On the morning of May 25 during a live fire evolution the Idaho Falls Fire Department experienced a near miss. While conducting NFPA 1403 compliant live burns, the ignition team experienced rapid flashover conditions. The initial investigation has determined that the IFFD live fire SOG was followed.
It has been identified that several areas in the SOG need to be changed or made more specific. It is fortunate that the safety measures in place worked (secondary egress) as designed and that no one was injured.
The rapid fire growth and damage to personal protective equipment was attributed to the ignition team remaining in the structure without giving time for their gear to return to normal temperature. Also, the quick resetting of the burns allowed the structure to absorb a significant amount of energy, resulting in a transition from growth stage to flashover within seconds.
Lessons Learned: Ignition teams should leave the fire room and observe from a safe haven during fire growth. Also, after each burn, the fire should be completely extinguished and overhaul should be performed to allow the structure to return to normal temperature.