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Helmet-cam video: First in company at three-alarm Fresno, CA apartment fire.

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FresnoFireDepartment video from a three-alarm fire yesterday morning.


Fire displaced 31 residents of a condominium complex in East Central Fresno. 18 units of Peachwood Village at Olive and Peach were evacuated because of the blaze.

Flames were shooting through the roof when firefighters arrived just before 9:00 Monday morning.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Robert Kramer

    Once again, not what I would have done. One apartment was on fire – go up there and put it out.

    • Anonymous

      I love reading computer tough guys responses, thee old been there done that attitude. B.S. nothing wrong with trying to cool the environment before entry, not to mention til you wait for help. There wasn’t one apartment on fire, looks like two apartments and probably the attic of four. Anyway, “strike da box” “get in there and get it” yadayadayada… You guys are a bunch of tools.

      • 95%er

        Dear Anon. There are a lot of keyboard cowboys on here. RK is not one of them. He is probably one of the more seasoned posters in terms of fire time on here. Tip o’ the hat to ya.

      • Anonymous

        yadayadayada. “cool the environment and wait for help.” Sounds like the Presidents’ global warming policy.

        First line should have been up the steps.

        • Anonymous

          “yadayadayada” First line should have been up the steps” Is that what you would of done, thats nice. How ever for thick headed, armchair quarterbacks like yourself new studies have shown that there is absolutely nothing bad about cooling from the outside before going in, that conditions can do nothing but improve, so please excuse this gentleman for hitting it from the outside to improve conditions on the inside before he entered im sure you fire dept is spot on in everything that they do with the most advanced and effective tactics to ever be applied to the fire ground

          • HookNCanMan

            For the first 10 seconds, sure. Go ahead and stand outside all day on this one; how do you think that’ll work?
            You will not extinguish until you hit the seat. After minutes of lobbing through the window, there was still fire extending into the hallway. Get ahead of the fire in a row/common attic. That fire is past the room of origin. Think about where it is going, not just where you can see it.

    • BadKarma

      I work for FFD, was not at this fire. It was an older 8 pack with a common attic and was between an area that a truck company and engine company had been closed two years ago. There was more than one unit on fire, in fact there were three with a breezeway seperating them.

      The engine company was alone there for quite some time, you are only catching a few minutes of their attack on that unit. I’m sure a 360* view would change a few minds. I can appreciate the jabs and the praises, we’re all firemen here.

      Stay safe brothers!

  • Scooter

    Sweep the cockloft then get up the steps and finish it off. Doing no good standing in the back yard squirting water. I guess they don’t see much fire. Looks like the pipe man wanted to go up the steps and the officer had him go back to the back yard. Strike Da Box! and GO GET IT ! K

  • Johnny Awesome

    Got family in Fresno. Hardcore FD. They have some of the most aggressive firefighters on the West Coast. Much Respect for the FFD.

    Just another day for these guys.

    • Leeroy Jenkins

      Aggressive firefighters? They must all be on the other shifts then, because you sure couldn’t prove it by this video. What was that exterior operation about? You’ve got a charged line with perfectly good water — take the line up the stairs and put the fire out! The status of occupants was reported as unknown. Do a search! The yard-breather nozzle guy wasting his air outside… Any DCFD or PGFD company would put these boys to shame.

    • Crowbar

      Apparently the nozzle man isn’t one of them, either that or he’s very inexperienced. We only get to see one helmet cam’s point of view but it sure looked like these guys should have gone straight up the stairs and got this.

    • Anonymous

      Aggressive?? What video were you watching. These guys looked like a bunch of cowards….

      • LaidOffJake

        Come on man, difference of opinion’s cool- no reason for name calling.

  • Fire21

    I liked being able to see via this helmet cam, for a change…until they went interior. Then, as always, the view became so blocked by smoke and steam, we couldn’t really see what was happening. It did seem to take longer than expected for them to go interior…like the knob man was waiting for something or someone.

    • Clem Johaansen

      2 out or RIC?

  • Mjung

    Good job once the nozzleman decided that lobbing it in through a window wasn’t going to put it out.

    Control the smoke, hit the landing, make the turn and get to the seat. Voila, the world got better!

  • chief 511

    This should of been a walk in the park. Sometime we tend to make things to hard. Water in the 2nd floor window was waste. Get to the door and do your job.

  • Anonymous

    All that time spent throwing water from the ground was wasted. When they finally headed for the steps, they had the same ammount of fire as when they first arrived.

  • jluna230

    well Johnny, by the looks of this video, the “aggressive” firefighters you speak of must have had the day off….that fire should have been out at the 2 minute mark….does no good standing outside, or acting like a police officer and hiding off to the side of the door like theres an armed gunman inside waiting to light you up…unbelievable.

  • ukfbbuff

    From California

    “A nozzle firefighter’s dream”…Bob Galone FDNY Rescue 1

    If this is the first due engine, “Two-In/Two-Out” needs to be established before entry, per FIRSCOPE/ICS 910.

    Good job in trying to use the “Transitional” Method of Attack initially.

    Glad to see good work by one determined firefighter.

    • Clem Johaansen

      Finally, A voice of reason amongst a sea of “smoke eatin hero’s”

    • Pipeman27

      Exactly, a linemans dream! Perfectly do-able fire if you’re aggressive. Just nut-up and walk the dog!

  • Anonymous

    Get inside and put the fire out!

  • Anonymous

    I was cursing so loud while watching this video, my wife almost asked me to leave, Johnny I’m quite sure they have there share of aggressive Firemen, but it is only my opinion that this was not a great display of such, I was so pissed off watching this I could not even finish. Great quality video I must say. Thanks

  • FOBS

    It’s FFD.

    Those guys are the best. Just ask ‘em.

    Hardcore my happy ass.

  • firedude

    Notice the Capt not going in with his crew, didn’t even throw his pack on. ICS at its finest. Many CA depts use this model to the exact way it was written. Being aggressive is not part of it. You have to make sure “ALL” the boxes are checked. Nevermind someone may be trapped.

  • Anonymous

    Aggressive has nothing to do with how close you are to the fire it has everything with what your doing. You try taking this fire head on and your gonna lose, get burned, initiate a mayday or all three. Transitional attack was appropriate in my opinion but should have gone with a larger line, the fire was laughing at that 1 3/4 again in my opinion the only mistake they made was the line selection, other than that I think it was a good job stop the fire spread and then head up there and get it.

  • JW

    Next time call for the Stockton FD – they are 127 miles away – but it will most likely still be burning when they get there!

    • HandballChamp

      Psssh. Thats the kind of comment that gives the SFD the rep of being a bunch of assholes…

  • Chris Ryan

    2-in-2-out had not been established, that’s why fire attack was inistially exterior. NOTE: The Fresno Fire Department has not had a LODD in more the 40 years, find an other city of more the 500,000 that can say that…

  • Chris Ryan

    NOTE: The Fresno Fire Department has not had a LODD in more the 40 years, find an other city of more the 500,000 that can say that…

    • R2

      It’s great that Fresno hasn’t had an LODD in 40 years,really, that is a commendable record. On the other hand, it’s not hard to do — just don’t go into burning buildings. Set up a collapse zone and call for the coffee wagon. Simple. Mission accomplished! And unfortunately, we’re seeing more and more of that in today’s fire service.
      I am not an advocate of taking foolish risks, but, what is our job, our mission, our reason for having the big red trucks and thousands of dollars worth of PPE? Is it to simply show up, lob some water through the windows and survive the experience? No. We have an obligation to be effective and to give the folks who pay our salaries the best chance of survival; we are their only chance. Often that means taking some measured degree of risk. If you can’t accept that, maybe you should reconsider your choice of careers.

  • Anonymous

    Do you guys wear your super man cape everyday or just at work? Chances are none of you are as good as you think when you see yourself on video. Stay classy! PS. every fireman is agressive. Just ask them. Pot this is Kettle. What do you think a search would find in the apartment with floor to ceiling fire?

    • Capt Dick

      Well put. Survivability was zero in the fire apartment. So the BS search problem is moot. Exterior knockdown was attempted but not well executed( too much for 1 3/4 ) but overall they safely made interior attack and continued the push as interior support became available. I know DC and PG would have had a perfect opportunity to send someone to the burn ward or call a few maydays and melt some shields, West coast works smarter . Haters .

  • fedup

    Coulda been a new guy, really clean helmet. Was coned up ready to go and had the line stretched bad his officer pretty much left him….Wasted some time outside, but most certainly not the worst video…fire went out relatively fast….could it have been done better, sure but two young guys with a pipe and no leader did a pretty good job!

  • Scooter

    2 in 2 out not established, 1 3/4 to small… come on man watch the video and get real. If no 2 in 2 out yet at least go to the top of the steps (not in IDLH) and open up and looked what happened when they did? darkened most of it down. 1 3/4 to small…. come on man once they made the top of the steps to the door it darkened right down…. a 2 1/2 would not have done much from the yard either…. you have to go get it on this on… Strike Da BOx! K

  • ShamrockCapt

    Transitional attack would not have been my choice, but if you are going to use that tactic because of 2 in 2 out, short staffing or any other reason at least use your air and water judiciously. Lobbing water in the window with the most fire was a waste of time, air and water. Take a defensive position on the stairs and protect the only means of egress!!! The stairway and landing were untenable, so anyone try to escape would have been cut off. The stairs and the landing are the primary means of entry for the firemen, so it is in our best interest the keep the fire from burning there as well. Keep the fire in check from the stairs until help arrives and then go put it out! Once they got in there is was textbook.

    I was most disturbed by the idiot driving over the curb next to the hydrant. Watch out for the stupid people – they are the most dangerous!

  • cappy

    It’s called “rational aggression”….Look into it…The understaffed fireground started with an exterior.. let get this thing sized up and apply some water to try and extinguish the main body of fire approach. A wise approach… Nothing wrong with the initial approach. Moving to the landing after an initial exterior rear yard attack was good and turned out effective.Some knockdown was achieved..Get a search started someone said??/ BS.. survival profile in the fire apt. zero. Get some manpower on scene and then start a search of adjacent apts. Pull a 2.5 inch ? … yea.. in retrospect.
    You cant key board fire attack everything guys… some latitude must be extended and some benefit of a doubt must be extended once in a whileto all brothers. Most of us have made our share of learning from our mistakes on initial attack. To bad we often miss other learning opportunities while only focusing on a very narrow critical comment path. Good job Fresno… hope our next big goes as smooth as this one.

  • tkreece

    I am a relatively new firefighter, and what I saw was First due, 2 in 2 out has to be established. I think the transitional method was the right choice. You certainly aren’t going to get any viable victims out of fighting your way into that search. Why go in with guns blazing? All that would do is lead to a mayday situation. I like the fight from the door. No reason to make entry when it appeared they could reach the bulk of the fire from the door. Work SMARTER and SAFER, not harder and reckless. I like their approach here. And what’s with all of this “Destructive Criticism” guys? That’s not how I envision making each other the best we can be. Everyone came home, and that’s the most important thing. Come on… At any rate, how about THAT roll over prop?

  • on the job

    SAVE YOUR AIR!!!!!, why do firefighters don the SCBA outside with NO IDLH shooting water from the outside into a window. I don’t get it ??

    • Tim

      Tkreece you are 100% right. This fire was a defensive attack only. There was no reason to make an interior attack. If there was someone in that apartment they would not have survived. Yes our main priority is saving lives but not at the cost of our own life our any of our brothers and sisters. I have been in the fire service for 25 years and I would have done the same thing. It’s these back seat quarter backs that get themselves and others killed because they get tunnel vision and don’t think of the consciences of their actions. TKreece you will go far in this business because you see and think before acting.

    • tkreece

      Have you ever walked around a fire building with a gas monitor? You would be surprised at the readings you will get. Check out They have some very interesting information on there that really makes me think about what I’m breathing, even when working on the outside.

  • haveyouseenmybaseball?

    What this proved is how well water will PUSH the fire…

  • OldSutterOne

    Sorry to get into this late. However, based upon what I saw, my key criticism is that the first line did not ensure control the hallway. Clearly the fire was in the roof covered but exterior hallway and extending into the apartment across from what appears to be the apartment of origin. While the nozzleman did initially knock down that treat, it immeadiately reappeared. Escape by civilians, from the second appartment, as well as entry by firefighters to do a search could have been comprimised.

  • Jay

    All this talk about “transitional attack” is garbage in this case. #1- the hose line was to small. Obvious 1 apt going with extension to attic and shared stairwell. You CAN’T knock down all that fire with that small line…….the video proves it! I know that the 2 1/2 is bulky, heavy and whatnot, but it should of been off the truck first. It could have done well for the “Transitional Attack”, but I think straight up the stairs with it would have knocked it fast. A 2 inch line with smooth bore tip is not used enough in my opinion, but that’s a different debate.

  • I’ll Live Longer Than You

    Gotta love the guys who can sit in front of their computer screen and tell everyone else how they would have charged up the steps and kicked the shit out of that fire. “2 in/2 out be damned. I don’t need no backup or RIT, I’m a badass fireman, it’s what I do”. BLAH BLAH BLAH! You know what’s more annoying than all the talk? The swagger most of these aholes probably display on the fireground. Yeah, you look so damn cool in your blackened gear and melted lids. Yep, you’ve clearly gone in and kicked the shit outta some fire, and you’ve got the gear to prove it. One day, you’ll have the coffin and the somber procession of fire trucks to prove it, too. Being unsafe and stupid doesn’t make you a good firefighter or a crusty old salt. It simply makes you a statistic waiting to happen. At some point your luck is going to run out, and the beast will be waiting…

    And before you haters chime in about how I probably don’t see much fire and I’m jealous….I work for one of the busiest and most aggressive fire departments in the southwest. I’ve seen more than my fair share of fire. It is entirely possible to be agressive, smart, and SAFE. My lid may not be as scorched as yours, but I’m willing to bet I’ll outlive you by 20 or 30 years.

    Transitional attack in this case was the right call when your short handed, however, I agree with what ShamrockCapt said above, focusing more attention on the landing would have been a better approach. But I see nothing wrong with how these guys handled the initial attack. Once backup arrived, they went in and got it. The nozzleman seemed a little apprehensive about squaring up with the doorway, but he eventually made his way in and….wait for it….KICKED THE SHIT OUTTA THAT FIRE. Who knows, he may have been a probie.

    • Hero of Firetown

      He said, “one of the busiest and most aggressive fire departments in the southwest.” Please, please don’t tell me Phoenix cause that would explain everything. Just don the appropriate colored vest, burn down Mrs Smith’s house then take her to WalMart to replace her belongings. I love it!

      • I’ll Live Longer Than You

        No, not Phoenix.

  • Fire21

    So is it obvious by now that we all see things differently? Just because what they did differs from what you’d do doesn’t make either of you wrong…there is more than one way to skin a cat, and to fight a fire. The firefighters at that scene had things we as KICs don’t: They had a more encompassing view, they had communications with officers, they probably had orders as to what to do. They know why they didn’t attack interior immediately…something we don’t know. They know why they chose a smaller line than some others would use.

    Sometimes I get out of line with my criticisms, being too judgmental. But I’m trying to be more conscientious about it, wondering what I’m not seeing that the attending department did see. After all, we’re looking at a video of what was…they were facing what was happening at the time. Remember, we’re having the luxury of time to review these videos. Those folks on scene were working against time to control an out of control situation. We all need to give each other a break. JMHO.

    • Former Chief

      My thoughts exactly Fire21. I didn’t see where this incident was handled so badly. Some of the posters on here are way too critical and the name calling is totally uncalled for. BadKarma said above they’ve suffered staffing cuts and company closures. That’s changing how agressive some departments can be and some tactics. I have a good friend who is a Captain in CalFire and he tells me they are spread thin as well as a lot of the west coast fire service. They had a well advanced fire on arrival, short staffed, and they put it out. I call that a good job.

  • chief 511

    we are all a Monday morning QB. But WOW must of hit a sore spot. saying any other way to fight fire other than you’s is unsafe, is wrong. We all have FF like that we call them T-shirt FF. Just because you have a T-shirt doesn’t mean your a FF
    Is there a difference between a Fireman and a FireFighter??

  • Coal Cracker

    It appears to me that lack of a proper size up was a serious issue. A simple walk to the rear would have revealed just how far the fire has already progressed prior to arrival. This may have contributed to the line selection. I have a feeling that a larger line would have been pulled if fire had been venting from the front of the building as it was from the rear (although it did seem a lot like a “its-what-we-always-pull” situation). It appeared to me that there was an water issue at first, for a time the stream does not enough velocity to reach the ceiling of the second floor during the exterior attack. However, I would have pushed up the steps sooner after knocking down the hallway, that is assuming that conditions are right, particularly if I was worried about a shaky water supply.

  • slackjawedyokel

    I guess im missing something , 2 in 2 out before you walked up stairs to an open breezeway ? He could have SAFELY eased up the stairs, swept the ceiling, and gotten square with the doorway and worked from there.

  • Hammer

    Boy the term “aggressive exterior attack” surely plays well on this fire! Get in there and put the damn fire out!

  • Sally

    It doesn’t hurt to cool down a few BTU’s while a 360 is being conducted. If that guy committed inside, there was a possibility of a victim at a window down from the original fire apartment that needed to be rescued. That apartment is gone already. It only took 15-30 seconds to cool it down and keep it from spreading farther to the right. By the way, DCFD and PGFD aren’t what they once were. They were the best, now they’re just good. There is more than one way to skin a cat.

  • Anonymous

    1-3/4 line was plenty for this fire

  • Someone from pgfd

    Just wondering, what is a transitional attack?

    • Hero of Firetown

      It’s nothing new. “Transitional attack” is the latest trend-speak for what we used to call defensive-offensive mode. It, along with “Victim Survivability Profile,” are the favorites of todays “progressive” firefighters, or what we used to call cowards, when they lack what it takes to make the push.

      • Capt Dick

        “Progressives” also serve another useful purpose- pallbearers for you “HEROES” of Firetown.

  • slackjawedyokel

    Kinda thin skinned there cappy dick – im guessing you are from one of those departments where giving some one a dirty look, gets you a write up and you have to hold hands and sing kum bay ya.
    As far as pall bearers – no thanks to a bunch of cowards.
    And back to your first post, cant see enough to tell if a search was possible of the fire apt. But how about keeping it out of the one across the hall? Not brain surgery,life safety doesnt just mean the fireman. I guess the lack of people who have actually had a real job prior to joining the fire service has completely taken hold.

  • Crackinroofs

    Some people are really drinking this safety coolaide… You wont risk your life to save another??? You’re nothing but a coward and contribute to the downfall of the Fire Service! I dont like going to Firefighter funerals, but I admire the brothers that actually lived up to their oath, and attempted to give a civilian a CHANCE! I guess the our oath of protecting life AND property is now “im going home at the end my shift, nomatter what”… Again, nothing but a bunch of cowards, who rights off lives before they even exit the rig.

  • John Lynch PFD

    I would love to see this same fire fought by one of those departments like Detroit, Gary, Camden, Chicago? I sure would bet that fire would have been knocked out in no time!

    • DFD

      I promise you, this would have been over with in short order if this was in Detroit… this is as easy as they come. no windows, and you know EXACTLY where the fire is.

      Exact OPPOSITE of aggressive… COWARDS

  • Jeremy

    I was on this fire on the second alarm and I heard all the radio traffic along with watching the fire progression from shortly after initial attack. We had the first in truck arrive shortly after the first in engine and they were sent to the roof. I see nothing wrong with the tactics. As soon as the hole was cut, they went in. We are a very aggressive fire dept and if anyone out there would like to question our tactics or “courage” I would like to invite you out to Fresno for a ride along. With these new helmet cams, we are going to see a lot more of fires from this perspective. Is this what it will lead to? What happened to the brotherhood? Oh and Stockton… That seriously made me laugh. I guess every FD has one of those guys.

    • Norcal

      Hey bro, before you start bashing Stockton, we wouldn’t make a comment like that. We don’t operate that way.

  • CJ

    To all you monday morning quarterbacks. Shut up!!! and post your own helmet vids. Lets see how good you are. Punks!!!


    I’m surprised from all the negative posts. They took too long, too much water from outside. Am I watching the same video? Pay attention to the time ticker on the bottom. The fire was out in 8 minutes and that includes parking the rig. Constructive comments always appreciated but save the BS comments for your crew and certainly don’t post a negative comment and name your department.

  • ukfbbuff

    From Ca.

    So all of you “Kamakazie FF’s”, writing negative comments about way the fire was fought, really think you’d have handled that fire better than Fresno FD?

    You sound liked you’d just charge in and not even put your SCBA on.

    As I wrote;

    1st. Establish 2-In/2-Out per ICS/FIRECOPE 910 Document

    2nd. Transitional Attack Method was an excellent move at this fire initially.

    3rd. More than likely all of that black smoke you see is primarily from burning plastics and polyurethane foam furnishings aka “Black Fire”.

    Oops what’s that some of you “Tough Guys” are scratching your heads about?

  • Anonymous

    I agree with crackinroofs.
    Who’s to say there’s no survivors. You’re only seeing one side, if anything you’re pushing the fire on any survivors lobbing water in from the ground. A lot of you are quick to go into a recover mode and not search. You must at the very least try. We owe it to our tax paying citizens; they should demand that we at least try to rescue their family members. Until you get a confirmation of all residents accounted for don’t assume their already dead. So sad. Call me what you want but I treat all potential victims as my personal family members. YES I put my life in jeopardy for strangers. Didn’t we take the oath to do so? Isn’t that why we all do this profession? And to all you T-shirt FF. Look in the mirror and call yourself a FF and see what is looking back at you. fire

  • fire 511

    Who’s to say there’s no survivors. You’re only seeing one side, if anything you’re pushing the fire on any survivors lobbing water in from the ground. A lot of you are quick to go into a recover mode and not search. You must at the very least try. We owe it to our tax paying citizens; they should demand that we at least try to rescue their family members. Until you get a confirmation of all residents accounted for don’t assume their already dead. So sad. Call me what you want but I treat all potential victims as my personal family members. YES I put my life in jeopardy for strangers. Didn’t we take the oath to do so? Isn’t that why we all do this profession? And to all you T-shirt FF. Look in the mirror and call yourself a FF and see what is looking back at you.

  • Anonymous

    i do not agree on this fire attack you are pushing the fire to the unburned side of the structure you want to go to the where it has not been burned yet to get the the seat of the fire could of done alot better