Nashville Fire Department Battles Number Of Rekindles
by Janet Kim
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It's not something any fire department wants to do-- return to the scene to put out the same fire. It's called a rekindle, and the Nashville Fire Department has had a number of them already this year.
Fire departments don't want rekindles to happen, because when they do it not only suggests poor performance, but it can be dangerous.
"You could have a small fire and if you don't open up the ceilings and the walls next to the fire and it gets into the structural bases, the second fire could do damage and the second fire could cause a life loss," said Vincent Dunn, a retired New York City Deputy Fire Chief.
From the end of December to January, NewsChannel 5 has at least five examples where firefighters had to return to a fire scene.
Nashville Fire Department confirmed at least three of those were considered rekindles, including one on Louise Ave and on Carter Avenue.
Nashville Fire Department said sometimes hot spots will remain that aren't safe for firefighters to tackle.
"Firefighters have to dig into that structure and it becomes unsafe," said Nashville Fire Deputy Director Mike Franklin. "You put them in there, and we're moving all the asphalt shingling and all that, and when it collapses in it holds in all the heat."
Chief Franklin said the department usually has less than five percent of its structure fires rekindle.
Often times, they happen in varying degrees from just a report of smoke they check on to a full-on re-ignition.
When a rekindle happens, Chief Franklin said the department will have a debrief and figure out what happened. Experts said some departments will even go as far as re-training crews.