101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Friday, November 7

...for the working fire...


Well alright an initial report of a 10-75 can only mean we have an experienced set of eyes on this fire and they confirm it is a working job.

THE EMERGENCY
The call comes in with report of smoke in a hallway, alarms activated, building being evacuated. It's a medium sized unit for the area, maybe 10-15 apartments. First engine reports smoke from the second floor, building being evacuated. Ladder companies arrive and have access to the roof where some confused occupants have sought shelter. We arrive as the glorious, always brave heroes of The Truck are removing them via ladder to shouts from across the street.

THE ACTION
Up the entry stairs, over the first 2 attack lines to the second floor where there is a familiar smell, but hard to place. The search team has forcibly opened a few doors on this level (likely unlocked) and nothing looks burned, smoky or anything resembling a fire. We note the empty fire extinguisher in the stairwell and assume it was to attack a growing fire and the occupants dropped it as they ran.
5 minutes in and we've found no smoke, no fire, no scorched kitchen, not even a warm candle and there is one door left to open. As we discuss options (different techniques are used on each door for training purposes) the door opens to what looks like the left overs of quite the college party. Droopy eyelids and college sweatshirts are mingling and we see why we're here.
The dry chemical extinguisher has been discharged at the front door, spraying a clear delta pattern on the floor and the apartment is full of a heavy cloud of acrid chemical.
Pranksters, likely rejected or removed from the party, grabbed the extinguisher from the wall, held it down near the door thresh hold and discharged it. Not expecting the bulk of the chemical to come back at them, they likely fled, confused and dropped the extinguisher where we noted it. The chemical cloud was thick enough to set off the alarms and our colleague who phoned in the working job got to keep the extinguisher.
Suspects are still at large.

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