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Arrival video: House fire in Altus, OK.

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Video from leonanthonyphotos of a vacant house fire on Tuesday in Altus, Oklahoma.

The Lawton Constitution:

The blaze was reported at 7:08 p.m. at 310 S. Benson. Altus Fire Marshal Kyle Davis said firefighters found the house fully involved and heavy smoke was reported. He said the blaze was under control within 30 minutes. The department sent five vehicles and 11 firefighters to the scene.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Anonymous

    5 Pieces of equipment 11 firefighters. Would the 5 pieces of equipment include the ambulance and the chief’s car. So in reality they had 3 pieces of fire fighting apparatus and 8 personel. Pretty hard to pull an initial 2 1/2″ with the manpower they didn’t have. I may have secured the water source first and been able to use my monitor pipe along with the 1 3/4″ 1 1/2″ hand lines. Looks like a career department although I am not sure.

  • Scooter

    Stop the rig short near the exposure…. 1 3/4 line to exposure at the same time WAGON PIPE TO THE FIRE ! Strike Da Box! K

  • Retired Chief

    No reason to layout.
    No reason to cover the exposure first.
    No reason to pull a big line.
    No reason for the old as fossil cop to help drag the 5″ line.
    No reason for the guy with the radio to put on his helmet. (probably the chief)
    No reason after 5 minutes, no reason to continue watching this joke FD.

    I bet they are real good on ambulance runs.

  • Chuck

    Why not drop off at hydrant, you can see it a fire and it’s easier. 1st line easy on FF but waste of water. At least second guys knows get in front and stop it from getting to exposure.

  • waheid

    Does anyone ever lay supply lines any more? More and more videos show pumpers driving past hydrants and then hand-jacking lines later. Another point: How much water and time was wasted squirting water on the smoke? I thought the idea was to put the water on the fuel, or at least on the flames.

  • Blue

    First in unit the Squad stop at the plug an make the connection for the Engine that didn’t layout (water tower in the background). It’s a boarded up house, open up with the deck gun an let er eat, leave the small lines on the rig.

  • OldSutterOne

    On a 1 to 10 scale with 10 being as good as it gets, these guys are at a 4.5. I’m sure that there will be of I’d have done this or that but I’ll just go with one point. The first line in service didn’t work, It looked like way more BTU than GPM. Second, a lot of water never was directed at the fire or in a manner that would prevent its extention. When you’re on the tank the line needs to be effective. Thank god the structure was vacant. A good learning tool if they can do a debrief without the typical excuses.

  • FireGears

    Someday the structure fire folks will figure out what
    what our brethren in the ARFF and Wildland Divisions discovered
    years ago…. Adding a fire extinguishing additive makes
    plain water very much more effective.

    Further, consider what a new design of structure rigs could
    accomplish with a fire like this common dwelling situation.

    Built along the lines of an ARFF rig.. Remote controlled Bumper Turret,
    Deck Gun, and extendable Stinger penetration nozzle.
    Large water and agent tank(s).
    Larger tires and front protection for rolling thru fences and yards.

    Drive up with limited manpower, start large gpm flow(s) from
    50′ and keep moving slowly in. Extend the Stinger into the roof and
    flow into the attic/second/third floor. This fire is DEAD.!!!

    Talk about big fire, big ENHANCED water attack…!!!

    But no,…
    tradition (and the IAFF) say we keep using 1850-1950′s techniques.
    How Sad….

  • Harry Rampe

    I do not understand how some departments operate. If I were pulling into a well involved abondanded structure things would be a little different.First thing would be lay a line in off the hydrant.after all there are at least four men between ths two pieces of equipment.Leave a man at the hydrant to hook up and send water.He can join you later.have the driver hit the fire with the deck gun,then hook up the supply line and get hydtant water.the other personal can pull a 2 1/2 line and hit the fire by the exposure.could knock this down fairly quick.

  • VanMan

    Five vehicles and 11 firefighters?!? Man, I thought OUR department was understaffed. On the other hand, they DID get 11 FFs… a lot of smaller departments would be hard-pressed to do that during the day.

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t lay in, Selected lines to small for volume of fire, Don’t know you need a hydrant wrench to operate a fire hydrant, Don’t know how to operate the master stream device on the engine, Other than that everything went great! LOL!

  • Anonymous

    let it go and just cover exposures, dont waste any time and water on the bldg that is burning. Can their hydrants be any lower into the ground.

  • youtube firefighter

    why do FF always think spraying the top of the fire will put it out?

    • FireGears


      Hit it Hard and Hit it Low..

      1700:1 steam expansion ratio will rise and draw “Humidity” upward.
      (Fire HATES high humidity, Saltydogs)

      Ever put out a chimney fire with a glass of water thrown into the firebox.????
      (NOT the glass, Markie… Just that amount of water…)

      More that one homeowner has looked at us like, “WT.??!!!”
      as we used a common spray bottle filled with a mix of 9.8 parts water
      and 0.2 parts Ivory dish soap (biodegradable)
      to spray into the superheated firebox… POOF, Fire’s Dead.

      Of course, the street was filled with 2-engines, a truck, an RA and the BC Buggy.
      If the fire was able to escape the chimney into the structure, it was showtime.

  • Fire21

    If you’re going to try to extinguish a fire, remember that it’s a matter of BTUs generated versus BTUs absorbed. These guys didn’t have a prayer with those 2 small lines. And then when the deck gun started watering the lawn on the other side of the structure, that didn’t help either. Their web site says they are a professional dept. They might be career, but I’m not very sure they’re professional. But I wasn’t there…they were.


    It’s so inconvenient when those pesky hydrants sprout up out of the ground after the engine drives by arriving at a well-off building. If it had been there when they arrived someone would sure have to do some creative explaining on why they didn’t think securing a water supply would be necessary for that sizeup.
    Question for AFD: You went through the trouble of buying a deck gun for the top of your engine. If this wasn’t a “deck gun on arrival” fire for you, what is?? Perhaps even using it from the exposure side. It does make pretty rain though. Rehab mist sprayer??
    I do like their budgetary approach to identifying the IC. Why buy vests when you can just tell everyone “the guy without a helmet is in charge”.

  • Rudedawg

    Seems that everybody recognizes the fact that an engine and squad both drove past a hydrant. Now how can we get people to start laying in from the hydrants again? The videos from the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s almost always show the engines laying in lines. What has been lost in our teachings? In this video, there is an obvious working fire; an obvious hydrant in the path of the responding units; enough people to hit the hydrant, and they still have somebody drag the supply line BACK to the hydrant. We wonder why people get hurt or killed at fires. Nobody wants to do the BASIC things that put out fires. We train RIT, FAST, and GO teams, but can’t get firefighters to understand to lay in a hose for water supply and put water ON the fire. We need to get the basics right first.

  • Wizzer49

    I agree with what has been said before about not laying in, too small of a line which appears to be under pumped, not stopping short and deck-gunning it, no hydrant wrench (avoided if they laid in).. A couple more, yard-breathing your tank down in the street flaking hose. Over 7 minutes to establish a water supply, could have been half that and a lot easier if they laid in.
    Only plus: fast water after they stopped, about 45 seconds.

    This about screamed, Tag the plug and blitz it! Mop up with a few 1 3/4

  • keep that roof wet!

    Wet that roof down!
    I wonder how many gallons of water were wasted by the primary line being directed time and again at the roof and over the house. Halfway through the video an officer tells the ff to aim at a window, but he goes right back to wetting down the shingles.
    Why not pull open one of those boarded up windows and direct the line right in there? Nope – better to protect the roof!!! What could possibly go wrong?

  • Speed saves

    What’s with the water supply fetish? Getting there 30 seconds faster with one more man is going to save more lives than being able to flow the 751st gallon of water.

    The default should be “fast”. The change up should be “big”.

    • Wizzer49

      I didn’t realize that all fires go out with 750 gallons of water. With a hydrant right on the corner why not lay in? There was adequate manpower if it was better trained and directed.
      First piece stands by the hydrant, the engine lays in, stops short of the scene, deck gun attack putting the wet stuff on the red stuff at about the 1:45 to 2:00 minute mark, followed by a 1 3/4 mop up.

    • CHAOS

      The default should be “having your head in the game”.
      There’s a reason we do size-up as we approach the scene.
      There’s a reason SOME FDs drill on rapid hose lays and stretches.
      There’s a reason SOME FDs drill on rapidly deploying, charging and applying handlines & sometimes even drill on exposure protection instead of spraying smoke.
      There’s a reason that deck gun is prepipied.

      “Changing up” to big when presented with a size-up like this can also be known as being behind the curve.

      • Speed Saves

        If seconds count, how do you justify waiting 30 seconds to lay a line that will bring your 751st gallon? First priority us life hazard, you can knock or at least reset the fire with tank water, and use the “hydrant” man to VES, make a grab, or help get the first line in service, three things that are more important than bringing the 751st gallon to the building.

        2nd due always lays in, the speed question has been answered by then.

        If, by the column of smoke or the conditions apparent from a block or two away, you have a “negative victim survivability profile”, you can delay attack and rescue in order to establish a water supply. You have written off any victims.

        Laying in first is for people who don’t want to make rescues.

        • CHAOS

          Umm, Chief, look again, we’re still waiting for that second due to lay in. Not having a “2nd due” rolling in behind you kinda pokes a hole in that plan.
          If you were rolling up on that, would you seriously think “we can probably get that with 750 gallons of water”?? What would be your “victim survivability profile” on that one??
          I missed the part where they “knocked or at least reset the fire with tank water” before they ran out. For that matter, I missed where anyone made any effort to go interior either for attack or to make a grab.
          Not laying in when your beloved second due isn’t going to get there before you exhaust your tank water leaves plenty of time for frantic arm gestures back toward the pump operator.

          • Speed Saves

            So, how do you know that the victim can hold out another 30-60s while you stop and lay hose? How go you know the victim can wait for your layout FF to charge the hydrant and run up the street.

            You don’t.

            If you plan, you don’t have to wave arms or stand there with your thumb in your ass. You can: order bigger tanks, put hose on your ladder trucks, make a hose wagon out of a pickup truck, have a plan to reverse out after you dump the monitor/blitz line.

            Get there fast, and hit it quick and hard while VES the bedrooms & behind the front door.

            Laying in first shows that your priorities are property, not life.

        • Fire21

          Too many civilian drivers do too many stupid things in front of fire engines. What do you do when you’re depending on the 2nd due to arrive in 30-45 seconds, and they get involved in a traffic accident? What happens if they have a mechanical failure, or come across an accident that they need to stop at? Then you hand-lay to the hydrant. What happens if YOUR engine encounters these problems? Then 2nd due is left to lay in as THEY arrive.

          I believe that if smoke and/or fire is showing, the first arriving engine should lay in and supply themselves. Then 2nd due is free to position in another location if needed. Why use two engines to put one in service?

      • ShamrockCapt

        I have to agree that “having your head in the game” is the key. We have to be ready to change our tactics from the normal 1-3/4” line when conditions dictate such. “Situational awareness” seems to be the catchphrase everyone is preaching these days.

        I’ve read tons of comments about laying in and laying out, etc. It depends on your department, area, and SOGs! We have hydrants every 1000’ or less and the next engine is at most 30-45 seconds behind us. 80% of our first due is 1000sf SFDs. I’m not stopping at a hydrant if we are first in. We can have the fire in check or out with 500 gallons by the time the supply line is charged.

        If you know there is a lot of fire and the next engine is 2-3 minutes away, yes, take the time to lay in. Again, have your head in the game: know your area, SOGs, and practice, practice, practice!

  • cbj

    “Manpower” seems to be a common excuse for pulling a small line on a fully involved structure…the same line we use for a vehicle fire. Sadly that isn’t a valid excuse. Lack of real training, education and consistent practice is the real culprit. With a 3 person engine company we can (and do) stretch and operate a 2.5″ with NO problem even with ONE firefighter on the line! We aint the best by any means but we would have had the supply, the big line and a portable master stream flowing well within the time frame of this video. In fact, if any one in my dept even considered pulling anything less than a big line for the initial attack on a job like this they would be looking at some major issues, not to mention some serious discipline for the officer. There is NO excuse. The proof is obvious. It is unbelievable to me that anyone would defend such a poor move.

  • Wizzer49

    CBJ, well put.
    Other than leaving the siren running to help the rest find the fire, what did the first arriving crew do? If you visit the department webpage you may see why they seemed to perform so poorly. They have other important duties like FARM (Firefighters as Role Models) events to attend, Huh? I hope they start training after this went public.

  • David S.

    That is one of the first things we learned at univ of md fire school and used all of the time was to lay out why do these depts do things the hard way?

  • Big Mose

    It’s a geography thing. Oklahoma is close to Mississippi. If you can, check out the fire at the Hibdon Tire Store in Norman, OK. It’s on YouTube. You think these guys need some tweaking on their operations? Watch the Norman FD in action.