Don't become trapped in the Hoard!

Don't become trapped in the Hoard!

Trapped in the Hoard 

Without a doubt the number one concern of teaching firefighters about fires that occur in hoarding conditions is the potential of firefighters becoming trapped inside. While this potential is present on any type of fire, hoarding presents additional challenges.  Understanding the potential for trouble should ensure all firefighters are visiting self rescue, lost orientation, and entanglement training monthly.  Let’s face it, many of us will be lucky to review and practice these procedures yearly if at all. Let’s take a look at three processes you can review to prepare yourself. b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_2371.JPG

Hoarding Concerns

As a persons home becomes full with belongings the amount of usable space is severely restricted. With this collection the potential for firefighters becoming lost inside increases. From day one most firefighters are taught orientation based on contact with a wall.  Household clutter that extends well beyond arms length from the wall is common in the hoarding conditions.  Firefighters who do not make adjustments for this danger can find themselves disoriented in a labyrinth of belongings, usually that have no secondary means of egress.  

How can this happen? Does the firefighter not see the junk?  Great questions, but there can be many factors that contribute to firefighters not seeing or suspecting clutter.  One factor is where the home is located. If inside a municipal district there may be no visible clutter from the exterior.  These hidden heavy content homes may not indicate clutter until entry. Secondly, the first room of entry my be free from clutter. In hoarding conditions not all rooms are completely packed full, there can be varying levels of stored items.  If the room of entry is open the firefighter may assume the rest of the building is the same way. 

Don’t waste time

Many firefighters ask how long they should wait before calling a mayday.  In hoarding situations the time to call should be reduced. Why, because the length of time to rescue will be increased.  If  firefighters were to find themselves in the middle of clutter without means of orientation this is a true emergency. The amount of time before declaration of the mayday should be short.  

Ideally the lost firefighter will have a search rope, TIC, and/or a hose line for orientation. If none of the potential life savers are present and you are disoriented call it……CALLL IT NOW!!  

Some firefighters feel if they call a mayday without being in true life or death danger they can be ridiculed by other members once the fire is  out.  So what! At least you will be alive to take it. If you feel the need to search out secondary means of egress and/or a point for orientation without positively knowing the direction you can find yourself going towards bigger danger, especially if you choose to crawl over stacks of debris. In heavy content conditions that best path is inside the pre-made pathway established by the occupants.  

If a firefighter does not feel the need from a mayday declaration they should begin with radio communication to inform everyone of the situation and request information that can help them become reoriented to their location or establish secondary means of egress. These communications should be short and to the point. The longer it takes to establish location the more air the firefighters will be using and less time to make an escape. Establishing air consumption rates and understanding how to function in a high stress situation can aid in the reestablishing orientation. If firefighters have even a small amount of doubt, CALL THE MAYDAY. 

Entanglement Solutions 

Inside cluttered conditions firefighters will find a variety of entanglement dangers. From large collection of Christmas Lights to wire from dryer vents ran for ferrets to travel room to room these challenges may be some that firefighters had never even thought of.  

The most important variable in the entanglement equations is identification of there presence. Not crawling into a room with a collection of wires is the BEST solution to this problem.  Making this seemingly simple statement more complex is the density and thickness of the smoke.  Limited visibility can make this near impossible.  Using the Thermal Imaging Camera (TIC) offers firefighters the tool to identify these situation.  While scanning with the TIC firefighters should look for piles of wires, tubular shaped dryer style vents, multiple electric cords, and other challenges that can entangle them. 


If a firefighter is to become entangled they must revert to solid training.  Using techniques such as the swim move, grab and cut, are both options while remembering to not pull the entanglement tighter.  Both of these techniques are commonly found in firefighter training manuals and require more time that allowed in this short blog.  If you are not familiar with these techniques click Here and Here to watch short videos on managing entanglements. 

Clearing Debris b2ap3_thumbnail_Delta-Alpha-Corner.jpg

Whether before or after any firefighter emergency that happens inside a Heavy Content Environment will require the removal of debris. From simply moving a stack to the labor intensive task of moving massive piles clearing debris in a hostile environment comes with challenges.  

First and foremost, is the workload on the firefighters. If the work is being completed inside a smoke field environment air consumption will be increase. Lower actual working times will require more firefighters to be available to perform the task of moving the debris.  Key to knowing this problem is the identification of heavy content early in an operation to allow time for other firefighters to be on scene.  

Second, is the potential for added weight to cause a localized collapse. When clearing debris to reduce or prevent a mayday firefighters need to understand that moving the weight of a stack to lay on top of another stack could be enough added weight to cause a collapse.  


Example: Pile A has x amount of weight, while Pile B has x amount of weight.  These piles have added weight slowly over many days and weeks allowing for the structure to adjust.  Imagine if in a short amount of time the weight from pile A is put on top of pile B.  In a matter of minutes you could have double the actual weight of pile B. The weight added could stress that area of the structure enough to cause a local or complete collapse. 

It is important to understand this risk when working around the massive amounts of stuff inside a heavy content environment. When tasked with moving stacks of debris, whether for a mayday or not, firefighters should ensure the distribution of the weight is not piled in one central area that could already be near the collapse level.  Spreading the weight over a larger area will help reduce the chances of collapse danger. 

Ryan’s Advice 

Fighting structural fires will always bring an amount of risk with it.  When operating inside homes filled with massive amounts of content the risk will be higher.  Firefighters need to understand the sheer volume of physical risk required to accomplish even the most simple tasks. 

Prevention is the best advice for mayday situations. By using good situational awareness and common sense firefighters should manage the potential  mayday causing situations.  Use the pathways for transportation routes, keep the stacks in place, pay close attention to air consumption, and always suspect that adding more weight to an already weighted down building runs the risk of collapse.  

Actionable Items

1.Review your mayday radio transmission 

2.Ensure the purchase and upkeep of wire cutters

3.Review TIÇ use in identifying wires, cables, and other entanglement hazards

4.Practice swim technique

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Case Study Citizens Fire Company

Case Study Citizens Fire Company

Citizens-Fire-Company-Case-Study-_20150828-143741_1.pdf

Citizens Fire Company 

Independence Fire Company

February 3 2015

Introduction

Developing the skills and education as a firefighter requires constant evaluation and learning from different sources. Learning from the experiences of others is a good way of learning from others successes and challenges.  This case study was graciously shared by the firefighters of the Citizens Fire Company in Charlestown WV. The transparency of their members in discussing this challenging fire was inspiring.  

Aim 

The aim of this case study and accompanying audio interview is to share the lessons learned from this Heavy Content Fire to help other departments understand the challenges faced that day and how to better prepare for Heavy Content Fires.

Learning Activity 

Review the incident information and discuss the affects of Hoarding. Focus your efforts on how the clutter, confusion, and persistence of the on scene firefighters lead to a successful outcome in challenging conditions. Discuss how building construction, fire volume, cluttered conditions, and hazards can lead to danger. Listen, read, and then apply the lessons learned to your operational methods to have a better understanding. 

Case Audio

 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/jumpseatradio/Citizens_fire_Company_Case_Study_.mp3

 

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It must be the Air: The Importance of Air in Heavy Content Fires

It must be the Air: The Importance of Air in Heavy Content Fires

As you look into the basic physics of fire there are three elements needed to support combustions (burning): heat, fuel, and oxygen. Out of the three elements needed, one of these has a heightened level of importance when you are fighting fires in heavy content conditions.

Would it be the heat? There is a noted presence of heat and it can be reduced. However,will you have the opportunity to remove enough of the heat, could you stop the burning process, so it's not heat. Consider the fuel, if the firefighters are able to remove the cluttered items from the burn area, would that extinguish the fire? If that process is ineffective then we know it is not fuel. That leaves air, it must be the air!

To understand the importance of air in the heavy content fires, consider structures that are loaded full of belongings from years of collecting and how they will provide endless amounts of fuel. In fact, many of these fires have enough fuel to burn for days. By considering fire tactics that eliminate heat and fuel and realizing how difficult they can be, it will allow the focus to fall directly on the available air. Air can have a huge influence on fire growth, but in hoarding conditions it most often is the variable that has the most influence. The amount of air available will determine if the fire will progress to decay or progress into the growth phase of a fire.

There are so many scenario's to consider in heavy content fire, but for the purpose of this article consider that there was a fire in a sealed basement or home that had fully functional windows and doors. In that situation, the amount of air could be minimal; depending on what doors might be open, the level of clutter, and the location of the fire. These variables could affect the how long a fire could burn without being discovered which would give the fire enough time to cause significant damage to floor and roof joists as well as floor decking. Add in the weight from the clutter and a pending collapse could be near, again all of this could happen before the fire is discovered.

Taking the time to study and understand theses variables will give firefighters a better knowledge of the added dangers posed by extreme clutter and prompt a more thorough size up. Being aware of these three variables when you arrive to a reported structural fire and seeing that the property has the external signs of hoarding (such as cluttered yards), officers need to investigate for signs of extended burn times. The best method would be to do a thermal imaging 360 size-up to discover the hottest parts of the structure while also indicating where the coldest area's are located, keeping in mind you are looking to see where the fire is presently and where it will go if you give it air.

Finding fires in the decay stage should raise suspicion of an extended burn time, while finding a fire well into the growth phase could indicate a ventilated fire. Both of these findings could indicate extended burn times. Just because the fire has progressed into the growth phase does not indicated shorter burn times. It indicates that the fire has found an air source.

If the fire is in this vent limited state firefighters should try to do everything possible to keep it that way. Leaving windows, doors, and stacks of clutter in place to limit the fresh air intake will allowing enough time for the appropriate staffing levels to arrive, limit fire spread, and keep the fire smaller. By limiting the air and fire growth it will make the conditions better for attack or rescue(If needed)

Without control of the air, loss of multiple windows or the inability to close doors, firefighters should set up for defensive operations that employ large caliber streams placed outside the collapse zone. Heavy Content conditions that are feed with large amounts of air will progress quickly. Often surpassing the GPM of standard sized handlines. If these variables are uncontrollable firefighters should assume the fire will continue to intensify even if handlines are in place.

Utilizing corners of the building to place apparatus, stream reach, and hose lengths will keep firefighters away from the dangers of collapse or overgrown trees. It will also give a area of refuge if the yard is full of clutter and the fire extends to that clutter. Fire extending to yard clutter can rapidly spread across the tops of the stacks as it will have all the air needs. Wind conditions can cause this horizontal spread to reach speeds faster than firefighters running in turnout gear. It is essential for firefighters to pay close attention if the fire extends into the yard and perform a quick retreat to prevent this potential disaster.

Controlling the air is essential when battling homes with unlimited amounts of fuel. Having control can allow for a rescue or interior push, while not having control is a indicator of defensive operation until enough water can be applied and/or air control can be established.

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Hoarder Fire Case Study Elyria Ohio

Hoarder Fire Case Study Elyria Ohio

Location: Elyria Ohio
Responding Agency: Elyria Fire Department
Event Date: January 18, 2015
Event Type: Working Structure fire with Victim Trapped Location: Skylark Court Elyria Ohio
Time:1600 Hours b2ap3_thumbnail_Elyria-Hoarder-Fire-North-Coast-now-.jpg

Approximately 1600 hours on January 18th the Elyria Ohio fire department was alerted to a house fire.  The initial dispatch was directed to an industrial area with a large warehouse structure and first arriving unit advised nothing showing. Updated dispatch information redirected the responding units to the correct address and also advised the responding chief of confirmed occupant trapped.  Dispatch also passed along information from the caller that the occupant was a “Hoarder”and they could see visible flames. 

Engine 3 arrived on scene with smoke showing throughout the structure with the heaviest amounts seen from division 2. Engine 3 chose and offensive posture with 1 3/4 sized line for primary search and fire control. Ladder 7 advised heaviest fire division 2 side c while chief 3 instructed them to ventilate vertically.  Rescue 31 directed for occupant search and rescue. Supply line was established by engine 4.  An unknown unit advised chief 3 of an awning that is compromised by fire with “a lot of trash underneath it”.  

Upon hearing that report Chief 3 ordered an emergency manpower recall.  Shortly thereafter Chief 3 was advised fire was extending to upper floors and roof.  A transitional attack was used after the discovery of fire extension the roof area.  Chief 3 then requests a MABAS box alarm assignment 1341 to respond and stand bye.  Second due company advised they were unavailable due to another assignment.  Chief 3 then advised the box would be sufficient without them and requested the fire prevention and training officer to the seen.  

Shortly after that transmission unknown member advised the chief of fire on side C “coming through the vent hole”.  At the 20 minute mark Chief 3 described their operation as a “marginal offensive attack”having difficulty making entry and are unable to locate the victim.  Chief 3 a then advised of heavy fire in the awning area again.  Additional units began to respond from the call back.  At the 40 minute mark Chief 3 announced that they were going defensive due to the amount of stuff inside. 

(The above information obtained from the command channel audio files. )

Operational functions Overview 

Initial alarm assignments chose and aggressive interior posture for search and fire control.  These crews were met with hoarding conditions with pathways as means of traveling between rooms.  There initial tactical objective was to search the upstairs of the home, where they believed the occupant was located.  What they found in the process of making entry to division 2 (the upstairs) is that it was full of belongings with no pathways.  Upon this realization the crews began to use VES procedures (vent, enter, search) to gain access to the rooms via outside windows. 

During this process firefighters had to remove multiple tress to gain access to the windows. They chose the oriented search as ways of positive location management, due to the walls being unusable for orientation.  

Firefighters also began to search on the first floor where one truck company captain described conditions changing from moderate to severe in a shorter than normal time period.  He also describe the stacks being so high at one point his “air pack was dragging the ceiling.”  With the combined efforts of fire control and search proving to be ineffective Chief 3 ordered all firefighters out of the building and into a defensive posture.  

Once out of the structure Chief 3 requested an excavator to the scene for building demolition and to search for the occupant.  They were able to locate the victim, under debris, on the first floor. The victim had the house so full of belongings that she could no longer use the second floor and had retreated to the first floor for day to day living. 

Overhaul and building demolition continued for hours and the aftermath is beyond words.  

Conclusion

The fire that occurred in Elyria Ohio is a remarkable case study of success. While the occupant was not saved the operations used sound fire ground practices and aggressive procedures to contain the fire and preform a search.  Risk versus reward was constantly used and communication was affective during the entire operation.  One of the biggest learning points from this particular fire is the incident commander and his control over the fire scene.  By effectively communicating with the operational firefighters everyone understood their assignments, performed accordingly, and came home safe.  Very few suggestions for improvement are seen from the operational standpoint, but more towards having a common reporting system that can lead to affective pre fire planning.  

Elyria Successes 
  • Dispatch advised crews of Hoarding Conditions
  • Strong Command presence 
  • Great communication from interior to command and back 
  • Interior crews minimized firefighters inside 
  • Basic Fire ground functions were assigned and performed 
  • Additional Firefighters called in quickly 
  • 20 Minute updates and reports given and used 
  • Constant updates from around the structure 
  • Defensive operations initiated in a timely fashion
  • Excavators called in 

  • Elyria Opportunities 

 

  • Initiate a Pre Plan Process (Building officials had visited homes multiple times)
  • Utilize Police, Fire, Ems, and utilities to locate and identify Hoarding Conditions
  • Initiate common terminology to describe conditions (Suggested “Heavy Content”)

 

Download the full report Below 

Elyria-Hoarding-Fire-Case-Study-.pdf

 

 

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Hoarding conditions made fire difficult to fight, official says

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WRIGHTSVILLE, Pa. —Six adults and one a child are out of their home after fire through it Friday morning in Wrightsville, York County.The fire started in a basement laundry room around 4:30 a.m. at the home along the 500 block of Walnut Street between 5th and 6th streets. The homeowner told News 8 that he tried to fight the fire with an extinguisher, but the flames were too much. The state police fire marshal is investigating, but because damage is so extensive, the cause is not yet clear. Firefighters said the blaze was difficult to fight due to hoarding conditions in the basement.

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Cats killed in Hoarding Fire

Hoarding fire kills Cats in New Mexico 

 

Albuquerque firefighters say six cats died in a house fire Sunday morning. The incident happened around 11 a.m. on Alder Drive NW near Unser. The homeowner wasn't injured, but she did lose six of her cats. Another five were taken to the veterinarian. The Albuquerque Fire Department says the fire was contained to one room and extinguished quickly. But what they found inside the home appalled them. "This was a hoarding situation. Lots of garbage and feces on the ground this fire could've been much worse because of all that extra fuel in the house," said Larry Gallegos, Bernalillo County spokesperson. "You don't normally have that much fuel, papers and boxes stacked up so high. All of that is fuel for fire that's what makes it so dangerous." According to Bernalillo County Animal Care ordinance, in most cases, residents are not allowed to have more their four animals in their home without a permit. Albuquerque fire said two of her cats are still roaming the neighborhood. If you see them, call animal control at 311.

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Hoarding Interview with Battalion Chief David Brosnahan

Hoarding Interview with Battalion Chief David Brosnahan

In this audio Chamber of Hoarders Ryan Pennington interviews Battalion Chief David Brosnahan. David has taken suggestions learned from Hoarder Homes: Piles of Hazards for Firefighters presentation and apply them to his departments operation.

In this audio recording Ryan and David talk in detail about the Roseville's hoarding reporting system. Since it's inception Roseville's reporting system has identified 25 structures that exhibit some level of hoarding. Using this system on non fire situations allows crews to identify these buildings and begin to identify occupancy, access routes, structural stability, and stretch locations.

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Police Officers Save Woman from Hoarder Fire

By ABC7.com staff Friday, February 13, 2015 11:45PM ENCINO, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- California Highway Patrol officers rescued an elderly woman living in pack rat conditions who was trapped by flames in her Encino home near the 101 Freeway on Friday. The officers happened to be driving by. "We heard screaming coming from the other side of the house," California Highway Patrol Officer Edward Diffner said. "She was lying on the floor, 4 or 5 feet from the house, and she was screaming for our help," CHP Officer Kevin Mendel said. Crews responded to the one-story home in the 15000 block of Magnolia Boulevard near Densmore Avenue at about 5:50 p.m. Two people, an elderly woman and a man, were treated by firefighters at the scene. The woman was transported to a nearby hospital and was treated for moderate burns and smoke inhalation. She was in fair condition. The fire was confined to the one-story home, but excessive storage made it difficult to put out the flames. Fifty-five firefighters spent more than two hours battling the blaze. No firefighters were injured. The home was heavily damaged. The cause of the fire has not been determined. Neighbors were grateful for the CHP officers who arrived on the scene. "They did a great job, fast, good, very good," witness Sam Volchauck said.

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Rats found in Hoarded Apartment

Rats found in Hoarded Apartment

WEST PALM BEACH (CBS12) - The problem of hoarding came into focus in a neighborhood near West Palm Beach on Wednesday.

Frank Buttaravoli's company, Hello Junk Removal, got a call about a man whose condo was filled with packaged food. The owner had placed cans at the base of piles of boxed and bagged staples, filling the man's living room, dining room and bedroom.

About an hour into the job of hauling away the thousands of packages, rodent sounds could be heard in the apartment.

Eventually worker Rafael Sinkal found what appeared to be a nest of rats, and the animals went scurrying in every direction.

"I have not in any hoarder situation seen rats running around like children on a playground," said Buttaravoli.

Unfortunately neighbors were already aware of the rodent problem.

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Washington DC 2-Alarm Fire with Heavy Content Challenges

Washington DC 2-Alarm Fire with Heavy Content Challenges

News article courtesy of Maryland Fire News 

Read more Here 

Date: January 20th, 2015
Time: 09:20 hours
City: Northeast
County: Washington DC
Address: 1100blk Oates Street Northeast
Type: 2nd Alarm Apartment Fire

Details:

Companies were dispatched for the reported apartment fire.  Engine Company 3 arrived with fire showing from a 2 story apartment building.  Battalion Chief 2 arrived establishing command.  Interior crews reported heavy fire in an apartment on the first floor with hoarding conditions.  Engine Company 8 advanced a line to the floor above.  Companies on the 2nd floor were met with heavy fire conditions and holes in the floor.  Command requested the 2nd Alarm as interior crews were getting a knock on the fire.

The bulk of the fire was knocked down in 20 minutes with all searches coming up with negative results.  Command held Engines 3, 8 and 16, Truck 15 and 2 approx 40 minutes into the incident.

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Derbyshire Firefighters raise awareness of Hoarding

FIREFIGHTERS in Derbyshire have held a seminar to raise awareness of the extent and impact of hoarding.

Compulsive hoarding is a debilitating psychological condition that is only just being recognised and one that can lead to issues regarding the health, wellbeing and fire safety of everyone in a hoarding home. It can also present significant risks to the community, firefighters and other agencies.

 

Last month 58 delegates from a wide variety of agencies from across Derbyshire representing; housing, environmental health, Age UK, care coordinators, the police and prevention and inclusion officers from the fire service came together at a multi-agency hoarding seminar hosted by Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service.

There are approximately 50 hoarders known to the fire service in Derbyshire. It is anticipated that by working together and pooling knowledge with other services that this number will rise significantly.

 

Speaking on behalf of service, area manager Steve McLernon said: "By sharing information and best practice we can work together to help and protect not only those that are affected by hoarding, but also those that may have to come into contact with a hoarder or their home."  

Read More Here

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Hoarder Near Miss in Baltimore City

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 Baltimore City Near Miss Hoarder Fire 

 

Incident Information from MDfirenews.com

Date: January 8th, 2015
Time: 14:00 hours
City: Box 14-6
County: Baltimore City
Address: 500blk S Monroe Street
Type: Dwelling Fire

 

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Raw Video Hoarding Apt. Fire Maryland



Great footage from Statter911.com of a three alarm fire in PG county Maryland that was complicated by Hoarding Conditions.  This is a great reminder that Heavy Content conditions can be found in any occupancy.  It is common to find these conditions in multi-family dwellings.  The case study from 200 Wellesly Ave in Toronto is a HUGE reminder of Hoarding in a High Rise occupancy.
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Heavy Content: Not limited to Residential Homes

News from WKTLA.com Eight firefighters were injured while battling a blaze at a Venice storage facility, which took over 14 hours to knockdown, fire department officials said Sunday. Over 200 firefighters had worked to extinguish a fire at the Extra Space Storage facility located in the 600 block of Venice Boulevard (map), which broke out around 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
 
Of seven firefighters injured, five were treated for heat exhaustion, one sustained small burns and another had a back injury. Three were hospitalized and were “doing well,” Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Joseph Castro said. Read more Here 
 
 

News Coverage of the Fire from KTLA


 
 
 
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Hoarding Fire New Jersey





A firefighter was injured in a two-alarm fire Tuesday at a condo complex in Dunellen, New Jersey.

The blaze began at about 11 a.m. on Pulaski Street near the intersection of South Avenue.

One firefigher suffered smoke inhalation and was taken away by ambulance. He is in stable condition at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital.

Firefighters had a tough time battling the fire because in the apartment where the fire started, it was a case of what some are describing as hoarding conditions.

It was so difficult getting into the apartment that firefighters had to fight it from the outside.



Read More Here
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Hoarding discovery on Medical Response



 


Chamber of Hoarders 


In the above news video the exposure dangers to all first responder agencies is highlighted. During the clip you will notice fire, police, and EMS agencies all responded to this call for service. The news explains the initial call for service as being a respiratory distress call that evolved into a HazMat situation, due to the suspected Meth Lab inside.  



This is a great example of the exposure potential to all first responder agencies. Let’s take a look as some learning points from this news clip:



EMS: Many EMS agencies do not carry the needed equipment needed to protect their responders from the airborne dangers of hoarding, managing the collapse risk, and facilitate a safe removal.  the need for additional resources should be made immediately. 


Police:Our brothers and sisters in blue often do not receive the awareness training when faced with hoarding conditions.  When education is taking place adding them into the classes should be mandatory. Often they will respond for a well being check and, without understanding the danger, enter a environment that is hazardous. 


Fire:  In the news clip the firefighters take the appropriate actions by wearing their SCBA and turnout gear while investigating the apartment.  While this may not be required on all hoarding calls it should be considered if faced with multiple animals and homes filled with fecal matter or urine.  


Take away 


The most important take away from this short news clip is the need to start identifying these conditions in our areas. Starting a unified approach to hoarding is the “best practice” to ensure all cases are identified and shared with every agency. 


Using building inspectors, building managers, and utility workers is a great way to gain access to building that first responders usually do not have access to. Reach out to these agencies and explain the dangers of hoarding and being the mutual working agreement to help combat this problem.


 

 

 
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Dolton Illinois Hoarder Fire Video

7-16-14@ 2:40am

 Hoarder Fire from Dolton IL

Hoarder Fire from Dolton IL

 



 

 

 

Dolton,Illinois Still & Box House Fire 14641 Lincoln Avenue


Good morning from the ChamberofHoarders.com,

We would like to thank you for visiting our new, redesigned, site.  Look for new content added weekly!

Today's video comes from Dolton Illinois.  This video is a great example of the challenges faced by first arriving crews that encounter a Heavy Content Environment. Listen in as these firefighters make some key decisions of attacking this fire:

Challenges include:

    • Privacy Fences

    • Cluttered exterior

    • Blocked Entrances

    • Limited water supply (initially)

    • Heavier workload on firefighters


While watching this great video put yourself in the shoes of these firefighters as they Identify, Adjust, then attack this fire.

 



Make sure to sign up for our email list to learn more about fighting fires in Hoarding conditions!
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Firefighter Shocked in Hoarder Fire

 

Hoarder Fire Bob Donaldson / Post-Gazette


By Molly Born / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Firefighters crawled over piles of books, newspapers and other items Tuesday morning while trying to put out heavy flames in a vacant house in Homestead.

Allegheny County assessment records show the house belonged to Margaret Mary Vojtko, the former Duquesne University adjunct professor of French whose death in September sparked a debate about the workloads and pay of adjuncts at U.S. universities.

A West Homestead firefighter was injured helping battle the blaze at 1110 Sylvan Ave. Homestead Deputy Fire Chief Ron Kalupson said the firefighter, whose name was not released, was taken to UPMC Mercy for observation after he received an electric shock while extending a hose.

The house, while unoccupied, still had electrical power, the deputy chief said.

Firefighters had to crawl over a lot of “debris” to extinguish flames coming from the second floor of the two-story brick home, the deputy chief said.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/south/2014/03/25/Firefighter-hurt-in-West-Homestead-blaze/stories/201403250176#ixzz2x55PoQ7L

 

News Video Coverage Found Here

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Hoarder Fire in Endicott NY



Endicott, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Several fire departments responded to a second alarm house fire Tuesday morning.

The call came around 8:40 a.m. of reports of a house fire at 113 Roosevelt Ave.

Read more Here 
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Podcast about Hoarder Fires

Guest Podcast Recorded with the folks from Firefighter Toolbox.  Listen in as David J Soler interviews Ryan Pennington on tips for fighting Hoarder Fires:

Show Notes:

Firefighter Toolbox.com


Hoarding has been becoming a growing concern in our communities.  How does this affect us  firefighters?  What does it matter?

Well, on this episode, I talk with Ryan Pennington, who has done a ton of research on the subject, and he tells us all about hoarding and how it affects us as firefighters and what we really need to know.  So many issues arise from hoarder fires and our tactics need to be adjusted because of the different dangers.  Get educated on them so you or your crews don’t get hurt.  This is something that can happen in any district.

This and  more.

Listen in Here

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