NEWS

House damaged, but no one hurt in Friday morning Winnipeg blaze

By Sam Thompson  Global News

Posted April 30, 2021 4:47 pm

A one-and-a-half-storey house on Church Street suffered significant water, smoke and fire damage after a Friday morning blaze, Winnipeg firefighters said.

Just before 10 a.m., the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) arrived at the house in the 400 block of Church, where crews encountered heavy smoke and flames.

With the help of an aerosol fire-suppression tool, the Flameguard X-Tinguish FST, fire crews were able to reduce temperatures so firefighters could get inside safely, and the fire was under control by 11:22.

There were no injuries in the incident, although the building was damaged and neighbouring houses also suffered heat damage.

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Normandale house fire

Damage pegged at $150,000

Author of the article: Monte Sonnenberg

Publishing date: Mar 31, 2021 

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James Robertson, assistant fire chief in Norfolk County, says the deployment of a fire-suppression "grenade" like this was instrumental in bringing a serious basement fire in Normandale under control in the early morning hours of Wednesday. The fire on Mole Side Road caused an estimated $150,000 damage and killed a family pet. – Monte Sonnenberg

NORMANDALE – An electrical malfunction has been cited in a fire in Normandale Wednesday that left a family pet dead.

The Norfolk County Fire Department reports the alarm was called in shortly after midnight. The occupants were able to evacuate with minor burns and smoke inhalation.

“Upon arrival, firefighters discovered a working basement fire,” assistant fire chief James Robertson said in a news release. “Firefighters were able to quickly bring the fire under control by utilizing a throwable fire ‘grenade’ before the fire spread to the main floor.”

In an interview, Robertson said the pet that perished was a 30-year-old parrot. Robertson said the parrot had been with the owner since it was a fledgling.

The fire occurred at 23 Mole Side Road west of the hamlet. Two people in the home were using the basement as a temporary bedroom.

The blaze presented Norfolk firefighters with a rare opportunity to deploy a fire-fighting device which, in this case, greatly limited damage to the property and saved the home.

 

The “grenade” Robertson referred to goes by the brand name X-Tinguish X-Treme.

In the right circumstances, Robertson said the grenade will temporarily knock back a fire if it is in a confined location, giving firefighters an opportunity to enter the building and deal with the problem directly. He said the Norfolk department has occasion to use the grenade about once a year.

In this case, the pin was pulled on the 14-pound device and thrown into the centre of the fire through a basement window. Once the device activates, it discharges fire-retardant chemicals in all directions for about half a minute. A spec sheet says the grenade will reduce ambient temperatures in the area of a fire by 1,000 degrees F for 60 seconds.

“You have to get it in or on top of the fire,” says Robertson, adding Norfolk firefighters have had the device at their disposal for 10 years.

“They were able to put one on the nose of this fire. It’s another tool at our disposal.”

The concept is not new. In the late 19th century, property owners could purchase large glass orbs filled with salt water that were thrown at a fire in a confined location. The idea was to have enough of the orbs on hand to extinguish the fire or at least knock the flames back to allow escape.

The devices later came with fire-retardant chemicals but the fumes arising from them were toxic at high temperatures.

“This is the modern, high-tech version of that,” says Norfolk fire prevention officer Cory Armstrong-Smith. “Could you imagine a fire truck full of those glass balls? What a mess that would be.”

The occupants in Normandale were examined by paramedics but declined a visit to hospital.

Total damage is estimated at $150,000. Inspectors have concluded the fire was electrical in nature. The county department says the occupants were insured.

No firefighters were injured. Crews responded from Station 11 in Vittoria and Station 5 in Delhi. The owner of the property declined a request to speak to a reporter.

MSonnenberg@postmedia.com

Fire grenades and aerosol mist: Launching new fire suppression tools

In confined spaces, these mini extinguishers can save lives and property

Mar 24, 2021

By Robert Avsec , FireRescue1.com

From the earliest days of “put the wet stuff on the red stuff,” there’s been the search for the next best thing in extinguishing agents. This has been especially true for the protection of high value fixed facilities once it became apparent that automatic fire sprinklers could exact more damage on the property (e.g., communications equipment and electronics) than the heat and smoke from a fire. And that quest created a domino effect of products, from Halon to “fire grenades” and condensed aerosol mist.

THE USE – AND BAN – OF HALON

In 1954, the U.S. Army and DuPont collaborated to develop Halon 1301 to provide fire suppression capabilities for high-value military assets (e.g., aircraft, mainframe computers and telecommunication switching centers) as total flooding systems. Halon (short for halogenated hydrocarbon) was liquefied gas used to extinguish fires by chemically interrupting the combustion chain reaction – the fourth side of the fire tetrahedron.

Halon, in its various forms, was an extremely popular extinguishing agent because it was nonconducting and left no residue after being discharged. In fact, Halons were popularly described as a "clean” extinguishing agent.

Fixed fire suppression systems using Halon 1301 and its halogenated hydrocarbon “cousin,” Halon 1211, made their first entries into non-military fire suppression applications in the 1960s, quickly gaining traction with facility managers charged with protecting high-value assets. And with many of those assets containing sensitive electronics and computer technologies, assets that would be damaged or destroyed by the activation of a traditional fire sprinkler system, Halons quickly became the “gold standard” for the protection of such facilities.

In 1987, representatives from around the world met and developed an international treaty, The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, which quickly became known as the Montreal Protocol. The goal of the treaty was to gradually eliminate the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances to limit their damage to the earth’s ozone layer.

The United States was among the 197 countries to sign the Montreal Protocol – the first treaty in the history of the United Nations to achieve universal ratification – and has been a leader in guiding the successes of the treaty. In 1994, the U.S. EPA banned the production and import of Halons 1211 and 1301 to comply with the Montreal Protocol, prompting chemists and fire protection engineer around the world to begin the search for a suitable replacement for Halon in fire suppression systems.

SPREAD THE WORD: CONDENSED AEROSOL MIST

One Halon alternative that is gaining in popularity are fire suppression systems that use condensed aerosol mist (CAM), defined by NFPA 2010: Standard for Fixed Aerosol Fire Suppression Systems (2020 Edition) as “an extinguishing medium consisting of finely divided solid particles, generally less than 10 microns in diameter, and gaseous matter, generated by a combustion process of a solid aerosol-forming compound.”

Upon activation in fire suppression systems using CAM, an extinguishing aerosol mist is created by electric or thermal ignition of a specialized solid that produces micron-size dry chemical particulates and gases that mix to create a uniform aerosol.

There are myriad positives to the use of CAM for fire suppression in enclosed spaces:

  • Zero ozone depletion potential, meaning they don't contribute to global warming.

  • Included in the EPA Significant New Alternatives Policy program as acceptable substitutes for Halon 1301 as a total flooding agent.

  • Extinguishing capability three times that of Halon 1301.

  • No oxygen depletion: CAM suppresses fires at exceptionally low concentrations by interfering with the fire's free radicals, making the atmosphere safer for firefighters and any trapped occupants.

  • Reduces interior temperature in the space quickly, providing increased victim survivability and less heat stress for firefighters.

Most commonly, those condensed aerosol particulates consist of potassium carbonate (K2CO3) that result from the thermal decomposition of a solid aerosol-forming compound that includes potassium nitrate as an oxidizer. In addition to being effective, fire suppression systems using CAM are easier to install, maintain and operate in part because there are no pressurized cylinders or propellant gases required because the pyrogenic generation of CAM provides sufficient energy for a rapid discharge and efficient distribution.

CAM: HOW IT WORKS

The CAM is self-generated upon activation of the system. Manufacturers and installers for many fire suppression systems using CAM (e.g., Pyrogen, Ltd. and FirePro) create systems that consist of a series of canisters containing the solid aerosol-forming compound being strategically placed within the risk area and electrically connected to most types of manual or automatic fire control panels. When heat/flame detectors identify a credible fire threat, the system identifies those canisters that need activation and then sends an electrical current to the canister(s), which ignites the aerosol-forming compound.

CAM has proven to be effective in extinguishing fires, particularly those involving hydrocarbon-based materials, such as gasoline, diesel fuel, hydraulic liquid, lubricants, natural gas and wood. The micron-size aerosol particles exhibit gas like 3D qualities that allow the agent to rapidly distribute throughout an enclosure and reach into the most concealed and shielded locations.

NOT JUST FOR FIXED FACILITIES

Fire suppression systems using CAM are extremely scalable and cost-effective, making their installation possible for practically any civilian application, in many cases using a pre-packaged kit, that include, but are not limited to:

  • Marine applications protecting engine rooms, machinery spaces and cargo holds on commercial vessels, barges and tow boats, plus civilian watercraft (e.g., power boats, yachts, and sail boats).

  • Automotive applications protecting automobiles, trucks, trailers, RVs, and emergency vehicles (e.g., fire apparatus and ambulances), as well as commercial vehicles like motor coaches and buses and just about anything with four wheels!

  • Aviation applications for the protection of general aviation aircraft and helicopters as well as cargo bays, ground support equipment, and maintenance shops for commercial aviation.

 

LAUNCHING FIRE GRENADES INTO THE TOOLBOX

Manufactures such as Fireway, Inc. and Flame Guard USA have taken CAM technology and put it into a portable unit for use by firefighters and other public safety personnel and civilians. While those manufacturers, and others, may refer to their products as a "fire suppression generator" or “CAM generator,” I’m sure the term fire grenade is catchier with firefighters.

The Stat-X First Responder from Fireway is a compact, lightweight canister unit that’s small enough that it can be carried on a person’s belt (using a holster designed for that purpose). For instantaneous fire suppression, the user pulls the actuator and tosses it into an enclosed space where a fire’s located (just like pulling the pin on a grenade and hurling it toward the enemy!). And it’s small enough that it can be tossed up or down stairs, even through a second-floor window (depending on one’s arm strength and aim!).

The X-Tinguish X-Treme from Flame Guard weighs in at 13 lbs., including the weight of the compound, but isn’t much bigger than were some of the first handheld thermal imaging cameras. But its larger size gives it more fire suppression “punch,” as it can effectively “mist” an enclosed area of roughly 5,300 cubic feet.

When used by first-arriving firefighters aboard fire apparatus, these devices can buy time for fire attack handline set-up, impede flashover and provide an emergency egress route for occupants seeking to exit the structure. This can provide a valuable fire suppression tool for under-staffed volunteer fire departments providing more time for enough firefighters to arrive to conduct safely conduct fire suppression operations.

USE BY OTHER PUBLIC SAFETY AGENCIES

In many communities, especially those relying on volunteer-staffed fire department for fire suppression, a law enforcement officer or EMT/paramedic may be the first person to arrive at a working structure fire. If that officer or EMS member has a portable CAM generator (fire grenade), they could use it to slow a fire long enough to enable occupants to get out and allow fire departments assets to arrive.

Consider this scenario. An ambulance (not staffed by firefighters) arrives at a vehicle fire resulting from an accident. There are occupants trapped in the burning vehicle and the fire department has not yet arrived. An EMT or paramedic could break a window, toss a CAM generator into the vehicle to knock down the fire and remove the occupants. Or this scenario: An ambulance arrives first at the scene and encounters an early-stage fire. After evacuating people, and before fire apparatus can arrive and set up for operations, one of the ambulance crew members pulls the actuator on a Stat-X First Responder, or activates a X-Tinguish X-Treme, and tosses it into the room where they see the fire.

AED FOR FIRE

Long ago we learned that fog pattern fire streams are more effective on a fire in an enclosed space, and that’s the case with fire grenades as well. That's because the confinement keeps the aerosol mist from dissipating so that it can keep "mixing it up" with those free radicals.

With that caveat, I don’t see any objective arguments for to not have these fire suppression units carried by public safety agencies. Think of them as the AED for a fire.

I foresee the fire grenade becoming a cost-effective alternative to fire extinguishers for a few reasons:

  • Reduced maintenance requirements (e.g., annual inspection like those for fire extinguishers);

  • Keeps distance between user and fire; and

  • Minimal user training required.

I'm all in for anything that helps firefighters do their jobs more safely, effectively and efficiently. Let's not forget Firefighter Life Safety Initiative 8: Utilize available technology wherever it can produce higher levels of health and safety. From my point of view, that means getting fire grenades into the hands of not just firefighters but all members of public safety agencies who could find themselves in the position of first-arriving first responder.

About the author

Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (ret.) served with the Chesterfield (Virginia) Fire & EMS Department for 26 years. He was an instructor for fire, EMS and hazardous materials courses at the local, state and federal levels, which included more than 10 years with the National Fire Academy. Chief Avsec earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and his master’s degree in executive fire service leadership from Grand Canyon University. He is a 2001 graduate of the National Fire Academy's EFO Program. Beyond his writing for FireRescue1.com and FireChief.com, Avsec authors the blog Talking "Shop" 4 Fire & EMS. Connect with Avsec on LinkedIn or via email.

St. Croix County Sheriff's Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 3, 2021

Contact: St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson, 715-381-4320

Fire suppression units donated to St. Croix County law enforcement community

HUDSON, Wis. — Twenty-two fire suppression units have been donated to law enforcement agencies within St. Croix County. These units are used in early-stage and fully developed fires. They generate an aerosol mist that expands, filling the space and suppressing the flames within seconds.

Twelve of these units were received in February with 10 additional units scheduled to be delivered in mid-March. The first 12 are portable whole-house units that can be carried in squad cars and instantly deployed into larger house fires. The additional 10 will be smaller canister units for use on car and other smaller fires. The larger units were immediately shared between the county and six local police departments. The remaining units will be shared with other municipal departments.

 

 

 

Pictured are: Dianne Kiel, Wanda Nielsen, North Hudson Police Chief Mark Richert, Hudson Police Chief Geoff Willems, St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson, St. Croix County Board Supervisor Bob Feidler and Hugh Gwin.

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“For those deputies and officers who are first on scene of a structure fire, these fire suppression units will give us our best chance to slow the spread of the fire,” St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson said. “Time is limited and these units could give us a couple extra minutes that may result in saving someone’s life or preserving property.”

The fire suppression units were presented by Wanda Nielsen, Hugh Gwin, and Dianne Kiel during a brief ceremony at the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office. Receiving the units were Knudson, Hudson Police Chief Geoff Willems, North Hudson Police Chief Mark Richert and St. Croix County Board Supervisor Bob Feidler, who chairs the Public Protection and Judiciary Committee. The Republican Party of St Croix County donated the units.

Fire suppression units were donated during a presentation at the St. Croix County Sheriff’s 

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WINNIPEG | News

Crews called to Beverley Street apartment fire

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service responded to a fire in a two-storey apartment building on Beverley Street at Ellice Avenue minutes after 9:00 pm Tuesday night, January 5, 2021.

As crews arrived heavy smoke was coming from the building and an offensive attack was launched. Firefighters deployed the Flameguard X-Tinguish Fire Suppression Tool, an aerosol device that dramatically reduces temperatures making the area safer for firefighters. The fire was declared under control within an hour.

There is no word on injuries.

Crews remained on scene after the fire was out to ventilate the building. Residents were able to return to their suites once crews completed their work.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

SASKATOON | News