Attack from Above

Hoarder Attic Fires

Good afternoon from the jumpseat!

Pic Courtesy of Keven Smith from

With the video we posted earlier from Fresno California showing the difficulties with fires in attic spaces of Hoarder houses we thought it would be a good time to hit a few learning points from it.  Hoarding poses real dangers and difficulties to firefighters.  From large amounts of fuel to reduced pathways the dangers are everywhere.  One of the biggest dangers can be a Hoarded attic space.

Many times when people start “collecting” or begin their hoarding acquisitions they will start with the attic space.  They will stuff them full until no more belongings will fit and it spills over into their homes.  What does this mean to us, the firefighters?  We need to keep in our minds the potential for attic spaces filled to the brim.  If you direct your hosestream up knocking down the drywall you could be in for a shower of water and heavy belongings.

What are a few key points about dealing with hoarded attic spaces:

  • Expect the unexpected
  • Don’t spray the ceiling in Hoarding is suspected
  • Get ready for a labor intensive overhaul
  • attack from above

If the lower levels of a home are stacked to the ceiling with belongings it only makes sense to expect the attic space is in the same conditions  if not worse.  It the fire has taken hold of the attic space you may need to pull out, regroup, and attack from above.  Just like in the video from Fresno

Hoarder fires are NOT normal fires.  They require different methods of attack.  In this case ATTACK FROM ABOVE is the most appropriate.  Check out for size up ques and clues in the article 380 degree size up.


Thanks for the stop in the jumpseat!

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