This weekend's structure fire call in the City of Manassas (Box: 8133) was a perfect example of how quickly fire can spread. Initial units from Company One arrived shortly after being dispatched and found heavy fire showing from the rear of two townhouses, with flames through the roof and side of the end-unit townhouse.
The first few minutes of any response usually sets the tone for the rest of the incident. In this case, the first units to arrive made a quick and aggressive fire attack, which prevented further damage to these townhouses and saved the loss of more homes and possibly even lives. As the extent of the fire damage grew and became clearer, the Incident Commander ordered the emergency evacuation tones to be sounded by Prince William County Public Safety Communications Center dispatchers, which required firefighters to briefly evacuate and transition from interior firefighting to external firefighting efforts. After attacking the fire from the outside, firefighters re-entered the structure to finish extinguishing the fire.
Fire crews completed primary and secondary searches, controlled electricity and natural gas lines, used thermal imagers and specialized hooks to find fire hidden inside walls and other concealed spaces, and performed salvage and overhaul after the fire marshal began the fire investigation. Multiple fire departments performed a huge variety of challenging tasks in a highly coordinated manner. Thanks to everyone's hard work and years of dedicated training, no lives were lost and nobody was injured on this call.
Engine 501, Tower 501, Heavy Rescue Squad 501, Medic 501, and Battalion Chief 501.
Engine 505, 506, 507, 508, 509, 511, 516, and 525. Truck 511 and Tower 525. Heavy Rescue Squad 508. Battalion Chief 504, 582, 591, and 589. Medic 507, 508, and 509. MAU-525.
Side Charlie of the initial fire structure.
Truck 511 crew. From left to right: LT Ben Cochran (D/O), Mike Sheil (FF), Steve King (OIC), and Connor Schiro (FF).
FF Mike Sheil on side Delta of the initial fire structure.
Thankfully, initial arriving crews were able to quickly stop fire spreading to adjoining townhouses.