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Raw video: Two-alarm house fire in Blenheim, NJ.

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Video from Countyfirebuff of a two-alarm house fire around 3:00 yesterday afternoon at 256 Cedar Avenue in Blenheim, New Jersey (Gloucester Township in Camden County). Here is some of the description with the video:

Upon arrival crews had heavy fire showing from the first floor and quickly spread throughout the house. Shortly into the assignment the evacuation tones where sounded and ordered all companies out of the dwelling. The all hands was struck followed by a second alarm for manpower. Great job to all companies who operated on scene!

NJ Blenheim 2 alarm house fire

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Shawn

    Ok, it's time we all stop hitting the air horns and sirens when we decide to go defensive. I know this is how we have been doing for years but we all have radios now and using air horns is a very antiquated technique. You are deciding as a chief officer that conditions have deteriored so bad that you have to set up the big over priced tower ladders them why would you take away the ability to hear a mayday if it's transmitted!? Many maydays only get transmitted once  so again how does anybody  nhear that when you have 3-4 rigs with there horns and sirens blaring full bore? My county as a whole did away with that ridiculous practice. Instead pull everyone and immediately do a roll call. Also not to Monday morning( wasn't there) but looks like all they needed was some hooks and hose line on 2nd floor and they could've easily kept that tower ladder bedded. 

    • Lieu

      I totally agree with Shawn on the blowing of the horns. Command get on the radio, order the evacuation, transition to Defensive ops, and conduct a quick PAR. I always thought the horns were reserved for immediate, drop everything now, get the heck out situations, or if you were unable to communicate with someone.  However in time we seem to now use them for all defense ops.  
      Plus, I find it rather embarassing to announce to the whole neighborhood that we are switching our strategy with the loud blasts of the air horns. 


      • Jim

        Why is it embarressing to change your game plan when the current one is not working?  I wonder if payton manning is embarressed when he calls an audible after reading the defense?  If all companies don't have radios, how else do you tell them to evacuate?

    • Fire21

      In my combination dept, not everyone has a radio, so air horns are used to signal evacuation.  It does not signal defensive ops, but only evacuation.  The signal lasts maybe 10 seconds at longest, so the liklihood of the sounds overriding a mayday are minute.  As for the roll call, that's what the horns signal…get out and get together with your company for PAR.  Glad what you do works for you, it wouldn't work here.

    • Jim

      What do you do when after pulling the second floor ceiling you are met with plywood from the floor of the attic?

      • slackjawedyokel

        usually the plywood floor doesnt extend all the way to where the rafters meet the joists-I start there , relay the info up the chain, either saw through the floor below (if conditions permit) and/or try accessing through the gable end.

  • slackjawedyokel

    i agree about the overused evac tones/air horns -when we first started using that system, it meant immediate danger of collaspe or getting hooked by fire. Not a transition to defensive —–I really feel like it will lead to "the boy that cried wolf" syndrome.

  • 95%er

    well, if you say it was a great job to all companies on the scene that burned the roof off a savable single family dwelling, then it indeed was….a great job!

  • Alleycat

    With the roof open/collapsing and fire blowing out the window to the FF's left, do we really need a FF on a ladder breaking another window?

    • Jim

      Breaking windows, no.  Pulling the soffits and getting a line into the soffits, yes.

  • 8truck

    With all this talk about flow paths, controlling openings and whatnot I don't see how PPA can still be considered as an effective method of fighting fire.

    • Jim

      UL will be studying PPA next.  You should try to make it there when they are conducting the burns.


  • slackjawedyokel

    in my department (small municipal all volunteer) we dont all have radios either, but we usually pair a crew up with a radio. Going defensive does not have to be a full blown "blow job"- unless everything is going to hell in a handbasket, a simple radio transmission announcing tasks assigned after PAR (roll call) is assured. I just think the horn blowing should be saved for a bad situation. Guys get used to hearing the horns on what can be an orderly transition, they will get complacent.

    • Fire21

      If the guys get used to hearing the horns, either the horns are being used too much, or there needs to be more training on how to control fires.  I can't remember the last time we used them at one of our fires…but they are available when the  need arises.

  • JustWondering

    If the horn is not aimed directly at the building, can anyone inside in a mask even hear it?

    • Fire21

      My mask never did cover my ears…the hood and helmet ear flaps do.  I could always hear plenty well.

  • SmoothBoreTip

    Sorry, kids, maybe I'm old school (31 years+OTJ), but not everyone has radios and/or the same freq's to work on. This signal is pretty much understood across the country. IF THE PEOPLE OUT SIDE KNOW SOMETHING YOU DON'T, YOU WILL KNOW IT IMMEDIATELY!! Why are you guys whining about something so simple that can save your lives?

  • cbj

    Nozzle opening has a great point. First of all, just because YOUR "county" or department or whatever does not use the air horn technique does not mean that everyone needs to follow your lead. Resources susch as radios which we all take for granted are not as plentiful in many places. Despite the best practices of mid ataltnic warriors it often comes down to MONEY. That means that just maybe they dont have the funds for all the radios, dispatch console evac tones and the like. Radios FAIL! And for a variety of reasons transmissions are missed. I am old school myself. I have missed messages, had radios fail…even caught and trapped before we all carried radios. Give your people every advantage to survive that you can, and if that means blowing horns and sirens…so be it. How many of you that are condemning this action are content on blowing the federal, power call and air horns from the time you leave the station every time the truck rolls? Then of course we can defend THAT action right? Warning lights everytime the truck goes for fuel because it is a fire truck? Dont dare say THAT doesnt happen!