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President
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Check this out... Im geussing this started on the back patio...

at the 8:00 mark the whole house goes up. Id say the fire hit the great room..

New construction is supposed to be so awesome? :laughing:

pfft.



in a matter of minutes this house is burned to the ground. Doesnt help that this home is buried deep inside a development that requires GPS to even locate the home in question!

After watching this video, and many others like it, Id never allow family or friends to buy a 'Mc Mansion' :no:
 

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So what's the difference between a fire burning a "McManasion" or any other house?

So an older house would burn slower?

What about a 100 year old balloon framed house?

I dont understand your comments on new construction. :confused:
 

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diplomat
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Looks like it was pretty well into the fire at the beginning of the video.
 

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Box Builder
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Yeah. I don't get it. That thing seemed to take a little bit to get real crazy. Definitely enough time for people to get out. Looks like the fire got into the roof early on or something with that little bit burning out through the peak.
 

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stacker of sticks
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So what's the difference between a fire burning a "McManasion" or any other house?

So an older house would burn slower?

What about a 100 year old balloon framed house?

I dont understand your comments on new construction. :confused:
Actually from a fire fighter standpoint baloon framed houses burn up, and conventional framed houses burn out.

So the whole fire blocking thing is really to give people sleeping up stairs a few more seconds to get out of the house, but the whole down stairs could be on fire by the time they realize the house is on fire because fire blocking pushes the fire out rasher then up.

We don't build houses to not burn. We build them to give people inside a few more seconds to get out.
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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I wonder what kind of carbon footprint is created by a house fire. I bet more air pollution came off of that fire than 100 cars put out in a year.
 

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Actually from a fire fighter standpoint baloon framed houses burn up, and conventional framed houses burn out.

So the whole fire blocking thing is really to give people sleeping up stairs a few more seconds to get out of the house, but the whole down stairs could be on fire by the time they realize the house is on fire because fire blocking pushes the fire out rasher then up.

We don't build houses to not burn. We build them to give people inside a few more seconds to get out.
When I did home inspections with the family business back 90's a lot of the old homes in my general area where ballooned framed.
The guys from Scranton will know about all the balloon framed house in and around the city and "up da line".
In the basement for the most part fire blocking was non existent due to being removed for running wires, plumbing, steam pipes or who knows what. And with lack of any insulation those walls are chimney's.

Hope the OP wasnt thinking I was being a smart a$$, just trying to see why he feels new construction is as he says- pfft.
 

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stacker of sticks
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When I did home inspections with the family business back 90's a lot of the old homes in my general area where ballooned framed.
The guys from Scranton will know about all the balloon framed house in and around the city and "up da line".
In the basement for the most part fire blocking was non existent due to being removed for running wires, plumbing, steam pipes or who knows what. And with lack of any insulation those walls are chimney's.

Hope the OP wasnt thinking I was being a smart a$$, just trying to see why he feels new construction is as he says- pfft.
I was kind of agreeing with you in a weird way, pretty much what I was trying to say was, if you want a house that won't burn build it out of steel and concrete.


And probably 90% of my work is on balloon framed houses. We are working on one right now.
 

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I've heard a few times that steel framing burns quicker, or maybe collapses quicker when it's on fire, than a wood framed house.
 

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stacker of sticks
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I've heard a few times that steel framing burns quicker, or maybe collapses quicker when it's on fire, than a wood framed house.
Yeah but it needs something that actually can burn to heat it up. And I could see that tin framing weakening because of a fire, but one time we had a fully engulfed structure fire and the only thing left was the 10" steel I beam in the basement.

I know a lot more about wood burning then steel though, what does steel melt at? Like 3000 degrees or something. But when is the point of weakening? Thats the real question. Sorry I'm no help :laughing:
 

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Check this out... Im geussing this started on the back patio...

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After watching this video, and many others like it, Id never allow family or friends to buy a 'Mc Mansion' :no:
That's vinyl siding for you. From what I saw, it started on the outside deck. From there it burns up the wall to the vinyl soffit, which just drops out, exposing the attic to the fire. These move fast.

I block of at least 3 rafter bays beyond the ends of any deck to delay fire entry into the atttic. Decks seem to be the most common external location of a fire to start.

Also note - cut roof systems tend to hold up longer than trusses do. I personally think the safest construction is cut roof with a hot roof system if you're using vinyl siding. Second safest is hot roof with trusses.

Fires that start outside like that, then burn into the attic are unusually dangerous. Smoke detectors in the house won't go off until enough smoke gets into the living space - by then it's burning very well.
 

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Reminds me of a home owner in the mid 80's. We had a high end project north of Phila. with in 30 day's of completion go up. The fire dept traced it back to the home owner. Odd the gas can's on the ground looked odd. In short he was over his head lost his job and thought that was a good out
 

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I know a lot more about wood burning then steel though, what does steel melt at? Like 3000 degrees or something. But when is the point of weakening? Thats the real question. Sorry I'm no help :laughing:
~540 Celsius. As a general rule, structural steel will lose 50% of it's strength in 10 minutes in a 750C fire, and 90% in 30 minutes.
 

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I think it's not generally appreciated in the GC world how using vinyl siding (including soffit) and windows effects fire performance. Vinyl windows allow interior fires to burn to the outside and up the wall, through the soffit and into the attic. Vinyl windows just fall out when they get hot. Besides allowing the fire to burn to the outside and into the attic, the window opening allows outside air to aid the interior fire. Fire may erupt to the outside in multiple places due to the windows falling out. This makes it more dangerous for firefighters. Burning through the soffit into the attic increases the risk of a total loss of the structure - this happens relatively quickly with vinyl siding and vinyl soffit.
 

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Once a fire goes past the incipient stage into free burning without fire suppression - EVERY HOUSE will look like that and burn to the foundation in about 1/2-3/4 hour. :eek: Have set a few houses on fire and watched 'em burn. :laughing: While on a fire department.

Construction methods have the greatest effect during the incipient (beginning)stage. Idea with newer methods is contain the fire till the fire department can get there. This had been free burning for quite a while.

Really the fire load, all the combustibles in a house, furniture personal belongings ect. Make up 75-90% of the actual "Fire" .... so McMansion verses Mansion not that much of a difference. The proximity, equipment, manpower of the fire department have a greater effect on the outcome than most other factors.

Well The FD saved the basement/foundation.... Job well done, given when they arrived. And no other houses caught fire .
 

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This had been free burning for quite a while.
I don't think this is true. Once vinyl siding is ignited, it will burn into the attic in something like 3 minutes, and you get complete structural collapse of the wall in ~18 minutes. What I saw in the video was the fire started outside, and burned into the attic. I didn't see any structural collapse, so I think this was actually less than 15 minutes in.

When the vinyl gets hot, it melts off, and in this case landed on a wooden deck. There, it sits in a pile at the base of the wall, accelerating the OSB burn and attic entry.

While being careless with a cigarette on a deck can take a hour to lead to noticeable flames, once a fire gets going at the base of the wall, it goes really really really fast, especially on an inside corner like that.
 

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Really slow response time though. It sounded like they got lost.
Response time wouldn't have mattered much on that one. I think the fire had already gotten into the attic some time before the video started. With the direction the wind was blowing, I doubt they could have gotten the roof vented safely. Even if they managed to "save" it, it would have been a total gut, plus structural repairs, even if they used foam (which most don't use).
 
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