We spoke with FRNSW USAR about a recent incident they attended in a car park which damaged structural components of the building above.
Yesterday USAR 1 & 4 responded to assist FRNSW fire investigators following an overnight fire in a car park in Inner western Sydney. The fire had damaged two large damaged structural concrete beams that had been assessed by an engineer and required shoring. Firefighters from Hurstville Fire & Rescue assisted in shoring the building which allowed Police and FRNSW representatives safe access into the building.
What was the incident prior to you getting assigned, why did they need you?
Building fire involving a car and a caravan in a parking garage on the ground floor of a commercial building. Concrete beams supporting upper floors compromised. The beams were spalled, exposing the steel reinforcing bars within.
FRNSW needed to make the building safe for investigators. Heavy rescue appliances carry Acrow Props but they are not rated high enough for the weight that had to be supported (they only hold around 1.1T at full 3.2m opening). So the USAR team was requested.
What assessments did you make on arrival and what actions did you take?
Upon arrival the team liaised with a structural engineer who confirmed that integrity was compromised, so multiple 2 tonne spot shores were installed. These were made up of 4 lengths of 200x200mm laminated together for increased capacity (each 100x100mm timber strut is rated at around 2T, so when 4 posts are laminated together they can hold in excess of 8T each shore).
What happens after you leave?
They are left in position after FRNSW leaves the scene to ensure that builders and insurance companies can get in and install permanent rectification. The USAR team took just under two hours to complete the assessment and installation.
Great work, stay safe!