Fighting Fires in Structures with Knee Walls
A quick summary of an article.
- Knee wall, a confined space in the half-story above the tallest full story. The half-story can be finished with either drywall or lath and plaster, depending on the age of the structure, and used for living space or storage.
- The knee wall is a vertical wall that stretches about 3–4 feet internally from the floor toward the peak of the roof. A concealed space is created behind the knee wall and usually extends to the eaves; it may be used for storage space or as a means to conceal plumbing or electrical wiring, which will increase the risk of extension.
- If you identify balloon construction, stretch handlines to all floors of the building.
- If the fire penetrates the wall space of the balloon-frame construction, all wall spaces on each floor will need to be opened from floor to ceiling and an engine company will need to work in conjunction with the truck company, with a charged line at the ready.
- Use a thermal imaging camera when determining where to place the line and the presence of fire in the concealed space.
- If the fire is not immediately visible on the upper floor, the truck company needs to begin opening up the knee wall above the fire. The engine company must also be ready to open its line as soon as the space is opened.
- It’s not unusual to require more than one line in fires involving knee walls. So if any doubt exists as to the extension of the fire into the knee wall, it’s always good practice to open it up!
- If fire is located in the knee wall, it’s a good idea to open the ceiling directly at the peak of the roof.
Source Article HERE.
This is just a very quick summary of the article, I would encourage you to read the whole article.