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Roof Collapse During Trench Cut - With Video and Pictures

Posted By Near Miss Team/ Tuesday, February 12, 2019 / Print

EVENT NARRATIVE

What was the initial size-up?

Two-story type three construction building with heavy smoke showing from the rear of the structure and the roof.

 

Event Description

The FD was dispatched to our downtown for a reported structure fire. The fire was located in the rear of a 1905 building (Ordinary Construction) that was being used as a storage and assembly occupancy but was unoccupied at the time. The building involved was the B side building (Building #1) that was in a row of four structures that were originally separated with firewalls (Building #1, #2, #3, and #4). Firefighters attempted an aggressive interior attack on the first building until the fire conditions rapidly deteriorated and a defensive attack was mounted.

Several elevated and ground master streams were set up in an attempt to stop the fire. It was decided to send a crew to the roof of the unaffected #3 building and cut a trench cut in the roof of the #2 building. The #3 and #4 building houses residential occupancies and a deli. The fire was traveling at an incredible speed across the cocklofts so we needed to get it stopped.

While the trench was being cut, firefighters needed to climb atop the firewall to reach the roofline due to the various height differences. Several seconds into the cut, the roof failed along with the fire wall into the #2 building. The firefighter that was still on the #3 roof was able to pull the second firefighter from the wall just before it collapsed. All firefighters evacuated the roof.


LESSONS LEARNED

Describe the lessons learned at this event. What recommendations do you have to prevent a similar occurrence?

Sending experienced firefighters to perform high risk tactics is important. While the trench cut was a major factor in stopping the fire, ICs must really evaluate the risk vs reward. The fire was moving toward a loft apartment residential building, with a popular restaurant on the main floor. This contributed some decision pressure to save these properties.

What changes are being implemented due to this event?

We should have made the trench cut earlier before that area was affected by fire. Other changes may be coming as we review the incident further.

Describe the leading practices you noticed at this incident:

None reported


ATTACHED VIDEO

Roof Collapse During Trench Cut

 

 


ATTACHED PICTURES

Post Fire Roof Collapse

Post Fire Roof Collapse

 

Roof Collapse During Trench Cut 1

Roof Collapse During Trench Cut 1

 

Roof Collapse During Trench Cut 2

Roof Collapse During Trench Cut 2

 


REPORT DETAILS

Which of the following occurred, if any:

Structural Collapse

Date the event occurred:

October, 2018

Approximate time the event occurred:

12:00

Location of the emergency/ event:

Commercial

Was a 360-degree size-up performed?

Yes

Which strategic mode was initially implemented?

Offensive

What was the estimated percent fire involvement of the structure?

Not reported

Were you responding to a known a life hazard (i.e. CPR in progress, known rescue, critical patient entrapment, etc.)?

No

List any other info that was important for situational awareness. What were key indicators and factors to consider?

Age of the buildings and construction type, along with the amount of time the fire was burning.

Contributing Factors

Contributing Factors:

Decision Making

Situational Awareness

Structural or physical conditions of the building

Were unsafe act(s) performed?

No

Resources and Weather

Which of the following resources were on scene when the event took place?

Engine

How many?

3

Approximate number of personnel per unit:

4

Truck

How many?

2

Approximate number of personnel per unit:

3

Rescue

How many?

1

Approximate number of personnel per unit:

3

Ambulance (Medic, Squad)

How many?

3

Approximate number of personnel per unit:

2

Command Vehicle

How many?

1

Approximate number of personnel per unit:

1

Did the weather/environmental conditions impact operations or the event?

No 

Outcomes

Were there civilian injuries or fatalities?

No

Were there any firefighter injuries?

No

Was there substantial property/equipment damage or other cost?

No

 

Report Idaab89db6-a71b-4473-9c87-70f352075c2d

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