Newark, OH Working : First Due Chief at Working Fire


Video and report of occupant possibly inside at this house fire



The video below is from a Newark, Ohio house fire on 28 February at 0029 hours, by David Decker.

February 28, 2015, at 0029 hours Newark Fire Department responded to a report of structure fire at 263 Boyleston Avenue. While responding the dispatcher advised they had received multiple calls reporting fire showing. An off duty fire chief from a neighboring department arrived early and was able to conduct a 360 of the building and provide information regarding the extent of the fire and hazards found.

NFD responded with 3 engines, 2 ladders, 2 medics and 1 chief officer with a total staff of 19 firefighters.

This is house is located on a very narrow street, with cars parked on both sides. This makes apparatus placement even more critical. Very low temperatures (-2 degrees) hampered the fire attack. The home was unoccupied and had a large amount of items stored in it, including two rooms that had stacks of tires in them. This slowed the advance into the structure and also hampered extinguishment of the fire. Additionally, power lines had burned off of the back of the house and was laying in the yard. Unfortunately two firefighters were injured during this fire. Thankfully both were minor in nature, however it serves as a reminder of the dangers of the job.

Special thanks to the members of 1-Unit at Newark Fire Department for their outstanding professionalism.

Take the video, audio and images and consider how YOUR department would operate.

Photos below show approximate hydrant location and structure appearance



The initial alarm assignment was two engine companies, two ladder companies, one rescue company, two medic units and a battalion chief. What is YOUR initial assignment? What is YOUR staffing? This incident received multiple calls of fire showing. Does that lead to an automatic alarm upgrade or does your first-due officer or assigned chief officer make a special request?


Turning off of the cross-street you approach from the Delta or Exposure 4 side,

“Battalion 1, I have one report that there’s an elderly gentleman that lives inside,”


Your view on Side Alpha, with the report of someone “who lives inside”. Not a super revelation; it’s a residential structure after midnight. Expect Occupants.

Does YOUR department operate with standard operating procedures or do your companies operate off the incident commander’s directions? Given YOUR staffing and assignment, what would be realistic expectations for the first arriving company? In this example, mutual aid companies are being alerted. If you operate with mutual aid companies, what will be their average response time to YOU area and what amount of staffing do YOU expect?


First hoseline is being stretched. Let’s assume the engine, saving room for the ladder company coming in from the opposite direction, is one, maybe two houses down. How many lengths due YOU estimate you will need?


Hoseline is charged as nozzle team prepares for entry. A request is made for the second hoseline to operate as protection for the south (left) exposure. Where would YOUR second line go?


First ladder company is on the scene. We also have a second report of a possible occupant inside, maybe. What is expected of YOUR ladder company (or company operating as such) given the conditions you see?


Water on the fire. A third company has arrived and is asking for an assignment. What would happen on YOUR fireground?


Two hoselines operating, the primary search and horizontal ventilation are in progress. What benchmarks are sought at around this time on the scene in YOUR fire department? Who is your rapid intervention company?

If a third line is needed, how many lengths do you estimate?

What do you notice about the fire conditions, actions so far and how it would be in YOUR department?


Change in strategy. The incident commander (center of image) orders companies to withdraw from the structure What can you assume led him to make that decision? How would such direction be done on YOUR fireground? Notice that your view of command has now gone mobile (you left the buggy). Should that be a concern?

15 Minutes


What are YOUR progress report times? 10 minutes? 15? 20?

Companies have been withdrawn and accounted for. What would be YOUR progress report?

The entire video below. Note this is not about Newark; they fought their fire.

What would YOUR department do?

“Two Newark firefighters hurt battling house fire” Newark Advocate

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BioPicBill Carey is the online public safety news and blog manager with PennWell Public Safety, or more specifically FireRescue Magazine/,, and Bill started in the fire service, as a third generation firefighter in 1986, on the eastern shore of Maryland and then continued after moving to Prince George’s County. He served as a volunteer sergeant and lieutenant at Hyattsville. Bill’s writing has been on, Fire Engineering, FireRescue Magazine,, the Jones and Bartlett 2010 edition of “Fire Officer: Principles and Practice”, The Secret List and His recent writing on firefighter behavioral health has been nominated for 2014 Neal Award for Best Subject-Related Series.

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