Positive Pressure Ventilation


November 19, 2004. Cottonwood, Arizona. A training fire goes wrong when forced air ventilation is applied to the structure during suppression activities. Video from The Bravest Online. Click on the link above and watch the video.

We do not have many details on the fuel load or the location of the fire, we can watch it progress through the changes in the smoke.

01:06 they send three firefighters into the structure with a charged hose line. The smoke appears brown and grey, with a little bit of force pushing it out the entry door.

01:33 we can see just off to the right of the screen, some one opens a hose line on the exterior of the structure (side delta). I imagine the ignition room is on the C/D corner, but I cannot be certain. If the stream of water is entering to room, this will effectively push the heat, smoke and fire towards the crew advancing from the front.

01:54 We see the smoke become darker and it’s volume appears to have increased. This usually means there is more particulate in the smoke and the fire is growing.

02:20 Firefighters on the exterior place the PPV blower on the porch. The smoke is now dark grey and is billowing out of the structure. The crew on side delta has been continuously spraying water in to the room on side C/D.

02:25 The PPV blower is started. Immediately we see the dark grey smoke pour out of the door where the suppression team entered. First indication that the PPV blower is not covering the entire opening of the doorway.

02:31 The structure flashes over, with two firefighters inside.

02:35 The ventilation team stops the PPV blower and removes it from the porch.

02:41 the evacuation sirens are sounded.

So, what went wrong?

I’ll post my thoughts in the next post.



About Joel

I am a paramedic, firefighter and I work for an organ procurement organization. All stories related to work have been altered to HIPPA standards and for the protection of those involved. The personal stories are different. Photography, flying, aviation, hiking, camping, travel, geocaching, amateur radio are a few of my hobbies.
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