After the Incident

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Ladders With Light Force 170

The Duncan Incident – Fire Station 3

On July 23, 2012, at 9:04 a.m., a fire broke out at two-story duplex home in East Los Angeles. Two plastic containers had burst into flames while being heated in an oven in the kitchen. Upon arrival, E3 found thick, brown, heavy smoke coming from the “A” and “C” side second-story eaves, and the second floor bathroom window. Witnesses also stated that there was a person trapped inside. As E3 advanced the hose to the rear occupancy, they heard shouting from the second floor and noticed a teenage boy attempting to squeeze out of the small, 12” x 18” bathroom window to escape the smoke and heat.  The inside crew held fire to first floor while firefighters rescued the boy from the smoke-filled second floor bathroom.

Duncan IC turnout

Fire ground tactics involved completing a primary search and rescue, locating and accessing the seat of the fire, and placing rescue/egress ladders to the second floor. The interior fire attack was effected with two 1 ¾” hand-lines; once adequate gallons per minute was established the fire was knocked-down within a few minutes and contained to the kitchen.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Performing a 360-degree size-up will provide information that can lead to better decision making.
  2. Prior to committing to a second floor search, ensure a hoseline is positioned on the floor below to keep the fire from progressing up the stairwell.



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