New policy didn't stop firefighters from entering burning home - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New policy didn't stop firefighters from entering burning home

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(WMC-TV) - Fire destroyed one home early Monday morning and quickly spread to another. Now, questions are now being asked about the fire and how it was fought.

Shelby County firefighters say no one was inside the Raleigh home where the fire began, but when crews first arrived on the scene, they thought differently.

"The fire burned for a while before the neighbor two houses away noticed it," said Brent Perkins, Shelby County Fire Department. "As a result, there was a tremendous fire load in that structure well before the call to 911 was even made."

Flames then caught the house next door on fire, doing significant damage and forcing a family of six out.

Three people lived in the home where the fire started. When crews first responded, there was a vehicle in the driveway and neighbors said there were people inside.

That information prompted fire crews to go inside the home despite not having two firefighters to be on standby outside the structure.

An OSHA policy dubbed 2-in/2-out requires that two firefighters be on standby for rescue whenever two are inside any structure. Because firefighters believed there to be people inside the home, the first firefighters on the scene entered the structure anyway.

Brent Perkins says since the 911 call came in so late, the new policy made no difference. Fire crews fought the fire But

Even so, Perkins insists that the new policy is only temporary.

"It's not going to stay this way forever," he continued. "We'll go back to that four engine company."

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