see the wires arcing at 4:10 in the video. Watching the ff’s heads it doesn’t seem like they saw it, at least not right away. Odd that the ff in the driveway walked toward the entry almost right under the wires then turned around and walked back down the drive seemingly without seeing the wires. Further on around 5:19 there is a second wire that starts arcing at the front upper window.

  • Andrew

    Powerlines fall down on your hose line? Operating under an active, arcing line, to save unoccupied property? Had the lines been there, this might’ve been a decent video. Otherwise, horrible example of firefighting safety.

  • Scooter

    Once the pump operator remembered to run up the pressure they could knock it down. I assume the pump operator was worried about hooking up the supply line…. worry about the 1st line (30 seconds or less) then worry about your supply line. Looks like a little over a min to run the line and go to work, but the camera cut off twice. Overall not bad… Be safe and Strike Da Box! K PS if I was the 2nd guy there with the brown or red charged hose line…. God gave you elbows for a reason… to push buy the first line, yellow as they waited for water and masked up… K

  • Fire21

    I couldn’t help but notice the green line attached to the house faucet…I wonder if judicious use of it or a home extinguisher (after calling for help) by the homeowners might have saved this place.

    Nice to see the 1st due laying in. Always good to have supply established.

    Has no-one heard of “walking out” a preconnect to eliminate the pile of hose? Take 10 seconds to eliminate the kinks and save frustration trying to achieve a decent flow.

    Looked like a good interior attack, although it did seem to take awhile to flow water once they got inside the door.

  • East Side Pride

    A little hairy prior to entry. Sometimes we seem to open up just a little too much prior to going in. Nice push though resulting in a fantastic stop! Again folks, let’s remember why we respond to calls such as this, to get in there and make a difference, not to sit outside a establish a parameter and keep everyone back until the whole things falls into the basement! The power lines where an obvious problem but they seem to handle it all just fine.

  • Anonymous

    A large amount of turbulent black smoke issuing from multiple openings. Known precurser to flashover and rollover. Entering into that enviroment without knocking it down first will get you killed. I suggest taking the “Art of Reading Smoke” lecture. It will change your mind about the way you attack a fire. Aggressive interior attacks are fun, intelligent attacks are safe and still fun.

  • old man 1

    Very aggressive attack and i would be willing to bet they are volunteers. Nice to see the engine laying in and even had a bad line hitting the exterior lol. They had to take a feed going in the way they did.

  • Jeff

    Alright, I’ve got my comfy armchair and I wouldn’t mind a beer to go with it.

    SOP change: working fire should mean that the power company is called by dispatch right away.

    Tactics: Don’t work under the arcing lines. Somebody told ‘em, and they stared back like deer for a few seconds and then went on. Rip off the porch railing and high-step / mantle onto it so you and your hose are clear of the house. Should be quick pre-mask axe work.

    Tactics: Cool the thing jumping out of the windows first.

    Tactics: One team to enter through the rear door and cool that, probably after cooling the exterior / windows, then hold or withdraw while the other team advances from the unburned part of the building. More fire down, less crew interference.

    Tactics/ SOP: if two engines comes down the street within sight of each other, let the second engine hydrant and supply the first engine. With a 3-crew, one should tag the hydrant, the 2nd should connect the engines together then connect the hydrant line. The operator should hook up his side of the engine connection and standby to charge the engine and order charging of the hydrant line.

  • Kevin

    Seemed like the venting through both the front door and the A/D window were premature. Check the water flow of your hose prior to making entry so you’re not sitting in the smoke with nothing to do, plus then you don’t give the fire 2:20 to come toward you. This is partly the engineer’s fault for not giving the needed pressure in time, but the entry team could have reminded him before going in. Also, I’m not a fan of going underneath arcing wires that have direct flame impingement.

    The forced entry at the front door was nicely done. Once the entry team had water they made a good push.

  • Just A Fireman

    Fellas, it’s okay to put water on the exterior fire prior to or simultaneous with interior attack. Good job on going interior on this one as there was lots of fire inside. But there was lots of fire outside too.

  • jon

    good aggressive, methodical attack from unburned to burned on a classic bread and butter fire. nice work.

    one quick thought on situational awareness:

    if the nozzleman on the attack line would’ve put even 15-20 seconds of water thru the windows and up under the eaves while he was waiting for the truckie to pop the door, he could’ve gone a long way toward darkening this fire down. if he had just completed this one quick task, the electric lines likely would not have been compromised, there probably wouldn’t have been a hose burned, the interior wouldn’t have been nearly as inhospitable, and this would’ve been an entirely different incident.

  • OH BOY

    Not bad, but what about the criminal mischief occurring on the opposite side of the house at the 10:18 minute mark? Busted window and very little smoke. Probebly some 12 year old who was mad they missed the first truck. Not cool.

  • v

    this was a textbook attack. to all of you saying that they should have blitzed it or knocked it from the outside….go find anew hobby. these guys did a great job. exactly what they are trained to do. and fyi that hot stuff coming through the windows is the fire venting itself, exactly asit is supposed to. this does not necessarily make it more dangerous. go study fire behavior .

  • Hey

    Four things:

    A) Stretch line one line at a time. All efforts should be made to get the one line in service.

    B) Chase kinks. Note the yellow line had a kink in it that prevented good flow. Just after the guy in the white hat came outside talking the office the kink cleared on its own. I assume due to an increase in PSI. The kink is in the driveway. P

    C) Poor Engine company operations. The line needed to be in line with the door for a smooth stretch, Kinks needed to be chased and again on line at a time.

    D) I think a flank of the exterior would be ok for 5 seconds but come on fellas exterior attack on this fire ! It’s a few rooms. This is bread and butter fire. If the line wasn’t kinked it would have been knocked down in 15 seconds.

  • Cappy

    This fire was a classic version of an event that needed a quick transitional attack.. properly placed line exterior..for just a short blitz then an aggressive interior hit to finish it off

  • Hey

    Watch the video at the 610 mark. At about 615 the line becomes unkiked and the fire is knocked shortly after.

  • old PO

    I am sure folks would comment on all of our calls as well. I have one thought,a “RAKE LINE”. Sweep down DELTA side of the dwelling this could have slowed the upward progression of the fire into the roof structure. While we work our line to the inside as the fire is spreading upward fast. Just a thought!

  • willowbay

    What a shame that this was due to careless cooking.

  • cbj

    Sorry ‘V’ but this is no “text book” job. I have seen worse, far worse. Hopefully I will find a new hobby after I get out in the next few years but for now, after working on four decades in this business my question is this: did the situation get better or worse after the arrival of the BWT? I’d say worse. There was a charged line in good position to knock a good amount of fire down while waiting for the interior line to get into position. What IS the point of waiting? The fire intensified and obviously spread while waiting to make that all exciting push inside, so who benefited? The property owner? Sorry, but common sense, and finally the results of realistic egg-head research has showed what many of us have known for a long time, and that is getting a good knock-down right away WILL prevent further damage from fire spread. The other issue that scares the heck out of me is the failure to stay low when entering, and when near vent exit points, like doors for instance.

  • BH

    White hats should know better than to vent in front of the fire before a hoseline is in place. Hell, the door wasn’t even open yet- probably better that way in this case, but it makes my point. And guess what- here comes the fire extending to that window before the guys got their kink figured out and water flowing.

  • Anonymous

    2 1/2 min. of tone outs? Really? As much as they aid each other, work on a better dispatch system.