Sunday, August 9, 2009


I attended a housefire that started somewhere on the main floor. Upon arrival the house was fully involved so we doused the living snot out of it with multiple preconnected handlines with the water output being around 250 gallons a minute per handline... throw in a deluge with an output of 1000 gallons a minute and you have enough water that even Moses would have a tough time wading through.

Once the fire is out we do something called salvage overhaul which is where you try to save as many of the contents you can, if you can. With a fully involved fire it's sometimes tough. And we'll overhaul by opening up roofs and walls to make sure the fire isn't still smouldering or extending elsewhere. You do not want to be that person who says the fire is out only to get called back later to a housefire at the exact same address. You would have some serious explaining to do. Which is why we douse until we are sure every spark, cinder, and smouldering ash is turned into a dark soupy mess.

After said housefire, I was assigned with a partner to go through the basement to do some overhauling and also see if there was a drain in which we could direct some of the water. Needless to say, we were wading past our ankles in post fire soup. As we were overhauling, I heard a whimper and my heart stopped cold. Could we possibly have missed someone during our search phase? How would we explain that to the Chief? And moreover, how would we forgive ourselves? Then I looked around the corner and to my amazement there was a little dog locked in its crate swimming around with its nose poking through the top. He was whimpering and shivering but he was alive and well! I think being stuck in the basement is what saved his life. Had he been on the upper floors I am sure he would have succumbed to smoke inhalation.

So it goes to show you not all our calls are bad. The house was destroyed but the call still had a happy ending.

Who says only cats have nine lives? :)

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