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Close call helmet-cam video: Power line narrowly misses firefighter in Brooklyn, OH.

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This is helmet-cam video from Jeffrey Lee jlee5232 of the City of Brooklyn (OH) Fire Department at a house fire on December 24. You wll see a close call with the electric service to the house at about 4:07 in the video. Here's the description with the video:

On 12.24.13 the City of Brooklyn Fire Dept. responded to a working fire in an attached garage with a vehicle inside. All occupants escaped with one receiving minor injury.

OH Brooklyn close call garage fire

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OH Brooklyn close call garage fire 2


Comments - Add Yours

  • CDM456

    A couple of questions for helmet can man. Why would you walk down the driveway to look at a working fire only to walk back and grab a preconnected line that you could have taken with you the first time? This is the same as an EMS crew not bringing a gurnney with them on an EMS call. Did you think your bitchin' helmet cam was going to put the fire out? What craftsman starts a job but doesn't bring his tools? I'd fire a plumber or any repair man who showed up and didn't bring his tools. Think smarter.

     Why wait to apply water to the exterior fire thats impinging on the residence? Does letting the fire burn out of control while standing there doing absolutely nothing give the homeowner standing behind you a sense of security and trust in his local firefighters?

    If you're going to stand there and wait for "two" more, why not shut down utilities and make the scene a little safer? An exterior job that can be done prior to a second unit arriving.

    Just because we have a two-in two-out policy doesn't mean you can't be creative without entering a structure. Knock the fire down. I am happy you did not get hurt, but that scenario was caused your delay in attack. The "Contemporary" fire model is putting firefighters at risk. The longer we wait to do something the larger the fire gets and the larger the risks grows.  A rapid common sense attack, a nozzle at the door would have done so much to spatre the residence. Granted the garage may be a loser until more units arrive, but we ( the fire service) must do more to show the taxpayers we are capable or thier trust and we are proficient.

    • Still Smiling

      Well stated.

    • AArdvark

      Quick question. How can someone shut down the utilities from the outside ??? The wires are still gonna burn and the lines will still have power from the pole.


      • Still Smiling

        AArdvark, if the service wire is burning through it will drop no doubt. Utilities can be controlled from the outside by cutting drip loops or pulling the meters.  Before the know it alls make foolish statements. I can assure you that those of us who have actually performed and not just talked about controlling electric these ways have done it very effectively and safely for years and thousands of evolutions without incident.


    • Jeff Lee

       Myself and my operators assignment on a house fire is actually to do truck work, however it is o.o.s hence the engine. So the 30 second delay in deploying the line was actually time that was spent formulating a plan with attack team going through the A side and checking our entry needs. The only thing I'm waiting for is pressure in the line, not another person. As you can clearly see in the video, for the first 5-6 minutes I am on the line by myself while the interior crew attacks the from the A side. Also, there was a significant delay in being notified of the fire while the homeowner tried extinguishment. 

      I am all for constructive critisism, but your assumptions of my trying to get good video are far from accurate. The reason behind any video I capture is for critique and training purposes. We meaning the entire department have learned form this video. As far as I'm concerned the fire was stopped and a large volume of fire extinguished in 10 minutes with a 6 person crew. Of which two were running pumps and one acting as the IC.

      God bless and be safe

  • Scooter

    Pump operator needs more training … way to long to charge the line… then at the wrong pressure or did not chase kinks… could not be hooking up a supply line because they were "hitting it with tank water"  Take a hydrant next time… If they would have got water quicker looks like fire would not have caused as much damage… train train and train somemore… this company was not ready for Statter911…. is your company ?  Strike Da Box! K

    • Jeff Lee

      This was a rear access ally with no hydrants, our assignment was truck work and not suppression until we saw what we saw. I agree it seems to take a while to get water flowing. The reality is this is a borrowed apparatus from a neighboring city due to a rash of break downs. I think he did pretty good with an unfamiliar vehicle that we found had no 2 1/2 to 1 /12 reducers on the discharges. So when he initially broke the line, he then had to reconnect it and clear the hose bed as well as chase kinks.

      • Anonymous

        BC894 YAUFR

        Would like to make comment.

        1. You have to be discipline, ENGINE / LADDER

        2. Any reserve or new apparatus you and the driver have go over the peace together. When you are 2 man Engine Co. you have to plan on who going to do what.  Work as Team

        3. You as an office need to be in the map book or computer and be looking for your water suppiy on every run. Get in the habit on  laying your own line either, straight or split lay and  If you have room reverse lay.Have the 2nd engine pick-up your line and pump your line. When you rely on other engines to do you job, then you stack up engine and leave no move for the ladder companies.

        4. Never let you gaurd down and everytime you run a box expect the worst.

        Thanks for sharing the video.


    • Jeff Lee

      What are the qualifications that make a department ready for Statter911? I thought sharing a near miss with brother and sister firefighters was the point. I guess I am glad everyone is able to take a critical view from their respective armchairs and learn from our mistakes. In that case I am even happier to know that others will do it better because of what they saw.

  • 95%er

    echo the above comments…plus this old school rule. If you are applying water to the seat of the fire for at least 30 seconds and it is not going out, you are not applying enough GPM's. Raise the pressure, add a second line, get a bigger line, but at the 30 second mark if the fire doesn't go out, you are playing with it instead of knocking it.

    • Jeff Lee

      Second line (which was initially the primary) went throught the front and was repositioned to the rear when they backed out due to conditions.

      • Fire21

        Jeff, I appreciate your clarifying comments.  It always helps to have 1st person information.  Best wishes for 2014 and beyond.

  • IslaFire

    Primary search at 9:30?

  • http://html retired f/f

    hey, what about the live wire on the attack line that is still being used to knock the fire down  // and was still been utilized several minutes to hit hot spots in the garage and patio room with the power line still on the attack line // appears to me to be a good way to fry a couple of f/fs for no good reason.

  • Sutphen1

    Engine used was ours borrowed by Brooklyn. We dont have a whole lot of spare anything to lend away (sorry Jeff) . Brooklyn was way short on manpower  and the frontline rigs gone for much needed service…you guys had what you had and did work.  Jeff, you guys did a hell of alot work for only having 6-7 at best before mutual aid assignments arrived. Front of that place was a crazy layout and up hill too…not an easy stretch for initial line. Glad you guys remembered the ally way for C side access.  2 handlines deployed, 2 water tanks dumped to prevent further extension into house 1 positive water source established for a side engine, Searches perfomed in immediated egresses without over committing yourselves and deal with a stubborn car fire addressed in the garage along with a working porch and breezway…. all done before any of the box alarm showed up. Hey wires fall…. We dont cut loops the power company does.. but we pull meters ( not that that would have helped the wire). Good efforts from you guys as always. Read 50 books and go to a few fires or read 3-4 good books and have many fires under your belt..dont matter…DO WORK!!  Glad your safe..Way to spot your crew about that wire when your still trying to operate. Sorry we could'nt get there sooner to help..Always happy when guys are riding up to help us brother. Stay low as always!! 

    • Jeff Lee

      Always love to have the cavalry arrive. No better feeling than knowing we have great first alarm companies that get right to work. Thanks again, see ya on the next one.

  • NJSteve

    Since no one except locals has stepped up to defend these guys, I will.  First, as far as going up without a hoseline, I think either call is OK.  A good reason to go up without a hoseline is so that you can do a 360, which as we know was not necessary since a company was already on the other side.  However, a case could still have been made for going further down the sides, but I can assume that the fellow went far enough to give himself a good view and then turned around to get the line.  

    During this sizeup would have given him the best chance of spotting the power line issue.  Plus as the guy mentioned, they were expecting to be doing truck work.

     Apparently, the power line issue probably was not initially noticed, but that's easy to understand.  Working to strech a hose line while looking for hazards even makes it less likely that the hazard would have been seen.  If the FF had stretched the hose initially, and had been killed by a falling power line, I bet people would have said that someone should have performed a sizeup before advancing any lines.  And a case could be made for that, just as a case could be made for streching a line on the initial walkup.  So neither technique is right or wrong, it is a judgment call entirely IMHO.     

    I'm not sure where the live wire ended up, so I'm not sure the hazard was properly addressed considering it now became probably the main hazard at this job.  When a live wires exist on a firegound, it is my opinion that a FF should be assigned to guard them until they can be properly secured at least with hazard tape.  But this isn't normal SOP around the fire service, so I would fault for it, just my suggestion.  And he did a good job trying to warn others about the down line, but that should also go out over the radio, which may or may not have been done. 

    However, it looked like they were planning to cut the roof open, and I question that when most of the fire looked to have been extinguished.  But that was someone else's call not the guys who was wearing the helmet cams.  Either way, a minor issue.

    I thought for the limited staff, they did a great job controling and extinguishing the fire. Overall, I saw an aggressive operation that doesn't deserve the nit-picking given out here. 

  • http://statter911 Jacob keppler

    That a good thing