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Arrival video & radio traffic: Two-alarm Minneapolis house fire. Evacuation ordered because of loss of water in attack lines.

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Three parts of video with radio traffic by James Botham of a house fire at 2416 Bryant Avenue S. in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 29. At 8:30 into Part 1 is the first report from Engine 17 on the interior that they had lost water. Water is restored but then Ladder 11 reports that the primary line and back-up line on the second floor have no pressure. This is followed by a report from RIT of pumping issues with Engine 17. This conversation continues into Part 2 when the evacuation is ordered at about 1:15.


Firefighters battled a two-alarm house fire in Minneapolis Monday on the 2400 block of Bryant Avenue South.

Officials say no one was injured in the blaze, which shot flames from the second and third floors of a three-story house.

 No one was home when the fire was first reported at 12:03 p.m.


First responders were sent to 2416 Bryant Ave South shortly after 12:00 p.m. and arrived to find heavy smoke billowing from the second and third floors of the large home. Unconfirmed reports say the fire started on a deck and soon jumped to other parts of the building.

Firefighters attempted an interior attack but were soon evacuated due to a heavy volume of fire. At that point a second alarm was called and crews concentrated on an exterior attack. 

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Crowbar

    Looks like it might have been a good opportunity to use a transitional attack.

  • FF/PM Thomas Vern

    My god watching the nozzleman I thought I was going to fall asleep.

  • LTG – Truck 18

    I really wanna know what happened to the pump. This has to be a hydrant district??? So I am hearing the primer motor being pulled over and over on a booster tank. Anyone know the inside scoop?

  • Eastern Vollie

    For a large career department, dont they have SOGs and why the level of Micromanagement?

    • Mark too

      What exactly do you see as micromanaging at the incident?

    • Anonymous

      It’s called blue card and it sucks. if you talk enough the fire will go out because it will run out of fuel.

  • Cappy

    WoW.. a very interesting incident to listen and learn from.

  • BmoreCareful

    Hey Minneapolis can you guys take back Chief Clack we cant stand that spineless bum in Baltimore.

  • Ryan

    Looks like other than the problem with water, these guys kicked the HELL out of this one. Most companies wouldn’t attempt an interior and these guys made one hell of a knock, at least initially. Good command presence too, kept calm, made a quick backup plan when they lost water, and made sure all crews had PAR after the evac.

  • Fedup

    Regardless of the water supply issues what’s going on with apparatus positioning?! First due engine doesn’t grab hydrant (granted might have its own in front) and parks right in the middle of a street they could have easily pulled to the curb on. The tower pulls short instead of pulling up thereby screwing the tiller. They very easily could have two aerials to the building and if the first due engine had some sense could have had the opportunity to get a few more to the front if the fire escalated. No initial laddering of the building, ground ladders or aerials until after the chief specifically orders them. All this in addition to a pretty slow job getting the first line stretched. Again none of this has to do with the water supply problems.

    • Mark too

      It’s a pretty common tactic in the urban setting for the first engine to go straight in and have the 2nd due engine bring in the water supply. I don’t necessarily see a problem with the tower’s positioning from the standpoint of there being a significant volume of fire on the outside of the A side as it arrived. Parking in front or pulling past some to get proper positioning of the aerial for use on two sides of the house leaves a lot of the truck exposed to that fire and possible damage to the tower. Didn’t really see an issue with the ladders. Looked like 4 man companies, 1st truck assumed a search role, 2nd truck wasn’t far behind and was requested to throw some ladders along with other tasks, but then told to hold up. The initial stretch did seem a little slow, but really wasn’t that bad.

  • 95%er

    I bet the MFD would not consider purchasing an engine without a deck monitor. Probably would fight the finance department to keep it in the specs on all pieces.

    So riddle me this…you pull up to this fire, and have open burning extending all over this building…if this isn’t the time and place for a quick deck gun hit…when is it?

    Other comments are great, truck position was awful. You have a mid mount tower, move it up, jack the cab 30 degrees to opposite side of the street and hit the building.

    Are they used to this level of command instruction? Everyone really did seem calm and controlled on the radio and in the video.

    But seriously folks, its big rater and rate of application that knocks out fire. You got the gun, you pull up to this much fire, 30 seconds through the deck pipe is going to save you 30 minutes of fire attack later.

  • Blue

    A bit too much Micromanagement on the radio, but the real question is what happened to the water supply to the first in Engine an why there was no secondary water supply established. if only to support Aerial operations.

  • Big Mose

    Not very impressive for a big city fire department with a lot of chances to do “learning by burning”. Why does it take so long to get a hose line into action???? And why is the primer screaming??? A feeder line should be vented or purged and then the valve opened. There should be no reason to operate the primer.
    The pumper is your friend. Know how to operate it.

  • Former Chief

    Some of you people are way too critical. From my perspective, they did a really good job of getting a fairly quick knockdown on a well involved fire before the pump operator on Engine 17 “screwed the pooch”. Sure there may be a couple of things that could be better, but doesn’t that happen on every fire? That’s why we critique our fires to learn what we can do better. And it’s easier now than ever before with all of the video available to watch. I guess some of you are from Perfectiville Fire Dept. They even recovered nicely after their water supply issues. I wasn’t there, but I’ll venture a guess that the operator of Engine 17 got the pump air bound when he switched over to his supply line. He or she probably didn’t bleed the air from the supply line before opening the intake. Or they ran out of tank water before opening the supply line intake. Could have been a couple of things, but I’ll bet the driver got a reaming at the very least. Without the water issues, those guys had this fire knocked in what, like 10 or 15 minutes? Not too shabby in my opinion.

    • slackjawedyokel

      former chief -don’t think anyone said they were perfect. Im far from a pump wizard, but still,can you explain why there was a need to pull the primer operating from a hydrant aka pressurized source?

      • Former Chief

        Slack, again, I’m just guessing, but I think when the attack Engine lost water, the pump operator thought pulling the primer was the answer. I think either the pump was air bound from the intake being opened without bleeding the air first or, the intake wasn’t open and the pump ran dry. I agree, if there is a pressurized water supply, the primer doesn’t really do anything. You may get lucky and the primer may evacuate the air from the pump. Pump Ops. don’t always get the training emphasis they require. And a lot of times, pump operators don’t get the real world experience. There are a lot of things that can happen on the fire ground during pumping operations that are sometimes difficult to replicate in training. And electronic pressure governors, while a great tool, have their own quirks that require practice.

  • chief511

    Use tank water on first engine. I agree with going in first before hitting it from the outside or putting up any sticks. Why push the fire in and make a swimming pool in the basement. The original attack was good Just had a problem with a pump. You can see they were making progress. Here in the Midwest we don’t use sticks unless defense is the only way. I love seeing crews going in and knocking down a working fire.

    • 95%er

      If you speak for the “Midwest”…then why not take your trucks off your box assignments. if you are only using them for big water fights?

      as Seth Meyers would say…”REALLY?”

      Sticks/towers/aerials can do an awful lot besides defensive water operations.

      Perhaps you have heard of roof venting or exterior overhaul or providing a solid means of firefighter egress? If you are going to have the million dollar mid-mount tower sitting on the block, sit it someplace where you can do some good with it.


  • KyleK

    Solid, aggressive firefighting with command and accountability. The fire was confined to the occupancy of origin and no ffs were injured or killed. Overall, a solid job by MFD.

    As to the water supply issues, might we consider a large piece of debris from the water main blocking the intake? Been there, done that.

  • Fedup

    Chief511 my post wasn’t advocating better aerial placement for master streams. I’m advocating better aerial positioning to use them for access and egress. If you only use aerials for defensive fires then just buy a few telesquirts. I’m not a big fan of sending million dollar ladder trucks to fires and not using the most effective ladder on the fireground. A tower ladder bucket can cover VES, vertical and horizontal vent and victim removal on two sides while committing one guy to the bucket. The tiller can cover the other side. Have your ovm ladder the rear and you can still commit 5 guys to the interior not including the rescue

    • 95%er

      see there, that type of thinking will get you run out of the midwest…well according to Chief511.

      sometimes I don’t have a clue why these departments even purchase aerials if they don’t intend to use them.

      except for that once a year aerial water park show.

  • DPTV

    Many Depts. would have gone defensive upon pulling up to a fire of this volume .Kudos for the interior attack and quick search. Until they lost pressure ,they had this thing under control,but were still able to keep the sticks from being needed . . The only concern I had was the Delta side exposure when they lost pressure ,otherwise ,a job well done !

    • chief511

      Agree Sir.

  • Anonymous

    This fire would have been out before the water supply issue if they had given the exterior a quick shot with a duece and a half or wagon pipe on arrival and then went in and finished it off. All that exterior fire is not going to wait for you to stretch interior lines and push up two floors to get to it. Different strokes for different folks I guess. Stay Safe Brothers!

  • DMc77

    When the supply line (LDH) get charged sometimes the air trapped in the hose can air lock the pump – it’s happened to me and as corrected with about 5 seconds of primer activation

  • chief511

    Let me clarify, We’ll use them for Vent, escape, access ect… Our first thought is always interior and hand lines. Note sure why a dept. thinks 1500gpm is always the answer. If not really needed you just created more prop. damage. We still use the thinking saving lives and Property. I know some will think we’re doing old school. NO we’re doing our job. Interior FF is upmost important in reducing property damage. I would hate to find keepsakes that survived the fire only to be destroyed by a blast from a deck gun or stick. 27 years of fighting this way and never saved just a foundation. Just my thoughts.

    • 95%er

      chief, apples and polar bears. truck work is a mindset, a state of zen-like focus where you are doing multiple tasks at once to support the advancing engine company. you can’t truck work on and off. you have to always position your rig so it can be used. you throw the stick/bucket every time you can, so you are prepared when you NEED to do it. You aren’t blasting 1500 GPM onto keepsakes that are unburnt. Heck, you should know that very few aerial devices flow even close to that much. When you go to master streams, you are doing it because the required fire flow exceeds the handline rate of application and you have no other choice.

    • BH

      Nobody’s talking about master streaming every fire from the ladder. We’re talking about basics like vertical ventilation.

      If this fire had been in Boston there would have been 3-4 aerials raised to that building, and exactly none of them would be flowing water.

  • Brian

    The reason they pull the primer is because they run dry pumps. They need to run dry pumps so they don’t freeze in he cold winters.

    • slackjawedyokel

      a properly plumbed engine will not need the primer even working from tank water, pull the tank to pump , crack a discharge (I use the tank fill) the water will push the it right out. When working from a hydrant aka pressurized source, the incoming will flood that pump. With static water,pulling a primer creates negative pressure and atmospheric pressure pushes the water in.

  • chief511

    95%er… Maybe we are on the same track. Your statement of “no other choice” puts us on the same page. Commercial fires our trucks are positioned for use if needed. But not on single family residence. All our sticks flow 1500 GPM. We have a few tank farms where we need that type of flow.
    In the situation of the fire in question we would not put up a stick. 1 3/4 inside, 2 1/2 out if needed. We don’t have the luxury of seeing all sides. I wish officers would discuss fires like we have today. Nobody is wrong. Different opinions.

  • Met Fan

    Overall I thought it was a well run fire. Everyone seemed to be acting real professional. While many call for the 2 1/2 or the deck gun from the start I offer a little compromise use your 1 3/4 from the street as soon as you charge it to kill a little of the extending fire and take some heat away then go on in. As for the tower I probably would have liked to get the turntable even with the A/D corner based on the fire and at the very least would have set up the jacks in case it was needed in a hurry. I also would have called for more companies a little quicker but I’m a product of a department that has unlimmited resources. He really had no reserve and the exposure was really an issue. An extra engine an truck from the outset would be nice. You want to be able to turn around and tell an officer to take a line into an exposure and not have to wait 10 minutes because you had no one in reserve.

  • Cappy

    Most posters and viewers on sites like this are reluctant..or may even refuse…. to accept the reality that the vast majority of fire dept. in this country are ill equipped, staffed, trained and resourced to even attempt to operate at a fire under these conditions and circumstances with any real legitimacy as displayed on this video. These guys pulled off what most cant… even though most would like to. This was a real deal that could have been handled in a variety of ways. The “hit it quick with a master stream and then go in and finish it off” crowd are dead on with regards to effecting a quick knock down while making the fire behave and create an environment that we can survive. This type attack uses a rational amount of aggressiveness that ensures we meet our objectives while extending a measured level of risk when measured against what might be saved.
    Other camps will attempt this type attack from a monkey see.. monkey do.. approach. Lets emulate what those guys did in the video.. after all.. it worked for these guys. These type practitioners often getting overextended and caught in the threshold of a dynamic event they were not remotely prepared to handle.. and thus sustain deaths and injury at alarming rates that could have been prevented. It takes a lot of preparation(read training)in context to achieve a reasonable level of competency for such an event.
    It’s the ones that dont know which camp they are in… and dont operate accordingly are the depts./firefighters that I worry about. These type videos on all the sites these days offer a new opportunity to review a ton of different scenarios in a short period of time that would take a lifetime to experience in first person on scene. I hope we can all learn from others experiences and embrace the truism that some of our greatest challenges will involve coming to terms with our own limitations.. both as a firefighter and as a fire department.

  • chief511

    BH.. Like I said nobody is wrong. Just different opinions and SOP’s.
    we train by “ladders go up, Walls come down”

  • chief511

    Cappy.. Not sure we watched the same video. What is so unusual about a single family residence. deck gun first is not an aggressive attack, anything but. Hand lines off first engine in front door, (after a water supply of course). I guess we’re not into the surround and drown.
    AGAIN. Nobody is wrong just different opinions and SOP’s

    • 95%er

      Chief, opinions and discussions are fine. facts are irrefutable.
      fact: while the engine company is stretching a handline into the interior, the exterior fire is growing and spreading. Add into the mix going through the front door, making the bend at the stairwell and then getting the line into the 2nd floor hallway, you probably have 2-3 minutes (being generous here) of line positioning BEFORE you apply water. Then, you are applying water to (in this case) the front rooms, while the exterior fire is still growing and spreading. By the time you get the line through the room, out the window, onto the porch roof (really bad place to operate), and direct it Backwards (another bend in the line) you are many minutes from your arrival. That is fact, not opinion.

      MY opinion, shared by others and based upon 34 years of big town and small town firefighting, is the chauffeur gets the rig in a place where he can hit it with the monitor as the crew is stretching, he gives it a pretty quick hit with tank water and most of the exterior visible fire knocked down and crew moves in. That is my opinion based upon doing it a lot of times.

      Surround and drown is not aggressive firefighting. That is exterior defensive ops. Your deck gun can be sued for task other than dumping water on a lost building.

      Anytime you aggressively can slow or stop the spread of exterior fire, you are making your life easy.

      Put the fire out and all your problems go away.

  • Skipper

    Chief 511,
    I agree. Ladders up, walls down. Take your hose inside and do the job that our public expects and respects us for.
    If your short manpower by all means use the squirt. But don’t create more damage. Safety first but some guys use it for a crutch to cover their lack of experience or aggressiveness

    • 20 Years In

      The public has no such expectations of us. Time after time, we see local fire departments burn buildings to the ground, and the public says — ” they tried really hard”. The public says this whether or not an “aggressive interior attack” was made. The public only cares that their department meets national standards, if that.

      Let me say again: the public doesn’t care whether you burn it down from the inside or the outside, as long as you show up with the proper equipment in the proper amount of time.

      • dave statter

        Unless you don’t show up on time (sometimes a trigger for public outrage) or can’t keep the water flowing that is usually the case.

  • chief511

    95–we will just have to agree to disagree 27 years here and never do we surround and drown too much water damage we are a aggressive fire department with nothing but positive results..not only do we save structures we save the residences personal property from undo water damage. I’m just stating the facts and I’m 100 percent sure about that. nothing wrong with good conversation we just don’t have the same opinions.

  • Skipper

    I agree 511, sounds like 95er is only a 50%er. Opening up deck guns first only results in damage and ohhh Now your out of water in less than a minute.