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Big fill used at structure fire
Malmsbury Big Fill recently came in handy at a structure fire in Denver. The house, which was fullly alight on arrival of crews, was unfortuntately destroyed but crews successfully protected and saved an adjoining house.
Incident Controller John Newlands from Malmsbury Fire Brigade was in the first truck on scene. "It was 1.30am on a Saturday morning and we found the house fully involved and threatening an adjoining structure, so our initial priorities were protecting that structure and conducting an external defensive attack.
"As the house was in the bush we needed to establish a secure water supply so we called for additional tankers. We also requested the PE van from Ballarat as we were likely to go through a few BA cylinders."
Malmsbury Big Fill was then positioned on a nearby dam and fed a line of 64mm to Glenlyon brigade tanker which in turn fed three lines of two lengths of 38mm for attacking crews.
"It took us a while to find the dam but when we did it was a good option to establish a stable water supply for multiple lines. We considered using the domestic water tank on scene but doing the maths on the lift, pumping capacity and number of lines this wasn't the best option. Also, given this was the only domestic supply for the adjoining house we would have used their remaining half tank of water," said John.
The fire was brought under control in about an hour. Brigades from Glenlyon, Daylesford, Trentham, Tylden, Spring Hill, Kyneton and Malmsbury attended.
"Even though it was not our assignment area, Glenlyon was happy for us to take the initial incident controller role as we have more strucural firefighting experience. We then handed over to them. It was a good demonstration of brigades working together to get the job done. Glenlyon has to be commended for this. We had members from seven brigades and two groups working effectively together.
"It also demonstrated that big fills can be useful at structure fires and that using water tanks and calling for additional tankers is not the only option."