Fire in student accommodation

Sep 21, 2021 | Operational Incidents

Cobra multi-method use | Fire in student accommodation

Halmstad, Sweden, April 2021

Emergency services were called to a fire in student accommodation where a severely injured man was found outside with stab wounds.

Searching the property was the main aim of the fire service, as several residents were reported missing. When the search was completed, it was decided that the building should be allowed to burn as the fire had developed so much it would not be possible to save it.

The plan now was to stop fire spread to adjacent buildings. Halmstad are experienced Cobra users, and they optimised their capabilities by using three different methods.

  1. To create a water-mist curtain between the buildings, which were approximately 1 metre apart.
  2. During the most intense period, a second lance was used into the burning building to dampen the flames and reduce radiated heat.
  3. Firefighters noticed a small area of the wood panelling had started to burn with the possibility of fire spread into the adjacent building. Cobra was used with short pulses to penetrate the outer wall in several places to ensure that the fire did not spread further.

The lance and hose were easy to work with and moving position of attack and changing method was quickly achieved.

The building to the left is burning. The fire service in Halmstad wanted to protect the building to the right.

The results of using Cobra to protect the adjacent building can be seen below. The arrows indicate the positions of the different methods used.

According to a spokesman from the Halmstad fire service, Cobra was critical in saving the white building.

Blue arrow – Water mist between the buildings.

Red arrow – Dampen the flames in the burning building to reduce radiated heat.

Green arrow – Prevent fire spread in the wooden cladding.

Benefits of using Cobra at this incident

  1. Huge financial savings – the two-storey house had very little damage. Small amounts of damage to the wall facing the fire and minimal smell of smoke inside.
  2. Environmental – result achieved with only 60 litres of water per minute per Cobra.
  3. Less impact on local resources – many of the students were able to remain in the accommodation, and they moved back in 2 days after the fire.