There are not many backdraft videos around. With the prevalence of camera phones and the use of building techniques that make house more airtight I am sure as time goes on we will see more.
This fire had time to burn and get good and hot with thick brown and black smoke. The color of the smoke is a warning sign of a possible back draft. Also notice when the firefighter goes up the ladder to break the attic window, the window is smoke-stained, that’s another sign as well.
The firefighters were doing what they had to do. You have to open up to get inside and knock down the fire. unfortunately the conditions were ripe for a back draft. Lucky nobody was seriously injured in this blast but they could have been. One of the many dangers of the job.
With a residential building like this home it is always assumed that someone is alive and can be saved so more aggressive tactics are used. If this was a commercial building and it was in the middle of the night the assumption would be that no one is in the building because of the type of occupancy and time of day. In that case the firefighters would slow down and conduct vertical ventilation by cutting a hole in the roof. Even though this takes more time it is safer for the firefighters because by allowing the super-heated gasses to escape top side you are taking away a main contributor for back draft.
The video is not long but if you’re in a rush just fast forward to the 4 min mark to see the back draft occur…. Click on link below to watch also turn up the volume because you can hear it as well.
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