Exceptional Firefighting Intervention in a Huge Blaze Started at a Shopping Center
A huge fire started in Arad, at a shopping center, on the night of March 1st to March 2nd 2017. The fire was reported around 2.20 a.m. by the receptionist of a hotel located approx. 10 m from the building on fire.
Impressive display of forces
The woman was reporting in a 112 call that a huge smoke was coming from the shopping center, being visible even a small flame. The first team arrived on the scene detected that the fire was engulfing the entire level and the roof of the building, covering the whole area. Other three firefighting teams were dispatched, a SMURD ambulance and a tower car.
The roof of the building and a children's playground burnt entirely, approx. 1200 square meters construction of bearing walls on concrete frame.
The display of forces was impressive, on the scene being, alongside the operative under-officers, lieutenant-colonel Gârbău Cristian - commissioned as chief-inspector with ISU Arad, lieutenant-colonel Țigan Florentin - commissioned as first deputy chief-inspector, lieutenant-colonel Turcuș Cosmin - commissioned as chief of Operative Center, lieutenant-colonel Ionică Doru - chief of Operative Unit, major Pleșca George - spokesperson of ISU Arad.
Fortunately, a backdraft with no victims
We should also mention that the prompt intervention of the firefighters prevented the fire from further spreading towards the ground level, where a hairdresser's and a pizza place are located, but to the hotel located approx 10 m from the building of the shopping center. The intervention itself could have turned into a disaster should the first firefighters arriving on the scene had not been so well trained in firefighting. A high emission of thick smoke with a small flame - as the 112 emergency call had reported - means a smother with a constant temperature rise to a final explosion. The moment when the windows smashed due to the high temperature, the fire grew even bigger due to the sudden oxygen flux. Shortly after, the ceiling crashed as well.
It is one of those phenomena that can occur in a fire, a huge risk to the lives of the firefighters: backdraft - the explosion of the mixture of overheated gases in a closed area, following the sudden oxygen flux. A phenomenon which, in so many cases, was the cause of numerous losses of lives.
The hydrants - the same unresolved issue
Furthermore, the intervention was hindered by an issue present in Romania: the lack of water in the hydrants. Those located in the shopping center had a much lower water pressure, while those in the street were...out of order. Thus, the firefighters did the best they could under the circumstances, and put out the fire by using water that had been brought by the fire trucks, and the water from the hydrants in the building with the little water pressure they had...
Fortunately, this time, due to the training and professional expertise of the firefighters from Arad, we can certainly speak of a successful mission. By naming, as follows, all the rescuers and thanking them for their courage and professionalism and assuring them of our gratitude:
Lieutenant-colonel Pabin Kristian - commissioned as commander of the Arad Unit, deputy sergeant major Onaca Daniel, deputy sergeant Blaj Cătălin, deputy sergeant Chicin Raul, sergeant major Giurgiu Nicolae, deputy sergeant major Mariș Pavel, sergeant major Orz Lucian Petru, sergeant major Pescaru Victor, sergeant major Gherga Laurențiu, sergeant major Radița Alin, sergeant major Toma Ovidiu, sergeant major Vig Adrian, sergeant major Hora Cosmin, sergeant major Dumitru Petronel, deputy sergeant Hasiu Eugen, deputy sergeant major Nichici Miodrag, sergeant major Litcanu Dănuț, deputy sergeant Anisorac Nicu.
Audacia et devotio!