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"Three Alarm Fire"

Posted by R. Berg on August 14, 2005

In Reply to: "Three Alarm Fire" posted by Abe on August 13, 2005

: "Three Alarm Fire" - literally. In the US media fires are often designated as "[2, 3, ...] Alarm Fire". I know that the higher the number the more serious the fire but who and what determines that a fire is literally a "two alarm fire" or a "three alarm fire"?

Presumably the local fire department sets standards for how big a fire must be to warrant ringing the alarm three times. I have no direct knowledge of this, however.