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 Report

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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

Calendar Items During:
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September 2021
Saturday, September 25 - Saturday, September 25, 2021
Hosted by: Wyoming Fire Academy

Class location:
2500 Academy Court
Riverton, WY 82501
October 2021
Tuesday, October 5 - Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Hosted by: Ohio Fire Academy

Class location:
8895 East Main Street
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
Wednesday, October 20 - Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Hosted by: Schoolcraft College Regional Training

Class location:
31777 Industrial Road
Livonia, MI 48150
Tuesday, October 26 - Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Hosted by: Indianapolis Fire Department

Class location:
400 N High School Road
Indianapolis, IN 46214
November 2021
Thursday, November 4 - Thursday, November 4, 2021
Hosted by: Boston Fire Department

Class location:
1 Moon Island Road
Quincy, MA 02171