Always do a 360 before your initial attack. The initial scene size-up was heavy smoke showing from the first floor. Lt. Michael Yoder was the officer on the first-in engine & did his job by the book. His 360 revealed vital information & allowed for key steps to be taken:
- The 360 revealed that the house was 3 stories with a walkout basement on the Bravo side.
- The seat of the fire was found to be in the basement.
- The initial attack was made through a basement door allowing rapid & efficient application of the wet stuff on the red stuff. The fire was contained using the water on our engine & tanker (roughly used 1,500 out of 3,750 available gallons).
- Rapid improvement in conditions allowed the recognition of utilization of wooden I-beams in the construction that had failed & that first floor integrity was completely compromised.
The key point here, in my opinion as Incident Command, was that the appropriate initial actions not only allowed for rapid extinguishment of a well advanced fire but also saved lives. Tunnel vision and deployment of the initial attack line through the front door on the Alpha side would have likely lead to disaster for the crew. Great job by Lt. Yoder, FF Kenny Schlabach, & FF Austin Weaver!