I had a crowd of people over my house, all ready for a nice holiday dinner when dispatch came through and reported a trailer fire in one of our trailer courts. While we were on the way to the fire, the chief on scene reported heavy smoke pushing from the trailer. We took a detour up a street that precariously committed our engine to the street the fire was on, however the nearest hydrant was one block east, so I got on the radio and called out "Engine 6 1 5 is on scene without a water supply, I repeat, we do not have a water supply. Second due engines must drop in."
As we pulled up to the fire, I went to turn on my portable radio but it was completely dead, so I quickly fumbled to change the battery in it and jumped out. By this time, one of our 1 3/4" hoselines was being stretched off the side of the engine. I grabbed it and started flaking it out, then yelled to one of our probies "You see what I'm doing here? Keep doing it." and left her to finish the job. As I got closer to the trailer, my Lieutenant had a 2x4 piece of wood in his hand and was walking around the trailer breaking out windows in an attempt to ventilate the trailer so we could make an attack. I walked past the first door that guys were attempting to break open, and up to the second door. I took my tool and broke out two windows next to the door, then ran back to the engine to grab a second hoseline.
When I got back to the second door with the hoseline, I called on the radio for water, grabbed an axe and broke out the window right above the door handle and reached in and unlocked it. I backed up, got onto my knees and put my airmask on. When it was ready, I looked to the right and saw a few guys making entry through the first door, and yelled to the guys behind me "...You ready?" I opened the door, pushed my body into the doorway on my knees, and opened up the handline, hitting water up high, but I could not get around the corner because there wasn't enough hoseline. At this time, I felt the hoseline go limp - we were out of water. I shut down the line, backed out a few feet and yelled to the guys standing behind me "You guys have to back me up, someone grab that f**cking handline and advance it.
The time I wasted trying to get a second hoseline that actually had a water supply, although short (under a minute), was enough time to let air circulate through the first door that the initial attack crew was making an attack, through the trailer, and out of the door we had propped open. This was enough that the entire trailer, now full of fire AND air, intensified and sent flames through all windows. The initial crew had to back out of the trailer, although they were only in about 3 feet, and totally back down the stairs as the fire was now rolling out of all windows, creating a pillowy, flowing bed of smoke under the long awning.
Someone behind us passed up a hoseline from another engine that had a water supply, and the first attack crew got their own water supply working, and we tried the fire attack again, this time successfully. I crawled back into the doorway, and used the doorframe as leverage as I kicked my body to the left, getting the hoseline to reach around the doorway and get water flowing to the right, towards the other team. We saw immediate results, and the fire was knocked down in about 30 seconds.
Someone behind me yelled "The fire's knocked down, push in!" I shut down my hoseline and dragged it with me as we began to crawl over the ton of debris in the trailer to conduct a search for victims. The conditions were tight, and every now and then we had to stop crawling and open up the handline on a hot-spot or an area that was still on fire. When we pushed past all the junk and met the crew that was advancing from their door to us, I felt relief that there no longer was a danger of getting entangled, there were plenty of guys around now in case anyone needed help.
The smoke was still too thick to see, and hadn't cleared yet, when I was crawling and encountered a couch. As I began searching the top of the couch for victims, I felt a body, no doubt in my mind it was a body, under a blanket. It felt soft, but not as soft as a blanket or pillow. I immediately yelled out to my Lieutenant to come take a look. We tried our best to get some smoke out of the place, before things began to clear and I saw a big Labrador Retriever with its body still under a blanket, and smoke pouring out of his mouth. I felt so bad, I'm a dog lover and it was just horrible to see. On the bright side, being that he was partially still covered by a blanket meant that he was asleep when the fire broke out, and the smoke obviously killed him, not the heat or flames. At least he didn't panic, nor was he in any pain at all.
We called out on the radio that we had a k-9 victim, and to alert Animal Control to come to the location. After that, I pushed my way back to the second door that we made entry in when my bottle of air started ringing the low-air alarm, and I exited the trailer, passing my tools to a few guys who were standing outside ready to relieve us.
In the end, I got into discussions with a few different people who said we were wrong for making entry in the second door, and I see their point - it created a ton of airflow. However, we had two fully-manned hoselines with smooth-bore tips, which both flow enough water to single-handedly knock down that trailer fire, and I'm confident if we didn't run out of water when we did that the knockdown would have been even quicker.