Saturday, December 1, 2007
December 1, 2007 - 3rd-alarm Gilroy Response
On Saturday morning, December 1, the Gilroy Fire Department requested FASCV's help at a 3-alarm fire at a cardboard box factory on the city's south side. John Whiteside and Don Gilbert responded to the 3:51 A.M. page in Support Unit 2. They were met by FASCV members John Whitaker and Mike Chappell. The fire was located at 6791 Alexander Street, Gilroy.
The fire was burning in 20-foot-high stacks of rolled, brown, craft paper. The stacks and stacks of paper were used in the manufacturing of corrugated cardboard shipping boxes. Approximately 300 rolls of paper burned through the morning hours and into the afternoon. Because of the densely pack material, fire crews had to keep the paper doused with water as forklifts busily unstacked the rolls. Every time a roll was moved, or water stopped flowing, flames would erupt. Fortunately, fire crews were able to used the company's break room has a rehab area as the morning temperatures dipped before the 40-degree mark just before sunrise.
Upon arrival, FASCV members provided donuts and coffee and then delivered and served 45 breakfast meals from a local restaurant. The Support Unit was released shortly before noon.
The fire was just one of 3 suspicious fires the erupted in Gilroy during the early morning hours. Flames also were doused at a local Ford dealership and a new, city sports complex. All fires were being investigated as possible arson.
John Whitaker's photos can be seen at this link: Gilroy Fire. The San Jose Mercury-News story can be read at: "Three Fires Battled".