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I usually don’t post a lot from other fire departments. It gets a little weird sometimes since I would only end up monday morning quarterbacking. I hate it when it happens to me so I try not to do it. There are exceptions like this video Wyatt sent me. It’s an example of that part of a firefighters day most people don’t see every day. A “routine” car fire almost ends badly. They always say cars don’t blow up, that’s only in Hollywood. I’m not sure if that’s the case here but something inside this car let go.

The scariest part of firefighting like most things are the unknowns. Funny but the fire itself doesn’t bother me much and for me it’s because I can see and feel it. The real scary part is operating blindly in dense smoke where you can walk off a building or roof, or things can fall on you run into any one of dozens of things that you simply don’t see that can hurt you.

In this case the firefighters are simply doing what the usually do, and from where I sit they do it correctly. They are using all their equipment and the firefighter with the hose even bleeds out the air before he approaches the car. They are in a good position with the wind at their back and they have plenty of water. Everything is in order. There is no way to tell what may be INSIDE the car. Whatever it is it explodes fairly violently. These guys are very lucky. You can never tell when something like that will happen. No firefighting textbook or years of experience can predict the unknown.

Nice job fellas. For the record it looks like they are using water NOT foam as the bubblehead reporter jabbers. Foam is much too expensive to use on simple car fires and there really is no need. Water works just fine.

This is a straightforward example of the dangers inherent in firefighting. You may be having a quiet shift. This may have been their only call, but this ONE call could have easily had a very different outcome. I small piece of flying debris could have easily killed one of these guys. Catch it in the eye and you may end up blind. It’s scenes like this that the bean counters in City Hall never see from the comfort of their cube farms.

Today will be no different. Up and down the coast firefighters and other first responders will be out keeping things as safe as possible and helping wherever they can. That’s what emergency services are all about. Stay safe everyone.



  1. momhoppes says:

    Watching it, I was wondering why she said foam when it didn’t look like it. I thought it was just me not seeing it.

    FTR, our chief would kick our tail end if we got that close to a car fire. His philospohy (probably because we only have half a dozen people, we are all volunteers, and our training is very little) is let it burn, but don’t let it spread. Don’t waste the water IN the vehicle, keep it wet around. There is nothing worth saving in an already consumed car.

    Same philosophy with structural fires. Keep it from spreading unless there is someone alive inside. THEN go ahead and fight the structure fire until the trapped person is rescued.

  2. Bob G. says:

    Good video.
    I agree that’s a tad too “up close and personal” for a car fire.

    Could be some ammo in there…or a “one-pot” meth lab, or God knows what else.
    Does sound cool when the tires pop, though.

    SAFETY should always be JOB-ONE.

    Roll safe.

  3. Dustoff says:

    I heard a few say airbag, but in all my years. I’ve never seen one do that?

  4. Glenn Drake says:

    Could have been something as innocuous as an aerosol can of hair spray, Lysol or something like that.

    Excellent point that you never know WHAT is in the car.

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