Tuesday April 24, 2007. We recieved a report of a structure fire in a sporting goods store in our local town. On arrival, command was established, I was operations officer for the event. Fire had just broken through the metal/wood roof on the c/d corner, Heavy smoke condition in the building. I entered the building with thermal imager in hand, attack crew towards that c/d corner of the building, ceiling had already come down it appeared through the imager that most of the fire was knocked down. I went to evaluate the crew that went to the b/c corner of the building. I found them pulling the ceiling down, you could hear the fire racing across the ceiling. The crew did an upright blast of water, when it came back down you could feel that it was super heated. Knowing the building, I was able to get to the ammunition room. When I entered, the ceiling had fallen in with our water over-spray. The fire had consumed some of the misc. ammunition. We tried to reposition the hose line, but it was too late. The ammunition started to fire off. At that point, we quickly retreated. We had to escape through the nearest exit, a plate glass door! I notified I/C to evacuate the building for exterior ops only.
Knowing the layout of a building from preplanning and inspections. The fuel load varied from hundreds of old propane tanks, Gasoline cans, Waste oils. The building also had Black powder and reload shot for ammunition.