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St. George Hotel Fire Report
1995

EXPOSURES

The fire brand problem was multiplied as the floors of the Clark Building collapsed. Flaming brands found their way into the open or failed windows of apartments and landed on the rooftops of surrounding buildings. Exposed apartments had to be checked and rechecked to ensure that the contents did not ignite. Two companies and a Battalion Chief were assigned as a “Brand Patrol Group” for the rest of the neighborhood.

Two apartments at 60 Pineapple Street were found in flames and were extinguished. After a search and evacuation of residents was accomplished, additional hose lines were operated from the roof of this building into the rear of the Clark and Marquee Buildings.

Hose lines were also operated from the roof and from all floors of the Weller building into the Marquee Building on the Exposure 4 side. The fire doors between the two buildings held until the firefighters could evacuate the Weller Building and get their lines in place to attack the fire.

A tower ladder was set up in the street in front of 60 Pineapple and operated over the rooftop into the fire building. Three additional tower ladders operated into the front of the Clark Building to extinguish the fire. The collapse zone was maintained and fortunately the fire building did not collapse significantly outside its footprint.

CONTROL

As the danger from the fire decreased, the residents of Exposure 1 at 52 Clark Street were removed to safety. This building suffered only slight water damage from the hose lines that were used to protect it from the radiant heat.

The masonry bearing walls were all that remained of the original fire building. Virtually all combustible materials had been consumed. Residents of many of the surrounding buildings were not allowed back into their apartments until the walls were
demolished due to the collapse danger. Fire companies remained on the scene for several days putting out spot fires.


SPECIALIZED UNITS

Communications

The communication requirements for this Incident were a major challenge. The FDNY made extensive use of portable radios or handi-talkies (HT’s) to coordinate tactical operations on the fireground. The HT’s are distributed as follows:

2 HT’s for each Deputy Chief and Battalion Chief
3 or 4 HT’s for each Ladder Company
At least 2 HT’s for each Engine, Squad or Rescue Company


At most multiple alarm incidents, the command officers use a Command Channel, while companies use a Tactical Channel. Battalion and Deputy Chiefs monitor and communicate on the Command Channel while their aides monitor the Tactical Channel.

The Field Communication Unit (Field Com) responded automatically on the second alarm. Battalion Chief 32 was assigned as communications coordinator at 4:25 a.m. with a listing of all units assigned to the incident up to that point in time.

The Communications Coordinator ensures that all of the units already on the scene are on the proper Tactical and Command channels, then monitors the Tactical channel for urgent transmissions.

The size of this incident required both of the tactical channels available in this area of the city. One tactical channel was used for the Clark Street Branch and the other for the Pineapple Street Branch. Only one Command Frequency is available in this area of Brooklyn, a second would have been useful if it had been available.

The Communications Coordinator remains in close contact with the Incident Commander and maintains a status board which keeps record of the Branch and Sector assignments, the units operating in each area and the companies that are available in the staging area. The Command Control Chart is maintained at the Command Post in a graphic format for easy reference.

The Computer Assisted Dispatch Operations (CADO) Unit also responds on the second alarm and reports to the Communications Coordinator.

Water Supply


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