(April 30) On April 1 2008, JTFD#1 was alerted to go mutual aid into the Oak Ridge section of West Milford Township, Passaic County for the working structure fire. Responding from Milton was Engine 722, Rescue 725 and Chief A. Schmidt in Command Unit 730. Upon arrival at the scene, the first arriving chief and engine found a working basement fire in a single family house in a district lacking a municipal water supply. Chief Schmidt advised Chief Castro of WMFD that he would like to deploy a FIT-5 device through the basement window in coordination with the interior attack to attempt a quick knockdown of the fire. Chief Schmidt threw the device through the basement window and within seconds the fire darkened down. Crews from West Milford and JTFD#1 entered to find significantly reduced heat and fire conditions and completed extinguishment and began overhaul.
There was minimal damage to the rest of the home.
The FIT-5 is a new kind of fire suppression tool, a Powder Aerosol Generator. According to the manufacturer’s website “the FIT-5 is about the size of a lunchbox, and weighs about nine pounds. It is designed to be carried in Chiefs vehicles and on Fire Trucks. First Responders use it to knockdown fires prior to entering a burning structure.
The devices deploy a huge cloud of super-fine aerosol powder. This powder attacks the fire chemically, interrupting the Fire … interrupting the flames within seconds.”
This deployment was the first use of a FIT-5 in the state of New Jersey and the first successful use on a basement fire in North America. Basement fires are particularly dangerous for firefighters and this fire would have required extensive tanker shuttle operations, so the effect of the FIT-5 deployment was significant.
Click here for the article at First Responder Network