Diane led her crew into the building, found the seat of the fire, and manned the nozzle successfully extinguishing the targeted fire. After operations were finished, Diane removed her helmet and noticed that her face shield warped under the heat conditions in the building. This suggests that temperatures were above 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Second, fighting fire can be downright scary. Unlike with EMS scenes, there are more unpredictable variables at play that could easily lead to fatalities. When arriving on scene, oftentimes fire companies do not know what sort of fuel is burning, how long the fire has been lit, or how structurally sound the building was before the fire first ignited. Each of these factors could lead to premature collapse while firefighters are inside.
And third, fire conditions can get extremely hot extremely fast. Firefighters are taught to recognize flashover, a condition that occurs when the room and its contents reach the temperature of about 1100 degrees Fahrenheit. When this happens, all material that is combustible will ignite at the same time. If a firefighter cannot get out on time (which is only a matter of seconds), it’s a deathtrap.
I would like to extend a special thanks to Diane Pathieu and Milwaukee’s TMJ4 News for covering the live burn training conducted by the Kansasville and Racine Fire Departments. Much like the military and police, our fire departments are the civic battalions of our homeland assigned to help protect her citizens from harm and death. So when you see a firefighter, let them know that you appreciate their work and bravery.