Engine ? arrives with fire showing 1st floor, confirmed child trapped on the 2nd.

First due company arrives and has a father and grandmother in the front lawn confirming a 2 year old trapped on the second floor. The rest you can see for yourself. Note in the first few seconds the firefighter coming out the front door with the kid. Also later in the video after the man confronts the camera watch him return to the scene and start pushing a firefighter around. The father has now been charged with arson for this fire.                         Heres is a write-up from the Englin Fire Chief

Elgin Fire Department Battalion Chief Terry Bruce said once emergency personnel arrived, they soon were informed by occupants that a baby boy remained inside, sitting in a high chair on the second floor of the tri-level home.

  He said Elgin firefighter Kevin Hartmann went inside and was able to find and remove the child just as smoke was entering the room.  “The smoke was just starting to build up right near the baby,” Bruce said. “Another couple of minutes and the baby probably would have been overcome by the smoke.”  Three dogs also were rescued from the home, Bruce said, but a fourth was not recovered.  An already highly emotional scene became even more dramatic, Bruce said, when the baby’s father suddenly became irate and began to assault several firefighters, requiring Elgin police to restrain him.

  The baby’s grandmother tried to put out the fire when it started, but she had to leave the home, Bruce added.  The blaze, which started in the first-floor bedroom that belonged to the boy’s father, was brought under control in about 30 minutes, Bruce said. 

We don’t want to arm-chair quarterback these guys because the bottom line is they made a save in a situation that they were behind in from the time this man started the fire.  That being said we would like to hear your thoughts and points that we can learn from. 

Firespread?….Rescue?…Next in assignments?  What do you think. Answer in the comment box if you have any.

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22 Comments on “Engine ? arrives with fire showing 1st floor, confirmed child trapped on the 2nd.”

  1. Lynch Says:

    Obviously they did some things right if they were able to successfully rescue a kid trapped above the fire. A few minutes in a firefighter carries a ladder over and throws it to the window above and to the left of the fire room. Not necessarily a bad call except he breaks the window and the fire subsequently takes off on that vinyl siding and moves towards the open window.

  2. Ditto Says:

    A room and contents fire in the basement u\a, and knowing a there is a party trapped adds to it. I would expect more bedrooms to be in the back on both levels. The fire venting out the front, and knowing where the child is located both work to our advantage. Looking in the windows, it appears the fire was pretty well contained to the room of origin in regards to the interior. Even the blinds right above the fire window are not burned or damaged. That leads me to believe that this window was broken after the fire went passed it. Taking the A\B window before the fire passed definitely could have caused the fire to spread to the second floor. Thanks to the hose team it only melted the blinds. This is a good example of knowing why, when, and which windows to take.

    Time of day, and a car being in the driveway suggest the building is occupied. The guys did search\rescue without the protection of a handline. Not having a handline shouldn’t prevent, or scare us from doing a search\rescue. I think the grab was made in smokey conditions with no fire. None the less it’s still good work.

    I think it went from the basement, spread on the exterior to the attic. I think my priorities would be RIC, secondary search, open the walls along the path of the fire, open the roof and cieling, and use a hoseline to put out the fire in the attic.

    • Captain Daniel A Amorim Says:

      The only problem here is that every state or town and city operate with different sop’s. Im a Captain for the West Hamilton Beach VFD n Ambulance Corp and we operate with the FDNY. So our operations are different, we go in with two guys in each other room. Two guys in n two guys out. Just a good pointer unless u didnt have that many guys on the scene, while the first truck company is searching for the fire and life, first engine company should have been at the front door and scott or masked up at the door instead of waiting by the truck. It was A lot of moving around n only a few guys going in. But all is good. Stay safe n U GO I GO brothers.

  3. Lynch Says:

    “I think my priorities would be RIC, secondary search, open the walls along the path of the fire, open the roof and cieling, and use a hoseline to put out the fire in the attic.”

    You’re prioritizing RIC when there is a one confirmed trapped occupant and a primary search hasn’t been done?

    • Ditto Says:

      I think they are priorities, but not in any particular order. Primary search has to come first.

      • Captain Daniel A Amorim Says:

        first thing first , you do a quick size up of the building then make sure ur crew is ready to go in and have your truck company or rescue or squad co to follow u in, searching for fire n life is ur primary search, the secondary search is after u have water on the fire. But each crew who is doing the searches of their own primary n secondary searches to perform

  4. Brian Ebmeyer Says:

    3 person engine staffing?. Rescue made w/ single FF, no interior partner/tag line?, partner looks to be bunked up outside, maybe he has visual on rescuing FF? FF looks to go back in for what I assume is primary, alone?. Rescue is priority, and may need to be done without a hoseline, and like Ditto, I’m guessing smokey conditions, I would like to think I would do the same, especially w/ good info about trapped u/a. However, learning afterwords that dad set the fire, conditions could change very quickly depending on what dad did to accelerate fire growth, putting that single rescuing FF at risk. I’d want my partner to at least be on air, preferably w/ me inside, tied off, in a perfect world.
    How bout 2nd due steppin up their pace, especially knowing they are going to be on the initial hoseline!
    Pulling ceiling early could have avoided conditions now seen in attic.

  5. bvaughan Says:

    While the rescue is in progress: I would have liked to see any hose line on that exterior to keep fire in check. This is a 1-3 second burst of water by a booster off tank water to darken that fire down. The baby is on the second floor and fire is isolated to the room of origin on the garden level. If the baby isn’t found right away then you have a little more time as it is relates to the floor you’re working on and the auto-exposure that did occur quite rapidly with vinyl siding and lightweight construction. I would like to be working longer than was expected on a floor without active fire below me as opposed to active fire below me. Finally, the end result isn’t an attic fire, with a starting point that was two floors below (room and contents) and, in platform construction.

    Whether you are VES or interior search it is most efficient to have a crew of two and the remaining officer or plug or whoever with help of the DE can get water on that fire in 15-20 seconds from where that pumper is located. Even with a crew of three, a proficient DE will get water on the fire without help of another really quickly.

    Next in crews could set up for a coordinated interior attack upon their arrival. This isn’t true in all cases but in this scenario I think extinguishing the fire immediately is the best for all on scene: victim and crews.

    OK, you can slay me on the transitional attack if that’s what you’re thinking but I like to think that the two efforts: rescue and confinement are both important for life preservation. My priority is that search/rescue and fire confinement work in accordance here as a rescue task.

    Just another way to look at this is all….. definetly not the only way.

    • Captain Daniel A Amorim Says:

      Im behind u on the that one, took the words out of my mouth, by applying tank water u can have ur crew ready to go 1 3/4 two guys on the line n officer.

  6. McNew Says:

    Hey, Saving a little kid almost immediately was great. Reading a little more about the Dad, He has seven kids total but the two year old was the only child at home. This could have been a tragic fire if all kids are at home!

    The staffing is definitely not clear. You see about 3 to 4 apparatus with maybe 8-10 firefighters in bunker gear. You see a few guys that have job shirts. I know some departments run 2 person crews which could be a possiblity.

    Vaughan, I agree with you on using a booster line to protect the exterior of the house to prevent the fire from getting up into the attic of this house. Unfortunately some departments are totally against having booster lines which I think are a good tool if used when appropriate. So the drivers only choice might be laying out a preconnect.

    What about pulling some ceiling or opening up that gable end of the roof to hit the fire in that attic space.

  7. JG Says:

    As always, it’s hard to hard to provide any input on a scene that we have very little information on without resorting to arm chair quarterbacking. But< here it goes anyway!
    What do we have? Fire on the alpha side lower level of a split level woodframe, single family home. Apprears to be confined to a bedroom with extension to the exterior and exposing the upper floor. A 360 would tell you if you have any extension to the bravo and charlie sides on the interior. Due to the relatively little amount of smoke from the front door, I wouldn't think it has extended beyond the room of origin, but I would want to look inside the front door.
    Strategy: Offensive. Do they have enough manpower to execute an effective offensive attack? I noticed at least two apparatus with 5 or 6 firefighters so the answer should be yes.
    Tactics: Two to the front door with 1 3/4 inch one to protect the egress as the other removes the victim (I think information was provided that he was in a chair in the dining area). The victim (did not seem to be in any real distress)should be handed off to someone onthe outside and fire attack immediately resumed. At the same time that the rescue is takining effect someone (driver) should have a booster line out and hitting the exterior of the front window to keep the fire from extending up. This simple action would have kept the fire confined to the room of origin.
    Truck work: PPV at the front door. Attack line in place and a ventilation openining in the room of origin will assist in the visibility and containment of the fire to that room of origin. Primary search for any other victims and any possible fire extension. Priorities are the fire floor and the upper level (above the room of origin).
    As more resources arrive they can provide a backup line, throw ladders to the exterior, RIC (RIC can accomplish ladders), utilities.

    I don't thisk a transitinal is a bad idea if you don't have adequate resources, even with the victim inside onthe main level, a quick 2 second burst will knock the fire down and buy some time for rescue and attack.

    Just some ideas.
    This is GREAT!

  8. Mike Says:

    Some good ideas out there, but I have to take the bait on the transitional. I agree with using a hose line on the exterior to darken the EXTERIOR fire down and keep it from vertically spreading, but I don’t agree with putting that line in the window. The crews on arrival already pulled one victim out, how do we know if there is anyone else inside. Do we really want to take the chance of disrupting the thermal balance, reducing visibility, and maybe pushing fire out of an open door onto victims/rescuers. Even my department, who is a proponant of the transitional attack, teaches that the transitional should not be used with saveable lives inside.

    What do you guys think of venting the roof? Would it be more effective using the truckies on the inside pulling ceiling? Or is it better for 3 or 4 guys to be on the roof? Just seems like it took a little bit to get water on the attic fire.

    • Mitch Says:

      I too agree that the fire needs to be put in check and not allow it to extend up as quickly as it did. Transitional attack wouldn’t have been terrible I don’t think. Water on the exterior and a couple quick bursts THROUGH the window. Not sure if everyone uses it, but this seems to be the perfect application of RECEO. Everyone seems to be on the same page that the fire appears to be confined to room and contents, leading me to believe that the room is fully involved leaving very little chance (if any) that there is a rescue possibility in this room and the short bursts would darken down the fire and not bring down the thermal layer too much anyway. And you would protect the floor that there is a KNOWN rescue on and hopefully keep the extension on to other floors from happening at all. Again, all speculation from a youtube video. All in all, everyone is alive and fire was extinguished.

  9. Trev Says:

    My thoughts would be similar to all of the above. My priorities would be handline to the room of origin. The should be an easy strech by a single firefighter. The partner should assist with the strech and break off for primary search. PPV will contain the fire to room of origin and assist the nozzel with containing the fire. I agree with the booster line thought. I think a stream parallel to the alpha side would be better than transitional. Just keeping the siding and the soffets wet would stop the auto exposure. Minimum staffing or not, 50′ of 1 3/4″ would easily make it from the front door to the fire room easy. I again have the same priorities as everyone else but I think PPV to vent for life will better improve the conditions to fund that kiddo. But ultimately, good job. They made the grab and it doesn’t sound like anyone got hurt.

  10. PowderE25 Says:

    How about a blitz attack? When you don’t have the manpower on arrival do your best to keep the fire in check. 500 gallons probably would have knocked the fire down.

    • pfd24 Says:

      not if theres a victim in there!!! check your priorties. make the rescue, then attack the fire.

      • PowderE25 Says:

        What is the survivability profile for a fully involved room???? ZERO!!

  11. TRUCK4 Says:

    Blitz attacks are a great tools, if your department has them. I have used them and I think that they are a great tool but I agree with Mike. Your gonna have to be worried with disturbing the thermal layering in the fire room. With atleast one confirmed trapped child and possibly more, cause who really knows since dad started the fire with the family in the house, adults would have difficulty protecting themselves in that type of situation let alone the children. So I would go back to my original statement,TREV, aggressive interior Engine Co. ops and proper vent work, including hydraulic if your operating a fog nozzel, will eliminate the potential to push the products of combustion, I’m starting to sound like a nerd, onto the patients at this fire scene.

  12. JG Says:

    This is a room and content fire on arrival with no possibity of life in the room of origin. I do not believe that the thermal layer in the room of origin will convect to the upper floors as readily as some may think with just a 1 or 2 second blast of water, which, by the way would have been plenty to keep the fire in the room of origin and preventing extention into the upper floors and attic. However if I were concerned and just to stack the cards on the side of safety, a PPV could be placed in the front door to force all the heat out of the windows in the room of origin and away from all other areas of the home at the ame time water is introduced into the room via the window. A line would have to follow interior quickly because the fan will provide air to the fire and help it to start up again.

  13. SA Says:

    I think everything went well overall. I did see that the one member was searching without a partner. wonder if he had a rope bag. Also disappointed that the 2nd due crew fooled around for entirely too long. primary search with good info +. someone put water on the fire please. and get a rit team set up for the searh teams. with the 2nd due there that fire shouldve never had a chance to progress to an attic fire along the exterior. but in hindsight. saved a life. thats whats all about. just need to do it the safest way we can.


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