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Helmet-cam: East McKeesport, PA house fire.

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Helmet-cam video from UVFR135Chief of a vacant house on fire early Saturday morning in East McKeesport, Pennsylvania.

PA East McKeesport house fire

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Scooter

    WTF was this ?  a training fire?  eveyone walking or standing around.  Even though its a vacant job how about the exposure off gasing…. lets move with some urgency.  Is your company ready for Statter911?  These companies were NOT ! Strike Da Box ! K

  • AArdvark

    Hmmmmm. All I saw was a helmet-cam of snowy front yards and some flashy firetruck lights……………

  • Anonymous

    It's like a dream….all in slow motion.

  • Fire21

    Sounded like a good plan, seemed a bit slow in implementing it.

    East Mckeesport has population of 2126.  FD has 2 strictly volunteer stations, one in East Mckeesport and one in Wall.  According to their web info, they hit about 325 calls a year.  I thought the radio traffic was very good for a small unbusy department.

    • Mark too

      The FD is the result of a merger of the existing VFDs in East McKeesport and Wall Boroughs about 15 years ago.  They kept both stations open, but otherwise consoldiated into a single agency at the time.  The sub-station in Wall Borough was closed within the past year or so ago and consolidated into the station in East McKeesport.  The telesquirt in the video was pretty much the only unit that ran from that station in recent years.

      • CFD – FF

        Unacceptable. This is not fire-fighting, this is fire-watching. Turn in your gear and seel your 'helmet camera' on eBay. You are doing a disservice to the community. Volly or paid who cares – this is S-A-D. Final comment – why on earth post something like this for the world to see on a web page??

  • really

    oh we were watching the fire? I only saw snow and a parade

  • Salty Pretzel

    Control Freak. No wonder all the firemen? stand around like lost sheep. 3 minutes and not a line stretched??? MY GOD MAN…Take some action.

  • CFD – FF

    NOT IMPRESSED…a lot of standing around and watching the fire grow. As of late this is what we've been seeing with PA Fire Departments on this page. I'm from the South – can anyone shed any light in this? Seems like PA Departments have big, clean, pretty rigs with flashy LED lights but they're afraid to fight fire from the inside. Am I wrong – can anyone help shed some light on my theory? My Chief would demote the first arriving officer the next day if this happened in my city.

  • Mack Seagrave

    Pathetic. Worse than slow moving…This was NO moving. Time to hire some well trained folks who know what they are doing and want to do it.

  • Oldman1

    OK boys no sense in getting in a hurry. This fire will eventually burn out and we will have another nice vacant lot or two.

  • LimpNoodle

    I guess the Squirt couldn't Get It Up ….. Remind me WHY the local FD actually responded …. It wasn't to apply water ….. 

  • David S.

    Sad to see at least get to the exposure line in place before the whole block burns down.

  • Mr. Jones

    If the house has been vacant "for years," then how did this fire start? If the ulitities were turned off a long time ago, and there was no lightning in the area, what caused this fire? Is it reasonable to predict that someone on hard times (or perhaps a whole family!) was seeking shelter and relief from the cold and snow in this "vacant" structure, and that their light/heat source somehow grew out of control?

    While drilling in vacant houses when I was a probie, we came across the usual empty bottles and cans. But walking into a room with children's clothes and shoes piled on the floor gave us more insight on the reality of the situation, and reminded us that you can NEVER be sure it's vacant.

    Instead of everyone on scene immediately setting up the truck for exterior operations, what if a few firemen forced entry through the front door, and took a look and a listen? (It's seems squatters force the rear doors to avoid alerting anyone of their presence, and stay on the upper floors and away from the street for the same reason, but I digress.) The house seemed like it was not in disrepair, so it seems prudent to guess that the stairs and floors would still be sound. Also, while it was pouring out a few windows, the fire appeared to be confined to the top floor.  ANYONE riding a fire truck should be comfortable going to the second floor under condidions in this video to search for victims.

    As is always the case on this great site, we can only gain limited info from a video, so I could be wrong on all accounts.  But if my thoughts get someone else thinking, and it helps them out at their next "vacant" fire, then I've done my job, and passed on what those who came before me were willing to share from their experience.



  • Mark too

    I'm always amazed at the level of absolute certainty of how poor a job is being done when commenting on a very short clip of an incident and when some of the scene and personnel are not visible the whole time.  Not to mention what appears to be the expectation for some tactics that take some time to complete, to be completed instantaneously.







  • peak

    I am in no way defending the department’s actions, but it appears the chief, squirt and engine arrive around the same time. With that, no time for the chief to give a good size up and establish an initial action plan for the first couple crews arriving. However, I am sure that these guys could see the glow and header from blocks away and they should have been able to figure out what they were responsible for. I wish we could see just a couple more minutes and see if they put it together or still mope around. Someone that was on scene should tell us the rest of the story.

    • Mark too

      Did you watch the video with the sound off?

       I ask because it was it was pretty obvious to me that the chief had an initial action plan and was implementing it.  He advised his squirt that the (red) engine was grabbing the hydrant.  He placed the squirt for master stream operations.  He conveyed to personnel on responding units that exposure control was the priority and the intent to hit the main body of fire with the squirt and then go in to finish it off.