03/01/09 111 W, 1 I - + 17 - 18 This Morning's Fire / Kaplan Drive

Working fire at 4220 Kaplan Drive. Engine 20 arriving with smoke showing at a two-story, wood-frame apartment building. Battalion 3 in command. Smoke then fire venting from roof area. Ladder 20 positioned and supplied from hydrant. Two additional engines requested. Interior attack, which controlled fire in attic area. Alarm time 10:16 a.m. Controlled by 10:37 p.m. Fire walls helped contain spread. Nine people displaced. Units included Engine 20, Engine 8, Engine 5, Engine 14, Engine 13, Engine 1, Ladder 20, Rescue 14, Battalion 3, Battalion 2, Battalion 1, SR 2 as air unit, Car 20, Car 5, Car 2, EMS 1, EMS 11, EMS 42, District 1, District 2, Medic 91, Medic 95, Truck 1. "A" shift. Pics from Legeros coming have been posted.

Don’t forget Medic 95. You walked right past me.
DJ (Email) - 03/01/09 - 13:42

D’oh! Corrected.
Legeros - 03/01/09 - 13:43

s’right. You know, you do look funny with that red umbrella and the lime yellow coat.
DJ - 03/01/09 - 13:49

Dry and visible.
Legeros - 03/01/09 - 13:52

This just in, rain helped firefighters control this blaze: http://www.wral.com/news/news_briefs/sto..
Legeros - 03/01/09 - 19:07

That’s too funny. I Guess the roof and shingles were not doing their jobs.
gen3fire - 03/01/09 - 22:24

And to think we wasted all that money on fire trucks.
DJ (Email) - 03/01/09 - 23:11

Could the ladder company be any further away? I thought the ladders in Raleigh were ordered to take Side A? And Side A being immediately in front, not a block away. By the pics, the ladder is pretty useless where it’s sitting…anyone agree?
Hk&Ldr - 03/03/09 - 15:19

I disagree, it looks to me like the ladder was placed in the best position. If the ladder had positioned in the parking lot, they would have been too close to the building. Considering the access to the building, it looks like they are in position to go defensive if need be and are out of the collapse zone.
JB - 03/03/09 - 16:15

May be one of those “hard to say if you werent there” but I had the same thought watching the wral video of the big fire today, L26 was pretty far away from the building (not so far that the aerial wasnt able to hit the fire, but it was a pretty long arc).
raleighres - 03/03/09 - 16:51

If we’re talking collapse zones, then what about the 4 engine companies that are all parked closer than the ladder?
Hk&Ldr - 03/03/09 - 17:18

The ladder was placed ahead of the fire to stop the potential spread. Cut it off if it started running. Looking ahead. Good idea. Also In order to be in a “better” (arguable) position, it would have had to back into place and would have made laying a line, that was further down the road (not pictured) more difficult as there were cars in the parking lot as well. All in all, I think it was the best position given the potential and circumstances. 20 made a GREAT attack on that building as well. Good Engine work, truck work and all around teamwork. My two cents.
KOM - 03/03/09 - 17:26

Most of us know, unfortunately, that there hasn’t been a focus on truck ops in this area. It’s a very “engine based” area until the past maybe 5 years or so. Wake County is slowly seeing the need for more of a focus on truck ops and ladder placement, and please don’t “collapse zone” this fire to death. Yes, I recognize the need to be aware of a collapse zone. But, you also have to have proper apparatus placement and put the fire out. Exactly what the crews from the west side did; aggressive interior attack, without the help from the rain!! Good job, good save…

Take a look at previous pics of fires, even single family gigs. Engine companies stopping short, or right in front; all I ask is “remember the ladder please, we’re coming”. People are becoming more and more aware of placement, but it’s still lacking. RIT, park far away; safety engine, park even further; Rescue, find a driveway, sidewalk or whatever. Leave some space for us, we do more than just fans and mops these days; it’ll get even more interesting if they add a second ladder on all fires. Where ya’ at Burton?

Stay safe…
Silver - 03/03/09 - 17:47

When E-20 arrived there were cars in the parking spaces and lined up on the left hand side of the drive (just enough room for the Engine to park). Engine was placed half way down the building (retrospect I probably should have pulled down a little further or even better on Kaplan)but I felt like they were going to get a quick handle on the fire)but i also parked directly across from a hydrant. 3 man Engine that day, 2in. pulled and used 1/4 tank of water (in a hurry). Heavy flow knocked down the fire quickly, we kept the roof on and the Rain out. Ladder 20 would have had no room to put the outriggers out on their arrival. The cars were moved shortly before E-8 layed the line in. Worked out great, but always learn something at any fire.
gen3fire - 03/03/09 - 21:03

Interesting topic and some perspectives on this fire and apparatus placement. Since Brother Silver called on me and while I was not there and can only form my thoughts on the available pictures, I will try to add some food for thought… Gen3fire (driver of E-20, I’m guessing from your post) I say that your placement of your engine was good, you left room for the ladder without thinking of it really (according to your words of parking across from a hydrant) not sure why you didn’t handle your own water supply but that’s no so important. I’m not so sure when L-20 arrived, but if it was in front of E-8, THERE IS NO EXCUSE for not taking the front of the building, in my opinion. If L-20 got there after E-8, there is no excuse for not leaving room for the ladder to get the front of the building. A ladder truck is MORE THAN AN AERIAL DEVICE guys, it should be your biggest toolbox on the fire scene. Therefore, you should leave a parking space for the toolbox so that it can be used. I’m sorry, I don’t buy the collapse zone thing on the placement of the ladder for this incident. Like Silver said, this area has been an “Engine Based” area for way too long, but with an influx of people from outside the bubble of Raleigh/Wake County coming here and making a push for COMPANY based operations on fires, there has been a noticable improvement in ladder/truck company operations. But believe me there needs to be alot more! The one big thing that seems to be the slowest to catch on around here is vertical ventilation! Are people scared to get on a roof or what? We are all taught in recruit school/firefighter I/II that heat and smoke GO UP first, THEN mushroom back down! Yet, one still rarely sees or hears about crews performing aggressive vertical ventilation. The biggest excuse I hear is not wanting to do extra damage to the property, well I ask this….WHAT ABOUT THE EXTRA DAMAGE TO THE PERSONNEL? Actually, putting a hole in the roof saves property in most cases. Why one may ask…it localizes the fire, therefore causing less FIRE damage! Either way, I could go on all night about how ladders/trucks are misused in this area, but I’ve spoke long enough about it for now. Bottom line the fire went out, no one got hurt, so it was a great job done by the guys that were there!
Stay safe out there guys! And remember….LEAVE ROOM FOR THE TOOLBOX cause it’s a bitch to have to carry all of the tools from a block or blocks away!
Wayne - 03/03/09 - 21:53

From Gen 3’s comments:

In response to:“THERE IS NO EXCUSE for not taking the front of the building, in my opinion”

“there were cars in the parking spaces and lined up on the left hand side of the drive (just enough room for the Engine to park).”


“Ladder 20 would have had no room to put the outriggers out on their arrival.”
KOM - 03/03/09 - 22:07

Just because the outriggers don’t go down, doesn’t mean you can’t USE the toolbox. If the cars were moved, then it would have been no big deal to put them out after. As far as the cars in the spaces, you can always short jack! Speaking as someone who has rode in every seat of a ladder company in a much more urban area with vehicles, tight streets and alleyways, it can be done. I AM IN NO WAY Monday morning quarterbacking this fire or the great job done by the guys. But, as we all know, using pictures like these we can all learn ways to perhaps improve on our operations at fires through healthy discussions (even heated sometimes) like this one started by Hk&Ldr. Although I may be assigned to an engine company right now, I will ALWAYS be a ladder/truck man at heart till the day I die and I ALWAYS preach to my guys…LEAVE ROOM FOR THE LADDER!
Stay safe guys!
Wayne - 03/04/09 - 05:17

One last thing, look at some pictures of Boston FD and their ladder placement on calls. There are pictures of them putting 7 aerials up and operating in 1 alley!
Wayne - 03/04/09 - 05:20

“I AM IN NO WAY Monday morning quarterbacking”.

Yes you are. Pictures are a great resource but doesn’t always give the whole story.

“not sure why you didnít handle your own water supply”
3-man Engine with a hydrant 75ft. away across 2 lanes of traffic.
I also enjoyed my time on the ladder and have shared some of the frustrations but i also understand that somtimes things (especially on the fire scene) dont go exactly as a perfect plan.
The amount of area that our ladders have to cover often make them on of the last units on scene, not to mention if the first due ladder in on another call. But unless the city just all of a sudden finds the money to fund 8 more ladders and the money to refurb all the stations (in this economy) that can’t fit them we will be an Engine based department, but we are moving in the right direction.

L-20 was roughly 25ft. away from E-20.

E-20 happened to be 3 blocks away clearing from a medical call. In between trying to help pull hose and get water and trying to get people to move their cars Batt. 3 arrived and advised where to place Ladder which arrived about the same time as Batt 3.
gen3fire - 03/04/09 - 08:14


I am sorry you feel that I am Monday morning quarterbacking this call. I do not feel that I am, I was only sharing my opinions on placement, which I even said came from the pictures. I never questioned the strategy or tactics of this fire, which to me would be Monday morning quarterbacking, therefore I apologize if you took offense. My comment about the engine getting its on water supply was just a thought. My engine is always a 3 person engine company, but my Lt. and back up driver have both been taught that if there is a hydrant within 150’ they hand jack the 5” to the hydrant and we have trained/drilled on it extensively. I agree that more ladders are definately needed in Raleigh and around Wake Co for them to be the MOST efficient but I think we are going to have to just agree to disagree about placement of them on scenes and to the use “engine based” operations. It shouldn’t matter when the ladder gets there, it still needs the place/space to do its jobs.
Stay safe
Wayne - 03/04/09 - 09:47

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