Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3104720 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 24, 1963
Filing dateJan 25, 1961
Publication numberUS 3104720 A, US 3104720A, US-A-3104720, US3104720 A, US3104720A
InventorsEdward James Sullivan
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fire-fighting system and apparatus
US 3104720 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

E. J. SULLIVAN FIRE-FIGHTING SYSTEM AND APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Sept. 24, 1963 Filed Jan. 25. 1961 ATTORNEYS Sept. 24, 1963 E. J. SULLIVAN FIRE-FIGHTING SYSTEM AND APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 25, 1961 INVENTOR. [dd/4rd J. 62:10am

A K OREEYS 4. A (g l /r United States Patent 3,164,720 FIRE-FIGHTlhIG SYSTEM AND APPARATUS Edward James Sullivan, Chicago, Ill, assignor of huehalf to Mary Margaret Hanson, Chicago, Ill. Filed Jan. 25, 1961, Ser. No. 84,948 8 Claims. (Cl. 169-25) This invention relates generally to a fire-fighting system and apparatus and more particularly relates to a penetrating device having a driving end and an entrant end, as well as a passage extending through the interior of the device with means for conducting a combustionretarding gas through the passage so that the device may be penetratingly driven by hand or with some suitable power-assisting means through any enclosing surface of a building such as a wall, ceiling or floor to discharge a fire-fighting fluid into the enclosure. Specifically, the device maybe driven through the roof or ceiling of a burning architectural structure, thereby to fill the top of the building \m'th combustionretarding gas.- A conflagration is but the development of a small fire. A study of the great fires in history shows that on certain conditions, or a combination of circumstances, have on each occasion permitted a small individual fire to spread. The possibility of a fire spreading and developing into a conflagration is frequently associated with the presence or the absence of a wind. However, a conflagration creates its own convection currents and wind as it gains in volume, which adds to the difiiculty of confining a disastrous fire. Every appliance devised whereby fires are confined to the seat of outbreak is a step forward in the progress of fire protection.

One characteristic of fires which I have observed is that the gases of combustion which are at extremely elevated temperatures rise towards the top of any architectural structure in which a fire has started until checked by some 'baflliug provided, for example, by the roof or ceiling of the structure. At this point, the hot gases of combustion spread laterally.

Thus, in a typical fire, a small quantitative amount of fire may suddenly result in a fire of huge proportions when the hot gases of combustion flare up and set the roof or the upper portion of the building aflame, whereupon the additional burning portions fall down through the building and thereby contribute to the overall destruction of the building.

In accordance with the principles of the present invention, it is proposed to utilize a combustion-retarding gas such as steam. The ordinary application of steam to a fire would actually increase the supply of oxygen to the fire, thereby contributing to the blaze. According to the present invention, however, it is contemplated that a penetrating tool provided with the principles of the present invention would -be extended through the roof or ceiling of the 'building, whereupon a fire-retarding gas such as steam could be supplied to'the top of the building through the penetrating tool, thereby to create a blanket of fireretarding gas across the top of the building and preventing ignition of the adjoining parts and spread of the fire. It is an object of the present invention, therefore, to provide an improved fire-fighting system and method utilizing improved fire-fighting apparatus.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide an improved fire-fighting system and apparatus wherein water damage is minimized and wherein spreading of small fires into conflagrations is prevented.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a fire-fighting system and apparatus which promotes safety for the fire-fighters and makes the effective control of a fire more probable.

Many other features, advantages and additional ob jects of the present invention will become manifest to those versed in the art upon making reference to the detailed description which follows and the accompanying sheets of drawings in which a preferred structural embodiment of a fire-fighting system and apparatus, by means of which the methods of the present invention may be practiced, is shown in an illustrative example.

On the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a somewhat schematic view partly in cross-section illustrating a fire-fighting apparatus in accordance with the principles of the present invention in use in extinguishing a fire in a typical architectural structure;

FIGURE 2 is a broken elevational view partly in crosssection and somewhat schematic in part illustrating a penetrating tool incorporating the principles of the present invention; and

FIGURE 3 is a view similar to FIGURE 2 but showing an alternative form of the penetrating tool construction.

As shown on the drawings:

A typical building or architectural structure may be considered as constituting a large box. For example, in FIGURE 1, a typical building is shown generally at 10 and takes the form of a large box-shaped structure having outside surfaces 11 enclosing a plurality of smaller boxes which, in the schematic illustration of FIGURE '1, represent rooms or floors. For example, there is shown iWlilllIl the enclosing surfaces 11 a plurality of separate spaces including a lowermost space '12, a series of intermediate spaces 13 and an uppermost space 14, each having interior wall surfaces 16, as well as a floor 17 and a ceiling 18.

In addition to the outside surfaces 11, the typical building or architectural structure is usually provided with a roof herein shown at 19. The space that remains between the uppermost compartment or space 14 and the roof 19 is represented by a so-called cock loft or attic shown at 20. The building is usually characterized also by one or more vertical passages, for example, such vertical passages as may be supplied by venting conduits, grease chutes, elevator shafts, pipes for the passage of utilities, ventilating shafts and other through passages, all of which may be typified by a vertical passage illustrated in FIGURE 1 by the vertical passage 21.

Skilled fire-fighters generally recognize that a small fire such as the fire represented at 22, if set in any of of the individual spaces 12, 13 or 14 would seldom spread to serious proportions because ventilation could easily be accomplished by breaking windows, or breaking through the surfaces 11 and the walls 16 for the purpose of entering with a hose line. The fire could then be quickly extinguished by reducing the temperature of the combustible material below the ignition point.

It is Within the vertical passages, however, that fire generally does its greatest damage. Thus, a typical fire in a lower portion of a building or architectural structure such as the building 10 is likely to carry hot gases of combustion up one or more of the vertical passages typified by the passage 21, whereupon the hot gases .of combustion will continue to flow upwardly'until bafiled by the roof enclosure. Accordingly, an accumulation of extremely hot gases of combustion is likely to occur in the cock loft or attic 20, just below the roof l9. Atthis point, the hot gases of combustion spread laterally covering the entire top of the building 10.

It is often difiicult to adequately ventilate a space such as the cock loft or attic 2t and the fire-fighters might be required to open a skylight or chop a hole in a roof such as the roof 19 which has possibly become weakened by the progress of the fire.

The fact that the space such as the cock loft or attic 20 is difficult to ventilate is advantageously exploited-in accordance with the principles of the present invention v V 3 i and the characteristic of a fire to spread in the manner described is counteracted by the present invention through the use of a combustion-retarding gas such as steam.

Thus, a fire-fighting vehicle such as a truck 22 is provided and is equipped with a retractable boom, includ ing a lower section 23, an upper section 24 and an operators basket 26. The upper and lower boom members 23 and 24 are pivotally interconnected as at 27 and are also pivotally connected to the vehicle 22 as at 28. I Hydraulic actuating means 29 operable from a control station in the basket 26, or by a second set of controls at ground level permit the boom sections 23 and 24 to be positioned up or down, right or left, in or out, thereby to position the basket 26 in any desired relationship to a building, such as the building it) in which a fire 22 is present.

The boom parts 23 and 24 carry piping for supplying water to the platform and it will be understood that the boom is also provided'with power means including a power takeolf 30 at the platform 26, which can be used in accordance with the principles of the present invention to drive a penetrating device shown generally at 31. .By way of illustrative example, the power take-ofi 30 may conveniently comprise an air drill or some other rotatably driven prime mover. The penetrating device 31 can take several forms and two illustrative embodiments are more clearly shown in FIGURES 2 and 3.

As shown in FIGURE 2, the penetrating device shown generally at 31 in FIGURE 1, constitutes an elongated device having a driving end 32 and an entrant end shown generally at 33. In the specific embodiment of FIGURE 2, the entrant end 33 constitutes a twist drill having a plurality of ribs 34 and flutes 36' 'helically wound at a rake or helix angle 37. The twist drill has a point 38 and a cutting lip 39. In accordance with this invention, the body of the twist drill which extends over the flute length may be slightly tapered, terminating in a neck portion shown at 40. Extending longitudinally from the neck 40 is the shank 41 which is connected to the driving end 32. If the device is to be driven by a power t-ake ofl such as an air drill, as illustrated at 31 in FIGURE 1, it is convenient to form the driving end 32 with a Morse taper 42, thereby forming a coupling for connection to a rotatably driven spindle 43.

In accordance with the principles of the present invention, the penetrating device 31 is formed with a passage 44- having an outlet 46 formed in the fluted portion of the entrant end 31. To provide an inlet for the passage 44, the shank 41 has a boss 47 formed thereon in which is formed an inlet 48. Suitable coupling means are provided for connecting a conduit 49 to the inlet 48. In this specific form of the invention, the coupling conveniently takes the form of a coupling sleeve 50 having a shoulder 51 engaging a flange 52 surrounding the inlet 48, a sealing ring 53 being interposed between the shoulder 51 and the flange 52. A bayonet slot 54 permits a quick connect and disconnect attachment to be made to the conduit 49, it being understood that the conduit has a pin 56 which enters the bayonet slot 54 and is received in a locking portion of the bayonet slot 54, as shown at 57.

The conduit 49 could be connected to a conduit forming part of the boom mechanism, if it were desired to conduct a supply of steam or combustion-retarding gas via the boom, however, if it is desired to make the connection and then use the boom 23, 24 in some other location, a separate conduit 49 may be led to a steam generator shown at 60. The steam generator 60 may be of a type which is commercially available and constitutes a portable steam generator capable of producing live steamat specified pressures in a short period of time.

The penetrating device shown generally at 31 could also take the form illustrated in FIGURE 3 wherein an elongated member is shown at 61 having a sharpened point portion 62 formed with an outlet 63 at one end of a passage 64. The other end of the passage 64 is 4 connected to an inlet formed in a boss 66 the shank of the penetrating device 61. I

The point 62 constitutes the entrant end of the penetrating device 61. At the other end there is provided a driving end shown at 67 formed-in this instance with an impact surface 68 by means of which the penetrating tool attached to may be driven by a hammer or sledge, as shown at 69.

The boss 66 again cooperates with a coupling connec tion identified with the same reference numeral as previously applied for connecting a conduit 49 attached to a source of combustion-retarding gas such as steam so that the gaseous material may pass through the passage 64, through theoutlet 63 and into the space, such as the cock. loft or attic 20.

While the use of steamon buildings in the way that Water is normally used would not be practical because the st of steam would actually increase the supply of oxygen reaching the fire and thereby contribute to the blaze, with the resultant offsetting of the cooling effect of the steam vapor, the present invention, in effect, results in a complete segregation of the top of the building by a blanket of combustion-retarding gas. Accordingly, even if, hot gases of combustion rise to the cock loft, they are pre vented from spreading laterally. The source of the tire being localized, and the risk of spreading being checked the fire-fighters can then concentrate on locating and extinguishing the actual source of the fire. i

In the form of the invention illustrated in FIGURE 2, it is contemplated that means can be provided on the f shank 41 for securing the device in place when it is drilled through the Wall or ceiling of the building 10. In this connection, note that the shank 41 is formed with tapered screw threads 70 extending upwardly from the neck 40 but terminating short of the inlet 48.

In operation, the twist drill formed on the entrant end 33 will form a hole 71 inrthe wall or ceiling of the roof structure 19, whereupon the tapered screw threads 70 will engage the edges of theopening 71, thereby to axially advance the penetrating device through the roof 19 and operating to securely hold and retain the penetrating device in place with the outlet 46 communicating with r the interior of the cock loft 20.

Although minor modifications might be suggested by those versed in the art, it should be understood that I wish to embody within the scope of the patent warranted hereon all such modifications as reasonably and properly come within the scope of my contribution to the art.

I claim as my invention;

1. In combination, a fire-fighting vehicle, an extendible boom on said vehicle tobe raised and lowered, a plate form on the end of said boom for carrying an operator, a rotatable power take-off on said platform, and a rotatable penetrating tool for being drivingly connected to said power take-01f, said penetrating tool comprising an elongated member having an entrant end formed as a twist drill, an intermediate shank por tion having external screw threads formed thereon for engaging the edges of a hole drilled by said entrant end, and a driving end forming a coupling for connection to said power take-off, said penetrating tool, having con duit means connected thereto and forming a passage extending through the interior of. said penetrating toolsfor conducting combustion-retarding gas from, a source at n creased pressure to the interior of a structure penetrated by said tool.

2. In combination, a fire truck having a foldable boom for selective extension towards the top of an architectural structure, penetrating means on the end of said boom comprising a penetrating tool having a driving end, an entrant end and a passage extending through the interior of said tool, and means for conducting a combustion-retarding gas through said passage, whereby said foldable boom may be employed to position said penetrating means for penetration of a ceiling in aburning architectural structure,

thereby to fill the top of the burning architectural structure with combustion-retarding gas. 1

3. Fire-fighting apparatus comprising a penetrating tool including an elongated member having an entrant end and a driving end, by means of which said entrant end may be driven through the ceiling or wall of an architectural structure,

said tool having a passage extending longitudinally therethrough including an outlet opening near the entrant end of the tool for communicating with the interior of a space enclosed within the structure and further including an inlet near the driving end of the tool for cornmunicating with a source of combustion-retarding gas exteriorly of the architectural structure, and conduit means including a quick disconnect coupling for connect- :ing the penetnating tool to a source of combustion-retarding gas, said penetrating tool having an intermediate shank portion formed with fastening means inwardly of said entrant end to engage the ceiling or wall after the tool has been penetratingly driven therethrough. 4. Fire-fighting apparatus as defined in claim 3, said fastening means comprising helically formed screw threads by means of which said tool is threadedly advanced through and engaged with said ceilim or wall after penetration of said ceiling or wall by said entrant end. 5. Fire-fighting apparatus comprising a penetrating tool having a driving end, an entrant end, and a pass-age extending through the interior thereof, and means for conducting a combustion-retarding gas through said passage, whereby said tool may be penetratingly driven through the roof or ceiling of a burning architectural structure, thereby to fill the top of the structure with combustionretarding gas,

said driving end comprising a chuck coupling for connection to a rotatable power source, and said entrant end comprising a twist drill. 6. Fire-fighting apparatus as defined in claim 5, said penetrating tool having a shank portion formed with external screw threads inwardly of said entrant end to engage the edges of an opening drilled by said twist drill. 7. Fire-fighting apparatus as defined in claim 6, said passage having an opening in the fluted portion of the twist drill and having an inlet opening out of one side of said penetrating tool towards the driving end of the tool. 8. A device for injecting steam or other gaseous material into a building involved in a fire comprising a twist drill having a hollow shank formed with an inlet at an upper end of the drill and an outlet opening out of the fluted portion at the lower end of the drill said shank having tapered screw threads formed bebetween the inlet and the outlet inwardly of the fluted portion at the lower end of the drill to secure the device in place after it has drilled in penetrating relation through the wall or ceiling of the building.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1835132 *Apr 22, 1929Dec 8, 1931Max RosenthalFire apparatus
US2047714 *Dec 29, 1934Jul 14, 1936Ingersoll Rand CoHose coupling
US2260515 *Dec 14, 1938Oct 28, 1941Cardox CorpMethod for extinguishing fires in bales and loosely piled materials
US2586797 *Jun 21, 1947Feb 26, 1952Otis Elevator CoFire protection system
US2626812 *Mar 17, 1950Jan 27, 1953Jones Willis HToolholder
US2756829 *Mar 30, 1954Jul 31, 1956Phillips John DFire extinguisher for tires
US2813753 *Mar 16, 1956Nov 19, 1957Fredrick C RobertsFog nozzle
US2857005 *Jul 19, 1957Oct 21, 1958Boeing CoFire fighting apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3904117 *Dec 7, 1973Sep 9, 1975Adams Jr Paul RHouse painting
US4934629 *Jul 21, 1987Jun 19, 1990Harry BrantRescue vehicle
US5301756 *Feb 8, 1993Apr 12, 1994Crash Rescue Equipment Service, Inc.Vehicle mounted aerial lift
US6165283 *Nov 9, 1998Dec 26, 2000Dahlin; William G.Railcar cleaning method and apparatus
US6317919Jul 14, 2000Nov 20, 2001William G. DahlinRailcar cleaning apparatus
US6523221Nov 13, 2001Feb 25, 2003William G. DahlinRailcar cleaning method and apparatus
US6840330Apr 2, 2004Jan 11, 2005David W. LancasterApparatus and method of extinguishing fires
US7137456 *Mar 3, 2005Nov 21, 2006Moses Linnie LFirefighting equipment
US7984863 *Dec 29, 2008Jul 26, 2011Alan E. BerberickHigh-rise building fire fighting portable shaft system
US20050199402 *Mar 3, 2005Sep 15, 2005Moses Linnie L.Firefighting equipment
US20060182594 *Jul 28, 2005Aug 17, 2006Bernd WagerTransfer apparatus
US20090173507 *Jan 3, 2008Jul 9, 2009Thomas FoleySystem and method for removing smoke and heat from a structure
WO1995014508A1 *Oct 25, 1994Jun 1, 1995Augustus Fire Tool Tm CorporationPortable fire fighting tool
Classifications
U.S. Classification169/25, 182/2.1, 182/51, 169/70
International ClassificationA62C3/04, A62C3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA62C3/04
European ClassificationA62C3/04