# Thread: The fireman's problem (optimization)

1. ## The fireman's problem (optimization)

A fence a feet high is b feet from a high burning building. Find the length of the shortest ladder that will reach from the ground across the top of the fence to the building.

I have the picture set up and now I'm stuck. I know that I have to express the ladder in terms of x and I'm pretty sure that it involves similar triangles. Thanks.

and sorry for double posting. I just really need help with this.

2. Originally Posted by elitespart
A fence a feet high is b feet from a high burning building. Find the length of the shortest ladder that will reach from the ground across the top of the fence to the building.

I have the picture set up and now I'm stuck. I know that I have to express the ladder in terms of x and I'm pretty sure that it involves similar triangles. Thanks.

and sorry for double posting. I just really need help with this.
Double posting is not a way of getting faster help. All it does is create a situation where people can end up wasting their valuable time (given for free at MHF) replying to a question that's already been solved elsewhere.

3. Alright sorry I don't go on forums much. Didn't know it was such a big deal. Can someone please just point me in the right direction?