03/03/09 206 W, 2 I - + 18 - 14 This Morning's Fire / Branch Road

Several departments worked a large house fire at 2400 Branch Road in eastern Wake County this morning. Flames were reported showing by an off-duty firefighter. Eastern Wake Car 1 en route requested an additional tanker, due to the heavy smoke column. Raleigh Engine 26 was first on scene at a fully-involved, two-story, wood-frame structure with 4,221 square-feet. Built 1986, located down a long driveway, and with an ice hazards due to low temperatures. More tankers were requested by command. An aerial stream was utilized from Raleigh Ladder 26. Water was shuttled and hand lines operated. Alarm time 7:40 p.m. The first wave of fire units on scene included Eastern Wake P1, P2, P4, Tanker 3, R11, Brush 7, Car 1, Raleigh E26, L26, Battalion 2, Garner E5, Tanker 7, Tanker 12; New Hope Tanker 11, Tanker 12, Wendell Tanker 117, tankers/pumper tankers from Archer Lodge and Clayton, and WC1. Crews remained on scene through the day. This WRAL story notes that the house is on a farm that used as a horse-boarding facility, and it's a historic homestead site that includes a Civil War battlefield. This image is from extended aerial footage aired aired during the incident, and is followed by a Wake County real estate record photo:

WRAL Photo

Wake County Photo

Family of the founders of Branch Bank & Trust. (BB&T)
J.S. - 03/03/09 - 22:35

Ouch…beautiful house. Anyone know the cause?
Silver - 03/04/09 - 02:15

One dog found alive in the cinders, reports today’s News & Observer: http://www.newsobserver.com/print/wednes..
Legeros - 03/04/09 - 08:01

I’ve heard that the water supply was an issue. Any lessons learned that anyone wants to share?
Trying to Learn - 03/04/09 - 17:07

Deploy air tankers for fully involved 4,000 square-foot structures on icy mornings in the far corners of the county? But seriously folks, can enough water be brought before there’s too much fire?
Legeros - 03/04/09 - 20:34

I looked at the sky 5 footage on wral.com. Why did the fire burn all the way down to the BC corner and the garage without trying to be stopped? When the video starts there is roof left. If that was my house I would be mad at looking at the video. I know that there was a problem with water, but where were the drop tanks? And there was a pool in the backyard.
JR - 03/04/09 - 21:48

It may have been hard to get access to the pool for drafting. The sides of pools are typically not strong enough to support any weight close by. Drafting out of pools is a sketch move in most cases.
huh - 03/05/09 - 00:08

Wouldn’t multiple drop tanks and a LDH supply line down the drive way have created a more continuous water flow? As opposed to nursing with tankers to multiple different trucks. A tanker to a ladder doesn’t last but a minute or two? Just asking the question
Questions - 03/05/09 - 02:00

Some on scene FF’s have reported that the fire could’ve possibly been brought under control early on if they hadn’t ran out of water. So, yes, in some cases enough water can be brought and possibly keep it from being too much fire. ‘What if’ is always a big question, but that’s how we learn and become better at what we do.
Learning - 03/05/09 - 08:15

There are also 2 ponds close by
T.W. - 03/05/09 - 11:24

Were dump tanks used or was this strictly a tanker nurse?
Dump Tanks - 03/05/09 - 13:21

No drop tanks used. IC denied request for ldh and drop tanks.
wcff - 03/05/09 - 13:27

I agree, the drop tanks would have been a wise move, especially with a 1 lane drive way. I watched this from Sky5 video as well, and didnt see much water flowing (coincides with radio traffic). The fire streams I did see were nice little 1.5” and maybe 1.75” lines that were innefective. BIG FIRE=BIG WATER PEOPLE!!!
J.Boggs - 03/05/09 - 15:41

wcff, any idea why IC denied a request for water? Just curious what the justification would be. Rural fires are almost a struggle because of water supply.
YFD456 - 03/06/09 - 11:55

no idea. heard it on the radio.
wcff - 03/06/09 - 18:11

How about we leave the details of the fire to those who were actually there! I think that is why so many people on here get defensive when people that weren’t there start to assume and spectulate what happened and what should have happened.
John McAdams - 03/07/09 - 07:31

John, were you there? If so, just curious as to the details of why the nurse tanker method was used? I am in a rural area also and we do it both ways depending on the situation. Just trying to glean from others experience if possible.
YFD456 - 03/07/09 - 11:01

I don’t think anybody is MMQB or placing any blame, just curious to why this tactic was used verses other common tactics.
Rides An Engine - 03/07/09 - 13:58

When the use of drop tanks was denied, command stated that the fire was in mop up. However that was only 30 or so minutes into the incident. By the sky 5 coverage there was still extensive fire. Not placing blame just stating what was transmitted over the radio.
fire guy (Email) - 03/07/09 - 20:10

wouldn’t the pool have been drained for the winter and bombed with chlorine to winterize? don’t know – never had a pool – but what really stands out in my mind and disturbs me the most is the limited accessibility – i keep looking at the picture and seeing a narrow one lane road that’s fenced in – speaking of accessibility, anyone try driving through bedford at falls river at night near the clock tower and in the vicinity? give it a try – a huge grass center divider and road as narrow a a toothpick once someone parks on the side, all in the name of "neighborliness" – give me a break – safety comes first!!
cornerhydrant - 03/07/09 - 21:41

It wouldn’t be drained too much. A mixture of winter chlorine, winter alkalizer, and winter powder will insure that your pool stays clean over the winter and is ready for use in the late spring when the warmer weather arrives. Essentially, these chemicals will put extremely high levels of chlorine, alkaline, and algaecide in the water to prepare for the winter months ahead.
Just A Eye - 03/08/09 - 00:53

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