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Raw video: House fire in Washington, Pennsylvania.

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Video posted yesterday by Crowfire North Belle Vernon of a house fire in the City of Washington, Pennsylvania. No further information. 

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Dom

    Did they ever go inside and put the fire out?

  • OH BOY

    Hmmm. Guess that’s one way to put a fire out. Never saw a company that apparently does not carry 1 3/4″ hose lines before.

  • Scooter

    For Goodness saks shut down the wagon pipe and go get it. Hand line operation here but if you use the wagon pipe shut it down after 10-15 seconds… and go finish it off. I am with Dom “did they ever go inside and put the fire out?” STrike Da Box and GO GET IT! K

  • Mark too

    I guess I’m not seeing the problem that you guys see. The “first due” department is a small career department with an on-duty staff of 5-6 FFs. As such, initial operations will be limited until the rest of the response arrives. The fire has clearly taken hold of the first floor and is extending to the second floor and attic. The master stream operations did a good job of knocking down the exterior fire, however the persistent volume of heavy smoke shows that there is still a large volume of active fire inside the house. The scene was engulfed in smoke and obscured for half the video. Taking only these 13 minutes of video into consideration, is it really appropriate to put FFs inside this building during this time period?

    • Dom

      I have no problem with the initial attack Mark. A master stream with obviously limited manpower, got them a good knock. And I agree that there is a large body of fire still inside the house. But, I disagree in that it looks to be a very old ballon frame, standard diameter house. Even with that much fire on the first floor, after getting a good knock on it with the master stream, they need to go in and dig the fire out of the inside. There is a much smaller chance of collapse in a house like that, then in one of the modern day matchbooks we burn up. I would love to see how that turned out, because my guess is that they burned the top off that beautiful old house.

      • Mark too

        I agree that it’s likely balloon frame construction and not as prone to quick collapse like new construction, but please reread my comments – particularly the last sentence. IMO and experience, inside that house was not the place to be during the 13 minutes of the video. The video provides a very limited view of the incident, especially since the smoke obstructed the view of the building for a lot of the video. Their actions during those 13 minutes were very reasonable for the situation based on that limited view and I think criticizing them for a lack of interior attack during that time period is unwarranted. I work in a similar sized department and city in the next county with similar housing stock. We are still very much a “go in and get it” fire department and I know we would have conducted our initial operations in pretty much the same fashion under those same conditions and time period. Since it was an older building, there’s a decent chance that interior operations could be conducted at some point and for all we know that could’ve started 2 minutes after the video ended. This is clearly a multiple handline fire for any sort of interior operations. With limited staffing upfront, sometimes the right move is to wait for the cavalry to arrive before you send people inside for a fire going as well as this was.

  • Cappy


  • Browntown

    Mark I agree with you. If I was OIC with only 3-4 guys on my first in rig no one would be entering the house. Plus you have to take into consideration of the construction of the home. Its great to be an aggressive FF but there is a fine line between aggressive and stupid. For the guys that think they would of done an interior attack, please explain how you would do so safely.

    • Dom

      After making the blitz attack, around 5 minutes into this video, they have the perfect oppurtunity to take a handline and TIC and go in the front door. The TIC lets then see through the smoke, the handline puts out the fire. If you look at the house when it is all lit up at the beginning, it is a balloon framed old house. That means full demension lumber construction. That house is going to take a lot of heat, before it begins to collapse. In the end I bet they burned the top off this thing, and a facebook comment above stated that they have torn the house down.

      • Mark too

        You really can’t say that it was a perfect opportunity, because you can’t see the front of the house at that point in the video. It’s also quite possible that they did reassess the fire conditions at that point and determined that interior operations weren’t appropriate yet. Also, just because an older house is build “better” than a newer house, it doesn’t mean that it’s safe or appropriate to be working inside of it. Additionally, there’s always the possibility that this building was not formally occupied and was known to them to not be safe for interior operations.

  • Anonymous

    My only issue is the use of the hydrant right in front of the burning house.

  • FOBS

    Bumper turret.

  • Anonymous

    This structure was a known hangout for “the less than desirable” people of the neighborhood. There was no life hazard at the time of the incident. Why on Earth risk the life and safety of a crew to save nothing? Those 1.75″ lines you speak of would have been well out gunned by the amount of fire. The initial 6 man crews hit a hydrant, used a deck gun, used a 2.5″ handline AND set up aerial operations as their other platoons and mutual-aid were arriving. Hmmm, not too bad, but wait; they didn’t pull the 1.75″ crosslay! My God man what were they thinking? The problem is they were thinking, and too many people fail to recognize when a 1.75″ crosslay is not the answer. For all those naysayers that say the 2.5″ line can’t be used by one person; take a look at the ONE guy using it in front of the aerial.

  • HoodLT

    My whole first due is a hangout for the “less than desirable people.” But im here for everyone. I think most of the fire service underestimates the ammount of fire that a quickly stretched 1.75″ line placed in the right spot can put out. Especially when the second due is on your heels running the second line. Its trendy right now to wag your finger at companies for not pulling the 2.5″ these days on the well involved jobs. BUT, not saying that using the wagon pipe on arrival of this job wasent a good choice especially with the information on low staffing in this area. Low staffing changes that game considerably.