St. George Hotel Fire Report
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
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
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
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
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.
The communication requirements for this Incident were a major
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
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
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
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
second alarm and reports to the Communications Coordinator.
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