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A structure fire

A structure fire is a fire involving the structural components of various residential or commercial buildings, such as single-family homes, townhouses, apartments, high-rises, and shopping malls. This is in contrast to, "room content" fires, chimney fires, automobile fires, wildfires or other outside fires. Structure fires typically have a similar response from the fire department to include engines, ladder trucks, rescue squads, battalion chiefs, and an EMS unit, each of which will have specific initial assignments. The actual response and assignments will vary between fire departments.


Structures are divided into five construction types for the purposes of firefighting, and are listed from least combustible to most combustible:

Type I: Fire Resistant Typically used in hi-rises. Fire resistant protection is applied to steel members of the construction.
Type II: Non-Combustible Typically used in strip shopping center malls. Roofs are constructed out of steel rafters.
Type III: Ordinary Construction Brick and mortar walls, wood frame floors. City rowhouses are where this type of construction is most often found.
Type IV: Heavy Timber Often used in churches or other community based buildings.
Type V: Wood Frame Typically used in recent construction of single family dwellings, townhouses, garden apartments with four floors or less.

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