Firefighter Stories

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Firefighter58

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PALS
Diagnosis
05/2014
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CA
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Oakville
RITCHEY CRES. PUMPER 102

At about 2am in about 1970 or 71on a very cold January night we recieved a call for a reported house fire on Ritchey Cres. Before our arrival we could smell smoke that is usually an indication that you do have a fire, the old Lakeview homes that were built pre second world war were usually insulated with straw and news paper so they produced a lot of smoke and heat this one would be no exception.

In about this time Joe Miller the Fire Chief introduced our first rescue squads but because of the cost of insurance they were called a Pumper/Squad you could not use the word rescue. the Pumper/Squad arrived shortly after us so it turned out that myself and Chuck Chaplin would be making entery together, an entery the niether one of us would ever forget. We entered with an inch and one half hose line to fight the fire, no rescue as all the family members were waiting on the street on our arrival.

A backdraft is an explosion that uses the products of combustion for fuel this happened about ten feet inside the door, we did not hear the bang that everyone outside heard, our feet left the floor and we were thrust (for lack of a better word) out the door and over the railing that surrounded a small porch at the side door that we had entered. Both Chuck and I were fine so we decited to try again. This time it was harder then the first time as the front picture window was blow out during the backdraft and another crew had put a hose line in the front window, not only is it very bad fire fighting it is very dangerous for the crew inside. When Chuck and I seen this we'd had enough, time to go outside and give a crew a lesson in basic Firefighting we informed them of the error in thier ways and told them, next time they could come inside with us because that is where we will be. You can not fight a fire from outside, that is called surround and drowned or in teck. Terms a defensive attract, not done with men inside.
This fire resulted in no injuries or deaths except for a pet dog we found upstairs. I believe that the house was rebuilt and may still be there. I think it was the last house or maybe the second last house from the east end of the street on the South side.
As Chick Cyr our Driver/Pump Operator would say ( it was so cold the snow squeeked when you walked on it and your nose holes stuck together.)
 
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swalker

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Dec 11, 2014
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07/2014
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CO
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Vail
Thanks for posting these stories. I love hearing about interesting experiences folks had pre diagnosis.

Steve
 
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