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Industrial fire site

This fire in an industrial site with 15 companies covering about 10.000 m² required 100 fire fighters from 12 brigades together claiming 855 man hours to put out.

This fire in an industrial site with 15 companies covering about 10.000 m² required 100 fire fighters from 12 brigades together claiming 855 man hours to put out. The fire was deliberately lit and started in some cars parked at the rear of the building. There was a high fire load and a risk of losing the whole building had the fire been allowed to spread. In the end most of the building was left intact but with some smoke damage and the area destroyed by fire was limited to 2.900 m². It is estimated that about 100 million SEK (about 10 million €) was saved in this operation in the form of buildings and inventory.

The fire started in the middle of the night. When the first force arrived it had spread into the building through a set of large doors. The tactical approach was to prevent the fire from spreading further by using coldcut™ cobra cutting extinguishers from sky lifts against fire in the roof and for cooling down accumulated fire gases and by active positive pressure ventilation (PPV) to protect adjoining compartment inside the building. No BA attack is mounted as gas cylinders might be present and as the fire had already weakened the roof and structures inside. As more resources arrive on the scene the fire is still spreading both horizontally and vertically and hot fire gases are spreading into the other compartments. Three and a half hours into the operation, however, these measures are starting to have an effect and the fire is closed in on three sides. PPV is holding back the fire gases and the cutting extinguishers have been used to prevent the fire from spreading through the roofing material. It is important to keep up the work with the cutting extinguishers to cool down fire gases as they quickly build up again if given a chance.

By midday the situation is quite stable but the limitation lines are kept and the present staffing level is held up for yet a while. The PPV fans are still in use and are very efficient for pushing back smoke and gas. At this stage foam was also introduced on top of the affected part of the roof. The site is monitored for another 28 hours before the intervention is completed.

This was a complicated fire which required various strategic and tactical decisions and methods that had to be re-evaluated throughout the operation. There were no people inside the building and a risk assessment at the start of the intervention could not exclude the presence of gas cylinders. For these reasons indoor firefighting methods were initially excluded and safety for firefighting staff became an important factor in choosing the appropriate tools and methods. High pressure ventilation was deployed to prevent fire and fire gases from spreading into adjacent compartments. Cutting and extinguishing coldcut™ cobra were used to control the temperature and inert the accumulated fire gases in the fire room and adjacent compartments in order to prevent ignition and the fire from spreading. Limitation boundaries were also secured by using coldcut™ cobra from a safe position on unaffected parts of the roof or from sky lifts. IR technology was used throughout for decision support for both high pressure ventilation and coldcut™ cobra management. Firefighters on the scene could early in the intervention conclude that the choice of tactics, methods and tools was appropriate as damage to both building structures and inventory was limited to only a part of the building.

Industrial fire site