At 2014 hours on July 26, 2009, Newark (NJ) Fire Department dispatch transmitted an alarm for a fire at 282 Sherman Avenue. At 2017 hours, Battalion Chief 4 Pete Spann transmitted an “all hands” signal. Dispatch advised all responding units that it was receiving multiple calls for a commercial structure fire. Spann established command on arrival, setting up the command post at the building’s A/B corner. His initial size-up reported heavy fire through the roof of a large one-story commercial building of ordinary construction. This building housed an auto repair vocational training program. Recognizing that this building featured a heavy timber truss roof, Spann ordered a defensive operation because of the building’s construction and the heavy volume of fire (photo 1).

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