Continuing Education

Understanding & Fighting Basement Fires

This dynamic 8-hour classroom session continues the ISFSI and UL-FSRI partnership to "bring the science to the streets". Course participants will be guided through a review of the core principles of compartment fire development, modern terminology and research methods, and personal protective equipment (PPE) limitations. Those foundations serve as the basis for in-depth discussion on the most effective research-based tactics for basement fires, and a series of case study reviews on basement fire gone wrong resulting in firefighter Line-of-Duty Deaths (LODDs).

The development of this program included several experiments in a single family home with a basement test structure using a variety of tactical approaches to gain knowledge on best practices in size-up, ventilation control, suppression, and structural assessment with the tactical use of thermal imagers, exterior hose streams, penetrating nozzles, cellar pipes, and PPV fans. 

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the history of modern fire attack and tactics.
  • Understand current knowledge vs. beliefs of the most recent UL/NIST findings from the basement fire tactics research panel
  • Understand basement fire LODDs and why this research is important.

Program Delivery Options

Understanding & Fighting Basement Fires Research

Access the Report Here

Link here

*Basement Fire Host Request

Interested in hosting a Understanding & Fighting Basement Fire Course?

Contact Suzanne Campbell at

Funded By:
Assistance to Firefighter Grants

In Partnership With:

Lieutenant Matt LeTourneau, Philadelphia FD, passed away on Saturday, January 6, 2018 in a tragic LODD after succumbing to his injuries suffered from a structural collapse while fighting a rowhouse fire.

Matt was an essential part of the research team and also a contributor to the Tech Panel of the ISFSI Basement Fire Research and Curriculum. In honor of his contributions, the ISFSI Understanding and Researching Basement Fires project will be dedicated to his name.

Understanding Basement Fires