Fireground Safety, Industrial Firefighting, Structural Firefighting

Preventing Disorientation “By the Book”

Issue 3 and Volume 171.

By William R. Mora   During fatal structure fires, exposures to serious fire hazards often occur suddenly. In frustrating contrast, tactical changes on the national scale in response to those hazards are slow to evolve. Often, these crucial changes to fire procedures can take up to a decade or more to come to fruition. The firefighter disorientation hazard, defined as the “loss of direction because of the lack of vision in a structure fire,” is one case in point. (1) During the Bryan, Texas, incident, the fire, which was initially seen at the A/B corner, spread laterally by means of concealed ceiling spaces. The main entrance was on the A side near the A/D corner. This is the view from the northeast near Command’s location at 2329 hours. Engine 1 is inside, and one positive-pressure ventilation fan is at the doorway. Flames are visible above the A/B corner. (Photos 1-2…

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