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:
View As:
December 2021
Wednesday, December 8 - Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Hosted by: Fairfax County Fire & Rescue

Class location:
4600 West Ox Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
January 2022
Friday, January 21 - Friday, January 21, 2022
Hosted by: Los Angeles County Fire Training Center

Class location:
3325 Temple Avenue
Pomona, CA 91766
March 2022
Saturday, March 26 - Saturday, March 26, 2022
Hosted by: Billings Fire Department Training Facility

Class location:
1901 Terminal Circle
Billings, MT 59105
April 2022
Wednesday, April 6 - Wednesday, April 6, 2022
Hosted by: FDNY Fire Academy

Class location:
1 Randall's Island
New York, NY
Thursday, April 7 - Thursday, April 7, 2022
Hosted by: FDNY Fire Academy

Class location:
1 Randall's Island
New York, NY
Thursday, April 14 - Thursday, April 14, 2022
Hosted by: Olathe Fire Department

Class location:
Olathe Fire Department Training Center
910 N Hedge Lane
Olathe, KS 66061