Tuesday, August 14, 2007

August 14, 2007 -- San Jose Level III High-rise Response

On Tuesday, 14 August, at approximately 12:17 PM, there was a request by San Jose Fire for Fire Associates service at a "Level II High-rise" incident at 60 N. Third St. in downtown San Jose. Your "Blog Master" (John Whitaker) responded in Support Unit #2 and was met by FASCV member, Mike Chappell. Before the afternoon was over, the incident had been raised to a Level III High-rise, and John and Mike had dispensed 150 burritos, 5 gallons of lemonade and several cases of water to the numerous crews who were on scene.

Engine 8 was the first to arrive. They were driving down Santa Clara Street, in front of San Jose City Hall, when passers-by alerted them to the smoke and flames one block away. The Engine 8 crew made the original radio notification. For those FASCV members who regularly listen to the fire radio scanners, this was not the usual “60 N. Third St.” radio dispatch: “Smoke alarm…Town Park Towers…First-due only.”

The Engine 8 crew initially found the fire roaring on the balcony of a 10th-floor unit with the fire spreading rapidly into the apartment. Although later-arriving crews were hampered by an elevator system that was put out of commission by the incident, fire damage was contained to the original apartment. However, the IC was faced with a logistical challenge as water damage from overhead sprinklers was extensive. Because of water and power issues, fire officials eventually evacuated the building after many of the residents were initially told to shelter-in-place. The 10-story building, known as Town Park Towers, houses low-income seniors.

The fire was contained about 30 minutes after firefighters arrived on scene and FASCV was released from service at approximately 5:00 PM.

Check out John's photos at: SJS - Town Park Towers.

NBC 11's news story can be found at: http://www.nbc11.com