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Caught on camera: Close call at controlled burn in North Carolina

Watch video from Salisbury drill on Thursday

Salisbury training fire/live burn

Even training fires can be dangerous. Watch what happens as these firefighters work to sharpen their skills on a house fire in Salisbury. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

Posted by Salisbury – WBTV on Thursday, June 6, 2019

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Read explanation from the incident commander

There’s a lot going on in this brief video from a controlled burn at an old farm house in Salisbury, North Carolina on Thursday. Read the description of what happened from the IC’s post on Facebook.

THIS WAS MY FIRE & HERE IS THE WHOLE STORY. Great day of live burns and awesome learning, with realistic scenarios and no injuries.—-This was the first fire of the day. It was set by NC certified live burn instructors who are not a part of our department (they are great FF's & instructors and were an honor to work with, and did a great job all day). The fire was in an empty room with a state compliant fuel package of 4 wood pallets and 2 bales of hay. After the fire was lit, the stokers retreated to the porch roof as the hose team was coming up the stairs. They were in this position before the event. As they made the 2nd floor there was the brief flash that you see, and the engine made the fire room. The victim you hear on the radio was part of the scenario. There was direct ventilation from the fire room to the front porch window, and to the room on the B-side of the house, which was also vertically vented. Windows were boarded with penny-nails to allow fire growth since the original windows were removed during asbestos abatement. You can hear me on the radio checking on the inside crew after the event, from their perspective nothing abnormal had happened and they were surprised when they saw the video. There were no injuries.—-My perspective is that old paint and wall covering from this early 1900's house off-gassed and reached an ignitable mixture at the front porch window, resulting in essentially a vent-point ignition. There was no sustained fire in the hall, or outside the original fire room. Fixed-burn facilities have almost no surprises. Real fires have tons of surprises. Acquired buildings, have some surprises. Crews must constantly be combat ready and attack fires with precision and aggression until the fire is dominated. Crews today encountered an unexpected event, but reacted calmly and professionally and did their jobs. We had 6 more great burns after this one.—-To those friends who reached out with concern – thanks, we're good, learned a lot, and you're welcome to come train with us anytime! To the internet keyboard heros who rushed to judgement, shame on you & watch that karma. My contact info is on my profile, feel free to reach out.

Posted by Nick Martin on Thursday, June 6, 2019

Shavonne Walker, Salisbury Post:

“The objective here is to run simulations of a standard house fire focusing primarily on fire attack and victim rescue, our arrival assignments and some drills that we’ve been doing for the last few months,” said Battalion Chief Nick Martin of the Salisbury Fire Department.

At one point while firefighters were on the second floor outside a window, a plume of smoke quickly turned into a wave of fire downstairs.

Martin said that was caused by a rapid ignition of flammable fire gases.

Read entire story

David Whisenant, WBTV-TV:

As firefighters began attacking the fire, a “smoke explosion” occurred, sending flames blowing through the windows and burning plywood in the direction of firefighters.

“The walls are real walls that are covered in old paint, lacquer, dry wall and stuff like that. When that stuff heats up it begins off-gassing and what it off-gases is very flammable gas and when that gas then begins to fill the space from the ceiling to the floor and it reaches its ignition temperature it will simultaneously ignite and that’s what you saw there,” Martin said.

No one was hurt, and as scary as it looked, it’s good for firefighters to experience it in such an environment Chief Martin says.

Read entire story

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