Size up this fire.


The point of view in this video shows almost everything that is happening so you have to imagine yourself showing up at street level and the limited view you would have had.  The first arriving companies thought it was a fire in the rear porches.  They were right, but, the fire was already inside the second building when they arrived.  

 I spoke with the officers on scene and from their point of view upon arrival they thought it was back porches and they thought they may have inadvertently pushed the fire into the second building.  The officer on the first line to the rear was wondering why the fire was going to 3 alarms, let alone 4.   It was obvious to command what was going on, but from the rear it was a different story.  You can see the rear was a floor lower than the front. 

I wish we could just get a couple second video from the front when the first arriving companies got on scene, but that’s not going to happen.  Too often when someone posts a video the commenter gets to watch the whole thing and then decide what they would have done.  It would be better to just get a few seconds and then watch the comments, to keep everyone honest.  But comment away. 

Was going to the rear with the first line a good choice?

Would going in from the front then making a basement attack have worked?

What size line are you going to bring?

Are there any other issues that should be brought up?

I may sometimes sound like a stickler for rules because a firefighter should at least know the procedures that way if they do something that isn’t in line with the procedures they have to provide reason instead of “I didn’t know”.  My only critique is that at least one of the trucks arriving on the subsequent alarms should have looked at the roof instead of just putting the stick up.  This would have minimized the chance of a guy alone on the roof, especially a relatively new guy.  That’s just my opinion and I have had that opinion since this video was taped almost 9 years ago.

Stay safe.

1 Comment

  • Scott says:

    This is a great video for younger and first arriving officers with preasssignment. I like the comments from author, he stresses size up from all different sides of the structual fire builidng. Size up is not limited to command or operations, it is everyone’s responsibility.

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Marques Bush

Firefighter Basics launched in February 2009 after Founder/Editor Marques Bush was looking for a way to express himself and share his experiences with brother and sister firefighters. Shortly after founding the site Marques spoke with several trusted friends and ask them to come on board and contribute also. Firefighter Basics is a dedicated group of firefighters who strive everyday to practice what they preach about Training, Safety, and Tradition.  We can be reached at

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