I would just like to share with my fellow brothers and sisters a close call my department experienced several months ago. I work for a small career department in the Williamsburg VA, area. We currently have about 120 uniform personnel and operate out of five stations. Our department has automatic mutual aid with several surrounding departments. First some background into the incident that produced the close call. It was a hot and hazy Saturday afternoon. During the day several thunderstorms passed thought the area and produced a number of responsive for smells and bells. Several hours after things had calmed down we were tapped out for a building fire in a large upscale neighborhood. Most of the residences in this neighborhood were single family and well over 3000 square feet. That day I was working overtime as the acting jack on the second in ladder to the alarm. The initial alarm consisted of 2 ladders, 3 engines, 1 heavy rescue, District Chief, EMS supervisor, and a rehab support unit. The first arriving engine company reported a 2 story single family residential approximately 4500 square feet with heavy fire and smoke showing from the rear roof. The first in engine went to work on the interior with inch and three quarter hand line. The second in ladder took position on side A and were placing there ladder into operation. I arrived in our truck which is a platform and positioned on side A behind the first in ladder. Command ordered my platform into service and my crew to the interior to perform a primary search and assist with opening up the ceiling and fire suppression. While making our way up the stairs to find the engine company officer we were experiencing very dark conditions with relatively no heat. I found the engine company officer at the top of the stairs with the nozzle man. The nozzle man was directing his stream into the room on the right side of the house, what appeared to be the bonus room or the large room over the 3 car side loading garage. It appeared that he was making good progress so my crew with the engine company entered the room and started to pull ceilings. When we realized that the fire was into the cock loft we exited the bonus room in a effort to pull some ceilings and get ahead of the fire. Just after making it into the hall way I noted some dry wall falling around my head but not a significant amount. Really no more then you would normally experience in interior firefighting. However after that the smoke conditions started to improve, but command was giving the evacuation call and the emergency evacuation horns were blowing outside. Immediately I checked my par as did the engine and we were all there. So we exited the structure. After getting out command advised there was some type of unknown collapse. The pictures below show the cause of concern. At first we suspected that a section of the chimney had fallen through the roof. However when overhauling the structure after we surrounded and drowned we didnt find any fire places. Seem odd to you? It turns out the masonry object you see in the photo was a fake or false chimney which only purpose in life was to make the house look like it had a fireplace from the outside. It was supported inside the cockloft only by wood. There was one at each end of the house. Has you can see it fell from the roof through the roof through the bonus room floor (thats where we were) and crushed a car in the garage. I had never seen any type of construction like this before in the past, but now I see it everywhere.