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Backdraft rescue

They’ll have you on the edge of your seat, biting your nails and cheering them on — that’s the power of Hollywood rescues. Rescue scenes elicit these types of feelings, as movie viewers idolize heroes and dream of being rescued by firefighters, police officers and the average Joe. Believable or not, Hollywood rescue scenes are iconic in pop culture and paint the picture of heroes we see worth imitating. In no particular order, here are 10 Hollywood rescues to die for:

1. Backdraft (1991)

Backdraft produced one of the most epic firefighter rescue scenes of all time, which is filled with brotherly love and kick-ass action. Watch fireman Brian McCaffrey (William Baldwin) catch a wild hose and put out a massive fire to save his brother Stephen (Kurt Russell) and others from a blazing building.

2. The Towering Inferno (1974)

Even with today’s mega special effects, The Towering Inferno, is still considered one of the best disaster films of all time. In this exciting scene, Fire Chief Michael O’Halloran (Steve McQueen) hangs on for dear life, while lowering a hanging elevator filled with people from the burning Glass Tower, and dropping a fellow firefighter onto a safety net from more than 100 stories high.

3. Crash (2004)

The crash scene in Crash is hard to forget. Officer John Ryan (Matt Dillon) reports to an accident with a turned-over car that’s leaking gasoline. The scene is chalked full of emotion and tension as Ryan tries to loosen Christine (Thandie Newton) who is caught in her seatbelt as the car begins to burn.

4. Ladder 49 (2004)

Rookie firefighter Jack Morrison, played by Joaquin Phoenix, gets his first taste of rescuing victims, when he and another firefighter save a woman from a burning house and watch as she is revived in the ambulance.

5. Watchmen (2009)

In this scene from the live adaptation of the Watchmen comic book, superheroes Nite Owl and Silk Spectre II are called to save victims from a burning building. Silk Spectre II gathers everyone into the flying ship “Archie” within seconds of becoming toast herself.

6. Mr. Deeds (2002)

The story of Longfellow Deeds, played by Adam Sandler, is best depicted in his selfless acts and sincerity that he shows in this scene from Mr. Deeds. A memorable, yet absurd demonstration of firefighting occurs when Deeds voluntarily climbs up a burning apartment building to save a woman and her seven (yes, seven) cats.

7. Volcano (1997)
This movie may be your worst natural disaster nightmare, but you’ve gotta give it to subway worker, Stan Olber, (John Carroll Lynch) who sacrifices his life to save the driver of a broken-down train that becomes consumed with flaming lava.

8. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007)

Firefighters and “life partners” Chuck Levine (Adam Sandler) and Larry Valentine (Kevin James) are sent into a burning building to save Bernie, an overweight man, who adds some…err…fuel to the fire.

9. James Bond – Quantum of Solace (2008)

James Bond, played by Daniel Craig, does it again in Quantum of Solace, where he saves the day (and the Bond girl) from a burning, explosive building. In this scene, Bond opts not to throw his enemy Dominic into the fiery pit, and instead goes to find Camille, who is trapped in a burning room. Just when it looks like the end for Bond, he manages to find his way out completely unscathed.

10. Batman Begins (2005)

After an 8-year hiatus, the Batman series returns with Batman Begins, and this time Alfred is suiting up to save Batman? In this scene, Bruce Wayne falls victim to a fire started by his former trainer and opponent, Ra’s Al Ghul and henchman. With such ease, his over-the-hill assistant, Alfred, forges through the burning mansion, frees Bruce from the falling debris and they safely escape to the dungeon.

Fire ExtinguisherIn the event of a fire, there are various household items and natural resources that can put out flames and keep them from spreading. Depending on the type and size of the fire, some extinguishers may work better than others. For the slow burning campfires and grill fires, natural outdoor extinguishers can be used. Whereas, quick burning, indoor fires need to be extinguished right away with a reliable extinguisher. For highly combustible and quick spreading fires, always exit the house or building and call your local fire department. Here are just a few of the many household fire extinguishers you can use in an emergency fire:

  1. Fire Extinguisher

    Fire extinguishers are designed to put out most types of fires, but each extinguisher is designated for a different type of fire. For example, Class A extinguishers put out fires in ordinary combustibles like wood, paper and trash. Class B extinguishers put out fires from flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline and paint, whereas, Class C extinguishers are used on electrical equipment fires. Lastly, Class D extinguishers are used on combustible metals, such as aluminum and potassium. Fire extinguishers should be kept in the house, workplace, kitchen, school and anywhere else a fire might occur. Extinguishers should always be visible and accessible, as well as used on the specified fire.

  2. Water

    Water is a natural fire extinguisher that works by diminishing the heat of fire, as well as creating vapor that clouds the fire and keeps it from spreading. Water is easy to gather and works quickly on specific fires. Water and water extinguishers can be used to put out Class A fires in ordinary combustibles, such as wood, paper, trash, cloth and plastics. Water should never be used on Class B or C fires because water will cause grease fires to splash and spread further, as well as create shock hazards in electrical fires. Home fire sprinkler systems can also be installed to attack a fire in its early stages and keep it from spreading.

  3. Baking Soda

    A common household item that can be used on fires is likely sitting in your cabinet or refrigerator — baking soda. Baking soda is a sodium bicarbonate, which has various purposes like putting out small grease or electrical kitchen fires. Baking soda will help smother and cool fires at the base of the flame.

  4. Pan Lids

    One of the quickest and most effective ways of putting out grease or cooking fires is to use a pan lid. Non-glass lids that fit over the pan, skillet or container in which you are cooking in are best to use for smothering a cooking fire. Using a lid will suffocate the fire due to a lack of oxygen, which is needed to sustain combustion. Be sure that the lid has a heat-resistant handle or you wear oven mitts when placing a lid on top of a fire.

  5. Salt

    Since sodium chloride (salt) is one of the principle extinguishing ingredients in fire extinguishers, it’s no wonder why it made it on the list. By nature, salt dissipates heat and minimizes oxygen when applied to a fire. Table salt can be used to extinguish grease fires that occur on the stove or in the oven. Fire extinguishers that have salt in it are best used on Class D fires in combustible metals, such as potassium, sodium and aluminum.

  6. Soil

    Soil that is free of flammable organic materials is helpful in extinguishing fires. Soil works like other extinguishing materials by absorbing heat and suffocating the fire. Soil is best used on small outdoor fires and cooking fires that are slow burning. It may need to be combined with water and spread around to smother all flames and ashes.

  7. Sand

    Like soil, sand produces a similar extinguishing effect of suffocating the fire by absorbing heat and depriving it of oxygen. Generally, sand is better to use than soil in campfires and small fires caused by ordinary combustibles, because it has less flammable materials in it and it’s more dry. However, sand is not a reliable extinguisher for combustible metals.

  8. Beer

    Mostly made of water, beer is another good alternative to a fire extinguisher. For grill fires, campfires or engine fires, beer can serve as a quick extinguisher when shaken and poured over the flames. Depending on the size of the fire, multiple cans or bottles may be needed to fully extinguish.

  9. Urine

    Whether this is followed by No. 8 or you’re out of water, urine, believe it or not, can also serve as an effective fire extinguisher. Just like other water-based extinguishers, urine is more than 90 percent water, which is enough to put out a fire. While this isn’t the fastest or easiest extinguishing method, it can be done near a small campfire or outdoor fire. Take caution and privacy when urinating over a fire.

  10. Blankets, Rugs, Towels

    If you don’t have access to a fire blanket, then household blankets, rugs, draperies and towels can all be used to put out fires. These items are extremely useful when you or another person is on fire. A blanket or any heavy cloth can be wrapped around the body, clothes or hair and padded to smother the fire.