Fire Department Operations

Common Questions
Why are Windows Broken or Holes Cut in the Roof?
As a fire burns, it moves upward then outward. Breaking the windows and/or cutting holes in the roof (called ventilation) slows the damaging outward movement, helps remove blinding smoke that obscures the actual fire, and enables firefighters to fight the fire more efficiently. The result of this action is less damage to the structure in the long run.

If your loved one needs rescued from the fire, removing the heat and smoke will assist the fire fighters with locating them because the heat and smoke will escape through the windows and roof.

Why are Holes Cut in the Walls?

This is done so that the Fire Department is absolutely sure that the fire is completely out, and that there is no fire inside the walls or other hidden places.

This action is done at the same time the fire is being extinguished and immediately after the fire is extinguished when visibility is better. This action is referred to as overhaul by the Fire Department. The Fire Department is very cognizant of property damage and will not intentionally cause more damage than is necessary to properly extinguish the fire.

The Fire Department will normally cover your personal belongings with salvage covers to prevent further water damage, or remove them from the structure when safe to do so.

Is it Possible to Obtain a Copy of the Fire Report?
A copy of the fire incident report or the Fire Marshal's investigative report can be obtained by calling the Frederick County Office of the Fire Marshal at 301-600-1479.