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VIDEO BACK UP – UPDATE: Mystery solved! Readers identify flashover video.

Another version of the video

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SORRY: After about 13 hours, the video was removed by the person who uploaded it to YouTube.


Thanks to readers Craig Hicks and Ken Deatrick for tracking down where this house fire occurred. They were assisted by clues from many others who pointed us early on to Michigan and Mt. Morris, but it was Craig and Ken who verified it. Ken found the info buried in a news story and Craig pulled up an image of the house on Google Maps Streetview. The apparent good news is that the article about the fire in the Beecher area of Genesee County's Mt. Morris Township does not indicate any injured firefighters (and we also have someone else from the area who says there were no injuries). Here are excerpts from the WJRT article about a boil water advisory:

Kevin Forbes, Superintendent with the Beecher Metropolitan District, said they're dealing with numerous water main breaks following an early morning fire on West Juliah.

"The fire department responded," Forbes said. "From them hooking up to our system, they caused some water hammer which caused catastrophic main breaks for us."

MI Beecher house fire Juliah

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At least six water main breaks, according to Forbes.

"We were losing so much water all at once, it drastically drained our water towers down to a very low level."

Neighbor Terry Andrews said he had just laid down to go to bed when someone starting banging on his door.

"She's yelling, 'FIRE FIRE FIRE.'  I thought she meant my house so it freaked me out," he said.  "The back half was just blazing. The fire department showed up, they kicked in the front door and the fire flashed forward."

In addition we have this interesting comment on Facebook from Michael Hertzberg:

I believe this was Mt. Morris, MI. We are about 20 miles south of them. We heard the mayday on their taipa as we we'd running calls. The ice gives it away as it was a very narrow band. They pulled on indicating a 25% involved structure and with 2 minutes called the mayday.

ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

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This is the only information with this video from Cameron Kulawiak"Residential structure fire 12-22-13 (Flash over)". There are no clues that I see indicating where this fire happened. What happened is a little more clear. When this house lights off at 1:35 a firefighter, dressed in what looks like a red sweatshirt and traing to start a fan on the porch, rapidly retreats from the porch, the airhorn sounds and another line is brought to the house. The person taking the video is heard saying three firefighters are inside.

Unknown house fire before

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Unknown house fire after

Comments - Add Yours

  • Anonymous

    It apprears the second line that was pulled was a booster line, not sure what they were thinking or if they were thinking might have just grabbed the quickest line available but by that time a 2 1/2" might have been more appropriate.  I do hate the video cut short when it did and hope everyone is okay; looks like it was a close one at best.

  • OldSutterOne

    Looks like NIST is correct about that flow path stuff. I sincerly hope that everyone is safe.

  • Boots

    God bless the guys inside ,but here is a clear case of,WHO THE HELL was in command

  • skeletor-1

    Yeah, pretty hard to see what happened. An interior attack was made with no 2-out, a fan was started, and hopefully the guys inside were able to get out with thier lives.

  • Anonymous

    the fact that the dark black smoke as soon as they kick the door in is a clear sign that the fire is well developed and ready to flash over

  • Volunteer for life

    Was that santa in the red shirt? Cmon read the smoke guys you can tell that was gonna light up.

  • Assistant 573

    The more I look at that, it looks like the initial line is a booster line as well… Unless they were able to get to an interior room and shut the door, it doesn't look good. The lack of urgency of the outside guys to back that crew up is unacceptable. Read the smoke, and c'mon, booster lines are for trash fires, not structure fires!! Too many poly-everything in residences nowadays!

  • Anonymous

    Correct me if I am wrong but it sounds like he got the fan started just as it really took off…. maybe forcing the air in gave the fire what it was missing…. oxygen  and poof away it goes…. Hope everyone is ok… Strike Da Box!   PS 1 3/4 no 2 1/2 on this one…. you can move the 1 3/4 a lot quicker with less energy either pushing in after it flashes or as you go defensive  from window to window…. 2 1/2 for big fires defensive and commerical… not this job K Strike Da Box! K

  • Anonymous

    It looks like the fire flashes right when the PPV starts.  Black, pressurized smoke with little fingers of fire starting to lick out is not the best condition to start rapid introduction of oxygen.

  • http://msn retiredFFin SC

    Hope who were in side are safe. Mr. Hoodie may not have to shave his head for a couple days. FYI  start the fan before you hump it to find out that it will not start, as you would saw to cut a vent hole.

  • Sharppointy1

    Oh my God, how horrifying.  If even a buff like me (lwell taught but NOT a FF) can see the column of pushing smoke on the D exposure, and then the black fire coming out the front door when it was breached, immediately thinks "defensive", how can that happen?

    Obviously red jacket guy didn't have situational awareness.  I hope and pray he didn't cook or kill the interior firefighters.

    Dave, what's the update? Hoping the FF's bailed out the C side relatively unscathed.

  • Sharppointy1

    D side, not exposure. You know what I mean.

  • Hammer

    Volunteers continually "screwing -up" is all I can say!!! I like the new Nomex red sweatshirt and pants the clown on the front porch was wearing…what do these guys think???? Oh, it's obvious…nothing!


  • Neil Wolfe

    All I can say is unrreal, If thats an officer in the red sweatshirt, he should be sat down and enlighted, No gear on is he nuts?  He came cloes to getting seriously hurt for no reason, Nothing to save period.


  • Anonymous

    WTF, Dave, Are these guys idiots, WTF are you starting a fan forn when the attack line is not even charged first! The guy starting the fan should have his ass handed to him.

  • Anonymous



  • Fire Dude

    As hard as it is to watch some of these videos please take them back to your departments as lessons learned so we dont make the same mistakes.  My department isn't perfect but it amazes me how many departments still don't know the basics of firefighting and some of the lack of safety that still goes on in the fire service after watching many of the videos on this site.  Make a New Years resolution to do more TRAINING and stay SAFE!

  • dadman

    It looks like the house was going to flash regardless of a fan or not.
    From my take on the video, it looks like the fan had a problem. Was hard to start, if it even started.
    It looks like the initial flash starte on the D side window and quickly worked it's to the A door.

  • Len A

    PPV is unsafe even when used by trained personnel and can be deadly when used by people who do not know what they are doing, my advice to these fellows is to put the fan up for sale and practice negative pressure ventilation.

  • Mack Seagrave

    Apparantly there's one sensible result from this fiasco: It appears that the community has replaced their fire apparatus with a backhoe which will be used to immediately demolish any structure that catches fire after realizing that their fire department consisted of a handful of folks who would accomplish the same thing as the backhoe only it would take a lot longer and they would be at risk of injury or worse due to their lack of firefighting knowledge.

  • jeffk

    "The fire department responded," Forbes said. "From them hooking up to our system, they caused some water hammer which caused catastrophic main breaks for us."


  • Not a MMQ

    Ppv does not work with aggressive interior firefighting. It's a joke that companies still use this ridiculous tactic. Obviously they don't train. 2-out rule…again a joke! Have you heard about the manpower problems all o ver the country!?  And here we are again with the air horns blaring to get everyone out, again antiquated tactic and I hope no one called a mayday while those stupid horns were going off. Pull everyone via radio trans and conduct a par. Stay safe and remember…fire goes as the first line goes!


    Every one of us Firefighters has made a mistake or two on the fireground. If this video is as it appears the important thing is we share the info to help others improve. Can whoever posted it please put it back up? Edit the sound do what you gotta do, but we need to learn from the smoke, fire behavior, and flow path.

  • Medicsullivan

    The arm chair quaterbacks are in full effect.  I am a professional firefighter in a large city and Asst. Chief in a small combination dept.  There are many lessons to learn from this.  Start by watching Art of Reading Smoke by Dave Dodson, Then the UL/NIST panel discussion from FDIC 2013 on Youtube.  Keep on top of industry standards and changes in tactics.  Dont forget to check as well, to note the number of LODD for 2013. Dr. Rich Gassaway for situational awareness.  Thanks to Dave Statter for continuing to share these videos so that we can learn from them.  My Officers watch these videos on a regular basis and we discuss them to ensure that we are always doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons.  Think before you speak on these web sites, you may incriminate yourself as to your own ignorance.  Volunteer or Career, who cares, we are all able to train in the same ways and there is no excuse not to.  Have a Safe 2014. 

  • Len A

    If I were take a wild guess here, it would be that these guys had another fan around the other side of the house operating. Crucify me if you want, but that's what it looks like to me. I have seen it happen before. I really hope that someone who  was on the scene steps forward and gives us an honest description of what happened.  Firefighters can learn from this.

  • medic44

    where can i get me one of them Nomex hoddies?  What a moron.

  • Anonymous

    He never got the fan started before it flashed. He was still trying as it lit off.

  • Piss Of FF


    • me gud at speling

      Ok tough guy, since you know it all, post the facts.

  • Veteran FF

    Clearly the last guy posting has a overinflated internet ego. People are using the video for training however these simple mistakes made in this video are covered in Firefighter I not Firefighter II so before u say anyone is armchairing this call ask your self the same question everyone is think Where in the Hell is the experienced firefighters in this department because clearly these are elementary at best mistakes.