The press is reporting that firefighters let a house burn down because they were afraid of ammo in the home. I am guessing that the press got this wrong and the firefighters remained outside because there was ammunition in the house. This is called ‘going defensive’- essentially allowing the house to burn down while protecting nearby structures- because it is too dangerous for firefighters to enter. Usually, defensive strategies in a single family home are caused by a fire being so advanced that there is a significant risk of either building collapse or the fire is so intense that there is a high risk of injury.

I sincerely hope the defensive strategy wasn’t due to ammunition. Unless it is loaded into a firearm, small arms ammunition doesn’t pose a risk to those nearby. The show Myth Busters already proved that. The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI), and the National Shooting Sports Foundation agree with the assessment that small arms ammunition does not present a significant risk under fire conditions, if the ammunition is not supported by a firearm chamber.

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