Friday, December 25, 2009

December 25, 2009 -- Christmas Day Response for San Jose Fire


"Twas the night before Christmas, and the Fire Associates members were all snug in their beds, when the San Jose Fire Department called for our aid."

That was the story at 2:03 A.M. on Dec. 25, when FASCV was paged to a condo fire at 510 Branham Lane East. Rumor on scene had it that Santa had spotted a column of smoke while making his rounds and called it in. Don Gilbert leapt out of bed and responded in Support Unit 2. He was met on scene by three of the FASCV elves -- John Whitaker, Mike Chappell and Ron Green.

The fire was burning a row of condos with the only access road being a wide driveway between the row of units. The first responding firefighters quickly initiated an interior attack, looking for possible occupants. It turned out that the residents were away for the day -- visiting relatives for the holiday.

Temperatures were in the mid-30s, and frost was evident on cars parked in the area. But, the FASCV members
"...spoke not a word, and went straight to their work."

Fire crews initially rehydrated with water and Gatorade, but hot coffee soon was in demand to help fight off the early-morning chill. Being Christmas Eve, it was very appropriate that FASCV was serving fresh-ground, Starbuck's "Christmas Blend" beans.

After all the crews had been served, Support Unit 2 was released at 4:15 A.M.
"...and away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But we heard Don exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight...Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Thursday, December 24, 2009

December 24, 2009 -- Christmas Eve Response for Cal Fire


Shortly before 1:25 A.M. on the morning of Christmas Eve, John Whiteside got a very strange phone call. He received a direct call from Cal Fire dispatch in Morgan Hill requesting FASCV aid at a fire west of Gilroy. Usually, a page is sent out from Sonitrol, but, this time, Cal Fire was calling directly. It seems that, since John is a VIP volunteer with Cal Fire, a Cal Fire Battalion chief was specifically calling John for our help. It was a very cold morning and he did not have any other rehab resources.

John Whiteside responded in Support Unit 2 to the incident at 5165 Redwood Retreat Road deep in the hills west of Gilroy. The structure was an old ranch-style home that looked like it had be added onto on more than one occasion. The first-in engine companies made a very good stop on what was potentially a very destructive fire. As fires go, this was not a very large incident, but, FASCV help was needed because of the sub-32 degree temperatures. John was met on scene by Mike Chappell and John Whitaker. Hot coffee was in great demand!

The Support Unit was released from service at 4:15 A.M.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 16, 2009 -- 2nd-Alarm Response for San Jose Fire


On Wednesday morning, December 16, San Jose Fire called for Fire Associates aid. The page for help was sent out at 2:16 A.M. and John Whiteside responded in Support Unit 2 to 158 Avenida Espana. He was met on scene by John Whitaker and later joined by FASCV members Jerry Haag and Mike Chappell.

Located just off Santa Teresa Blvd., in the extreme southern portion of San Jose, the 2-alarm fire consumed most of a one-story residence. The home was occupied by an elderly couple and their middle-aged son. The mother and father escaped the inferno, but their son did not. Initial reports indicated that he had initially made it out of the structure and possibly went back in, but that has not been confirmed as of this writing.

FASCV members were kept busy providing hot coffee on a cold and windy morning. Eventually, a light rain began to fall -- just enough to help make the morning more cold and miserable. Along about 4:00 A.M., FASCV was instructed to order 30 breakfast burritos for emergency personnel on scene. The challenge was to find a place open at that hour that could provide the meals. A 24-hr. Jack-in-the-Box, located several miles away, fit the bill. Meals were then picked up and served.

Support Unit 2 was released at approximately 6:15 A.M.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 12, 2009 -- 2nd-Alarm Response in Sunnyvale


On December 12, at a little after 8:00 P.M., the Sunnyvale Department of Pubic Safety called for Fire Associates' support. The call was for a 2nd-alarm fire burning in a single-family residence at 731 Shasta Fir Drive. Bob Gundrum responded in Support Unit 1. He was joined on scene by Jerry Haag, Ron Green, Len Williams and guest, Dan Wong. Jerry has provided this report:

Date: 12 Dec. 2009
Time: 1915 initial fire dispatch, 2002 Sonitrol dispatch, 2005 arrival, released at 2200.
Type: Structure fire
Size: Second alarm
Jurisdiction: Sunnyvale
Location: 731 Shasta Fir Dr.

Details: Single-story dwelling. Engine 2 first on scene on A side. Engine 4 covered C side from Sequoia Drive. Ultimately, E-2 supplied six handlines and a 5" supply to Truck 1's elevated master stream. Two persons and a dog displaced.

Units in attendance:
SNY: E-1, 2, 3, 4, 30, 40; T-1, 2; R-2; Med-7; and Batt. 3 (Pitts)
MTV and SNC provided station coverage.


Responding Members: Gundrum (driver), Green, Haag, Williams, Wong (guest)
Fire Support Unit Responding: FSU-1

Remarks: It was a cold, rainy night.
---------------------------------

Interesting addendum to this story from Len Williams:


Sunnyvale responded around 4:45 or 5:00 a.m. today (Tues., Dec. 15) to a re-kindle on the 2nd-alarm house fire from Sat. night.

I talked to Bob Gundrum a few minutes ago, and he said that the house had
steel shingles, put on over the original wood shingle roof. No wonder it
was such a hot fire!

The re-kindle didn't amount to much, since Engine 2 was going back in
service around 1/2 hr. later when I got up.

Len

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December 6, 2009 -- 3rd-Alarm Response for San Jose Fire

Early Sunday morning, Dec. 6, SJFD called for Fire Associates assistance at a 3rd-alarm fire west of downtown. FSU #2 with John Whiteside responded to the 2:14 A.M. call at 150 S. Montgomery. Don Gilbert later joined in the effort. John has submitted this report:

Large, single-story modular offices of a security company on Los Gatos Creek side of Autumn Street -- between Park Ave. and W. San Fernando Street. From discussions, apparently homeless folks used a portable BBQ as a warming fire behind a minivan near the front of building’s entrance area. A small tree ignited and spread to the building. Seems that only 1 unit suffered interior damage.

The second page (indicating that I was responding) came out 5 minutes after the request page. As I was leaving home, I heard the IC ask about FASCV’s status and dispatch said they didn’t know. I immediately used my HT and told them I was enroute to Station 6 to get the rig with a 15-min. ETA. This was later relayed to the IC with other traffic. I left Station 6 at 0258 hrs.

On arrival, Med 30 was very happy to see me. Temps were in the low 30s. There were multiple companies in rehab, and many wanted Gatorade or coffee. It took awhile to set everything up and get the coffee going. Later, Don arrived after waking up to low battery tones on his pager and seeing the dispatch. We were released near 0545.

The fire had the potential of growing in size and the weather was cold, which may have contributed to the multi-alarm response. It was B shift on duty.


Monday, November 30, 2009

November 30, 2009 -- 2nd-Alarm Response to Morgan Hill


On Nov. 30 at 9:45 A.M., Santa Clara County Fire called for Fire Associates help at a 2nd-alarm fire in Morgan Hill. The fire was burning in a 4-plex apartment unit located at 18216 Hale Ave. in Morgan Hill. John Whitaker answered the call with Support Unit 2. He was met on scene by George Hoyt and Mike Chappell. Mike lives only a few blocks away from this address.

The fire started on the second floor on the 2-story townhouse. An unattended candle was apparently the cause. Adequate fire blocks in the structure kept the severe damage limited to the involved unit and minor damage occurred in one adjoining apartment. First-arriving fire crews found flames rolling out of the bedroom window and a second alarm was called almost immediately. Everyone made it out of the apartment safely and firefighters were busy on scene until the early afternoon with overhaul.

Fire Associates set up rehab on Hale Ave., just west of the fire scene. With bright blue autumn skies and little wind, Gatorade, water and Cliff Bars were in demand on an afternoon when temperatures reached into the lows 70s. Support Unit 2 was released from the scene at 12:45 P.M. and was back in quarters by 1:30 P.M.

* Photo by Natalie Everett, Morgan Hill Times

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

November 24, 2009 -- 2nd-Alarm Response for Santa Clara Fire


On Tuesday morning, Nov. 24, at 6:48 A.M., Fire Associates was paged to a fire in Santa Clara. Located at the intersection of Bowers Ave. and Kifer Rd., the fire was burning in a Carl's Jr. Restaurant. Jerry Haag responded in Support Unit 1 and was met by FASCV members Ron Green and Bob Gundrum. Jerry has submitted this report:

Date: 24 Nov. 2009
Time: 0648 Sonitrol dispatch, 0705 arrival, released at 0815.
Type: Structure fire
Size: Second alarm
Jurisdiction: City of Santa Clara
Location: 2900 Bowers Ave.

Details: Carl's Jr. Restaurant. Origin in a piece of cooking equipment, spread up into ceiling space then to mansard concealed space. Initial structural response was at about 0500. SNC Engine 9 provided three 1-3/4" hand lines and a 5" supply to an elevated master stream from SNC Truck 2.

Units in attendance:
SNC: E-3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10; T-2, 8; R-2; HM-9; Med-5; & Batt.-1

Responding Members: Haag (driver), Green, Gundrum
Fire Support Unit Responding: FSU-1


Saturday, November 21, 2009

November 20, 2009 -- 2nd-Alarm Fire in Campbell


At 11:47 P.M. on Nov. 20, Santa Clara County Fire requested Fire Associates assistance for a 2nd-alarm fire in Campbell. The fire was burning in a 7-Eleven convenience store at 262 W. Sunnyoaks Avenue -- near the intersection with Winchester Blvd. Don Gilbert answered the call with Support Unit 2. He was met on scene by John Whitaker and Mike Chappell.

Firefighters were faced with two issues -- limited access to the structure and an extensive amount of smoke. Although called a "convenience" store, the fire was anything but. The building was located adjacent to a combination Vallero gas station/Deli -- it literally butted up against the non-involved gas station. The cinder-block wall of the gas station acted as a very-effective fire wall and kept the active fire from spreading. County Truck 1 was able to "reach" over the gas station/Deli and attack the flames from above. The front of the 7-Eleven was accessible, but a large quantity of smoke initially kept firefighters at a distance. Adding to the difficulty, CNT Engine 10 was away from its
Sunnyoaks Station on another call at the time of the fire. Sunnyoaks Station is located 2 blocks west of the incident. CNT Truck 5 was first-in and had to use its pumps for the initial hand-line attack.

With temperatures dipping into the low 40s, rehab was kept busy making many pots of coffee. Once again, cold and wet firefighters were very happy to see Fire Associates on scene. Support Unit 2 was not released until 4:00 A.M. after a long, cold Fall morning.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November 17, 2009 -- 2nd-Alarm Fire in Palo Alto


On Tuesday morning, Nov. 17, Palo Alto Fire called for a 2nd-alarm response at a large condo building. Located at 360 Everett Ave., the fire apparently began on the ground floor of a 5-story complex. Jerry Haag answered the 5:15 A.M. page and responded in Fire Support Unit 1. He was met by FASCV member Ron Green. Jerry has written the following report:

Date: 17 Nov. 2009
Time: 0445 second alarm sounded, 0515 Sonitrol dispatch, 0545 arrival, released at 0715.
Type: Structure fire
Size: Second alarm
Jurisdiction: City of Palo Alto
Location: 360 Everett Ave.

Details: Five story condominium building. Fire started on a first-floor patio on the "B" side (possibly due to a barbeque), spread to a second-floor porch but was prevented from entering the second floor dwelling unit by effective fire operations and fire resistive construction on the underside of the porch. Palo Alto Engine 1 was first in with water supply provided by Menlo Engine 1 on auto-aid. The fire was quickly extinguished with minimal overhaul so auto-aid and second alarm apparatus was already being released as FS-1 arrived at the scene.

Units in attendance:
PAF: E-1, 3, 4, 6, T-6, R-2, ALS-1, B-6, IC was Acting B/C, Capt. Morris
MTV: E-1, T-1, B-18 (B/C Del Carlo)
MNL: E-1 (auto-aid)

Responding Members: Haag (driver), Green
Fire Support Unit Responding: FSU-1


November 13, 2009 -- San Jose Apt. Fire Goes to 3 Alarms


On Friday night, Nov. 13, San Jose Fire called for Fire Associates service at 12:07 A.M. An 8-plex apartment building had caught fire around 11:00 P.M. Located at 5506 Makati Circle, the fire was burning in the middle of a larger apartment development on the city's southeast side. Don Gilbert responded in Support Unit 2. He was met on scene by John Whiteside, Ron Green and John Whitaker.

The fire appeared to have started in a lower-floor apartment and then spread upwards into the top-floor of the building. Flames were through the roof as the first units arrived. There were 3 ladders flowing water at one time with plenty of hydrants for 5” hoses. Despite the tight confines, there were no access problems as driveways allowed the trucks to drive right up to the fire building. It was especially interesting to see Truck 13, one of San Jose's two new tillered aerials, navigate the small driveways with ease. Firefighters commented that the building's construction help to prevent the fire from spreading to the rest of the large complex. The cool fall night air meant that hot coffee was in demand at rehab.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 2, 2009 -- 3rd-Alarm Commercial Fire in San Jose


On Monday night, November 2, Fire Associates was paged for a fire burning in the Calderon Tire building. John Whiteside, who had been listening to his scanner, was already in route to get Support Unit 2 when the 10:45 P.M. page was issued. John was met on scene by FASCV members Mike Chappell, John Whitaker and Brian Woodson.

Located near the northwest corner of South First Street and Union Ave., the fire was burning tires and other garage-type material stored inside the old, brick building. Soon after arriving, San Jose Fire declared it a defensive event and hit the fire with three master-streams from Trucks 1, 3 and 4. At the height of the fire, flames were reported to be shooting 65 to 70 feet high.

Support 2 provided coffee, donuts and water to some tired firefighters on a relatively mild Fall evening. After the main blaze had been knocked down, Foam 29 was called into service to supply Truck 3 and eventually bring the fire under control. By daybreak, the cause of the fire was still under investigation.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 28, 2009 -- 3rd-Alarm Response into Sunnyvale


On Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, a 2nd-alarm fire in Sunnyvale drew the attention on FASCV member Jerry Haag. Jerry had been listening on his scanner and self-dispatched to the incident with Support Unit 1 prior to Sunnyvale's request for our assistance. The fire eventually went to a 3rd alarm. Jerry has written the following report...

Date: 28 Oct. 2009
Time: 0715 Self-dispatch on second alarm, 0751 Sonitrol dispatch, 0800 arrival, released at 1300.
Type: Structure fire
Size: Third alarm
Jurisdiction: City of Sunnyvale
Location: 366 W. Olive St.

Details: Two-story, 16-unit apartment building in a complex of 8 similar buildings. Fire started on the first floor, spread to second floor and attic. Given the advanced stage of the fire on arrival of first engine, a good stop was made. Direct fire damage to only 4 or 5 units with smoke and water damage to 3 or 4 more. Hand-line attack was made by E-1. E-2 operated a deck gun. Mountain View T-1 operated an elevated master stream from an adjoining parking lot supplied by SNY E-5. Engineer estimated 1000 gpm flow to the pipe. He was carrying 240 psi discharge pressure (that's why we buy 1500 gpm engines).

Units in attendance:
SNY: E-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 30, 40, Reserve 1, T-1, R-2, Med-7, IC was Carrion
MTV: T-1
CNT: E-1
SNC: E-7, T-8

Responding Members: Haag (driver), Holcomb, Hoyt
Fire Support Unit Responding: FSU-1

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Latest Fire Associates Response Reports


Your friendly "Blog Master" (me) has been lounging in the Tropics for few weeks. I know, I know -- "It's a tough life". With my absence, fire reports have been delayed.

But, I’m back on the Mainland and it's time to get caught up…

1) Thursday, October 15, 2009

Palo Alto Fire called for Fire Associates’ service at at 6:52 P.M. Jerry Haag and Ron Green responded and were met by Len Williams driving Support Unit 1. Jerry submitted this report…

Date: 15 Oct. 2009
Time: 1854 Sonitrol dispatch, 1930 arrival by Green and Haag, 2045 arrival by FSU-1, released at 2130.
Type: Structure fire
Size: Second alarm
Jurisdiction: Palo Alto
Location: 965 Addison Avenue

Details: Single-family, single-story building.

Responding Members: Williams (driver), Green, Haag
Fire Support Unit Responding: FSU-1

Remarks: Extended response time of FSU-1 due to mistaken cancellation of Fire Associates response by Palo Alto Dispatch and then reinstatement. They meant to cancel only the Overhead Support Team.

2) Wednesday, October 21, 2009

At 5:47 A.M., San Jose Fire paged Fire Associates for a house fire in the Almaden Valley. Located at 5827 Brasilia Way, the fire was burning in an apparently vacant home. John Whiteside responded in Support Unit 2 and was joined by FASCV member, Mike Chappell. John submitted this report…

"Oct. 21, SJFD structure fire, 5827 Brasilia Way, at the end of the road and up the hill. This is near the SW corner of the intersection of Almaden Expressway and Coleman Road. Initially, a 2nd alarm but later downgraded. At about 0330, a caller reported a column of smoke in the area, but it took some time to locate and access the incident. Our page came in about 0550 and I reached the scene with Support Unit 2 and 3 doz. donuts at about 0630. Met by Mike Chappell with George Hoyt joining around lunchtime to see if meals were needed. We were already working on the order and George picked up 42 Togo’s.

When I arrived, only E13 and T13 were on scene, with T13 starting to leave. Single 3” supply line up the driveway. I wondered ‘what do I do with 3 doz donuts?’ About 0730, Sta. 5 personnel arrived with the Porta Potty and, during a walk-around tour, they and E13 noticed a body at the bottom of the basement stairs, in the water. The house had been rendered unsafe to enter. Looking thru the windows gave the impression it was empty, with no furniture. Also, there was much obscene, spray-painted graffiti on a garage wall.

That’s when things got very busy. Now, a possible crime scene!!! Soon, we had 4 SJPD cars, detectives, SJFD chiefs, Coroner’s office, SJPD Crime Lab van, HIT 29, USAR 5, etc. County’s arson dog (Rosie) was also called in. We had to wait until the Coroner retrieved the body, secured the scene, and departed. We got many thanks from all -- especially the Detectives and PD officers. We reminded them of how to request FA when needed.

We were on scene 9 hours. Not intense work for us, just coffee, lemonade and lunch. We checked out via PD security and went home around 1530."


3) Monday, October 26, 2009

Our most recent call occurred early Monday morning, Oct. 26 at 2:27 A.M. Milpitas Fire called for our assistance at a single-family house fire. Located at 610 Tramway Drive, the fire was in a residential neighborhood near the intersection of Interstate 680 and Jacklin Road. John Whitaker responded with Support Unit 2 and was met on scene by FASCV member Ron Green.

From the street, the structure looked undamaged due to a screen fence and vegetation that blocked the view of the home. Unfortunately, the screening also hindered firefighters’ access to the home which made suppression activities more difficult. Also, most of the fire was located in “add-on” rooms at the rear of the home. The fire was extinguished by the time FASCV arrived on scene, but our services were needed on a chilly morning. Crews remained to overhaul the structure and wait for shoring material so investigators could search for clues to the fire’s origin.

After serving a lot of coffee and donuts, Fire Associates was released from the incident at approximately 5:00 A.M.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October 11, 2009 -- 2nd-Alarm Fire in Los Gatos


At 2:06 A.M. on Sunday morning, Oct. 11, Fire Associates was requested by Santa Clara County Fire for a fire in Los Gatos. Responding to the 2nd-alarm call at 172 Towne Terrace was Jerry Haag in Support Unit 1. Jerry was assisted by FASCV member, Ron Green and guest, Dan Wong. Jerry has submitted this report:

Date: 11 Oct. 2009
Time: 0208 Sonitrol dispatch, 0300 arrival, released at 0600.
Type: Structure fire
Size: Second alarm
Jurisdiction: County Fire
Location: 172 Towne Terrace, Los Gatos

Details: Multiple-family, two-story building. Engine 3 and Rescue 3 first in. Two 1-3/4" crosslays pulled from E-3, water supply by 5" supply line from nearby hydrant. Two dwelling units seriously damaged, one fatality in first floor unit of origin, 7 persons displaced.

Units in attendance:
CNT: Batt. 3 (Parker), E-3, 6, 8, 10, 305, R-3, HM-2, BS-2, T-5
Others cleared before arrival of Fire Support Unit

Responding Members: Haag (driver), Green, Dan Wong (guest)
Fire Support Unit Responding: FS-1
Remarks: Donuts were served with prior permission of IC.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

October 8, 2009 -- 3rd-Alarm House Fire in San Jose


Early Thursday morning, Oct. 8, Fire Associates was paged to a house fire in northeast San Jose. The 3rd-alarm house fire was located at 754 N. White Road. John Whiteside responded to the 2:28 A.M. call in Support Unit 2 and was met by John Whitaker, Ron Green and Mike Chappell.

The house was almost fully involved when the first-responding fire units pulled up in front of the 2-story structure. Two of the occupants were standing on the street, but a third person was unaccounted for. Because of the intensity of the fire, an early defensive firefighting effort was required, which made any attempt of a rescue impossible. Unfortunately, later in the day, the remains of missing occupant were found on the second floor. Due to the instability of the structure, an extensive shoring effort was needed before the body could be removed by the Coroner's Office.

A rehab area was establish by SJFD Med30 and AMR on a nearby lawn and our Support Unit's portable lighting came in handy. FASCV supplied the usual early morning fare -- hot coffee and donuts. A considerable amount of water and other cold liquids were also in demand. As the morning progressed into the afternoon, Fire Associates also arranged for, delivered and served Togo's sandwiches, chips and fresh fruit.

The Support Unit was released at approximately 1:30 PM.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

October 3, 2009 -- Special Request for Service by Santa Clara City Fire


On Saturday, Oct. 3, Fire Associates was requested by Santa Clara City Fire dispatchers to a house fire at 723 Raney Ct. Bob Gundrum responded in Support Unit 1 and has submitted this report:

Date: 3 Oct. 2009
Time: 1811 Sonitrol dispatch, 1850 arrival, released at 2030.
Type: Structure fire
Size: First alarm (requested at suggestion of Fire Dispatch)
Jurisdiction: City of Santa Clara
Location: 723 Raney Ct.

Details: Single-family dwelling at end of cul-de-sac with fire in
attic after apparent propagation from fire in back bedroom.

Units in attendance:
SNC: E-3, 4, 5, 7; T-2; R-2; Medic-5; HM-9; Batt. 1 (BC Evans)

Responding Members: Gundrum (driver), Green, Williams
Fire Support Unit Responding: FSU-1

Thursday, October 1, 2009

September 30, 2009 -- 2nd-Alarm Response Into Palo Alto


On Wednesday morning, September 30, FASCV was paged for a fire in Palo Alto. The 2-alarm inferno was located at 452 Maureen St. Responding in Support Unit 1 was Bob Gundrum. He was joined on scene by Jerry Haag, Ron Green, and Dan Wong (guest). Jerry has submitted the following report:

Date: 30 Sept. 2009
Time: 0850 Sonitrol dispatch, 0920 arrival, released at 1100.
Type: Structure fire
Size: Second alarm
Jurisdiction: City of Palo Alto
Location: 452 Maureen St.

Details: Small, Eichler-style house. Dispatched as an explosion followed by smoke and fire. Quick transition to defensive operations. Engine 4 first in, supplied seven lines total. Close exposures on B and D sides were saved. House of origin nearly a total loss - except garage. One occupant had minor injury.

Units in attendance:
PAF: E-2,3,4,6 T-6 (Joint PA/MV Quint); BS-2; Medic-1; Batt. 6
MTV: E-3, T-1
CNT: Batt. 14

Responding Members: Gundrum (driver), Haag, Green, Dan Wong (guest)
Fire Support Unit Responding: FSU-1

Friday, September 25, 2009

September 24, 2009 -- A Busy, 2-Response Day for Fire Associates


S
hortly after Fire Associates Board members had adjourned their afternoon meeting at Station 26 in San Jose, our pagers became very active.

1) First to call for our service was Palo Alto Fire. FASCV was paged at 2:57 P.M. to 420 Emerson Street in that city for a 2-alarm fire in a restaurant. Bob Gundrum and Jerry Haag responded with Support Unit 1. They were on the road returning from the Board meeting when the call arrived. Jerry Haag has submitted this report:

Date: 24 Sept. 2009
Time: 1457 Sonitrol dispatch, 1600 arrival, released at 1730.
Type: Structure fire
Size: Second alarm
Jurisdiction: City of Palo Alto
Location: 420 Emerson St.

Details: Single-story, fancy French restaurant (Evvia Estiatorio). Fire, apparently associated with cooking equipment, spread into ceiling space. Good stop. Restaurant can be returned to operation fairly soon. Overhaul was fairly minimal, so our services were not required for very long. Second-alarm units were quickly released.

Units in attendance:
PAF: E-1,2,3, T-6 (Joint PA/MV Quint); BS-2; Medic-1; Batt. 6
MTV: E-3, T-1
CNT: Batt. 14

Responding Members: Gundrum (driver), Haag
Fire Support Unit Responding: FSU-1

Remarks: Gundrum and Haag responded from SJS Station 26. No other members from NW County were available.

** Above photo by Will Oremus/Daily News


2) Then, at 6:18 PM, San Jose Fire issued a request for Fire Associates. This time, a house was on fire at
1370 Mocho Court -- near the intersection of Tully Rd. and McLaughlin Ave. John Whitaker responded in Support Unit 2 and he was met by FASCV member George Hoyt. This being a 3-alarm fire in a residential neighborhood, space was at a premium. Upon arrival, John found streets full of fire equipment and a maze of hoses leading from several hydrants to the blaze.

The closest the Support Unit could get to the scene was 2 blocks away. Med 30 directed that their only need was for cold water, as his supply was running low. Later in the evening, George made a meal-run (burritos) at the direction of the IC. Meals were provided for the two engine companies and one truck that were staying to do the extensive overhaul.

The support unit was released shortly after 10:00 P.M. and was back in quarters at 10:30 P.M.

Friday, September 18, 2009

September 18, 2009 -- Multi-Alarm Response for Santa Clara City Fire


On Friday morning, Sept. 18, the Fire Associates' pagers came to life at 2:46 A.M. with word of a multi-alarm fire in the City of Santa Clara. Located at 800 Scott Blvd., the fire was at the Citti's Florist building. Jerry Haag answered the call, taking Support Unit 1 to the incident. Jerry was joined on scene by FASCV member, Ron Green. Jerry has submitted the following report:

Date: 19 Sept. 2009
Time: 0245 Gundrum dispatch, 0330 arrival, released at 0445.
Type: Structure fire
Size: Second alarm
Jurisdiction: City of Santa Clara
Location: 800 Scott Blvd.

Details: Single story, small, free standing commercial building (Citti's Florist). Fire started in or adjacent to a delivery van parked in near proximity to the building. Fire spread into the overhanging fascia and was largely confined there due to quick effective action by first arriving engine and truck. Overhaul was minimal so our services were not required for very long. Second alarm and mutual aid (SJS) units were quickly released.

Units in attendance (first alarm units only listed):
SNC: E-3,9; T-2; R-2; HM-9; M-1; Batt. 1 (Titus)
Responding Members: Haag (driver), Green
Fire Support Unit Responding: FS-1

Remarks: Gundrum had to handle paging since Sonitrol computers were temporarily down.

Addition information can be viewed at the following link:

* Photo used courtesy of Craig Allyn Rose

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

San Jose Fire Dept. Hosts Area-wide 9/11 Event


On Friday, September 11, the San Jose Fire Department hosted an area-wide memorial ceremony honoring the victims and heroes of the 9/11 World Trade Center tragedy. Held at Fire Station No. 1, the event was emceed by Batt. 1A Chief, Kevin Conant and featured speeches by San Jose City Mayor, Chuck Reed, and Fire Chief, Darryl Von Raesfeld. The scene was framed by an American flag hung from the ladders of San Jose's two new tillered aerial trucks, and flanked by an antique fire engine from the San Jose Fire Museum. The nation's colors were presented by San Jose Fire Dept. Honor Guard and music was supplied the San Jose Fire Dept. Chorus. At the conclusion of the event, a wreath with the words "911 - Never Forget" was placed at the memorial bell by the City's mayor and fire chief.

John Whitaker's photos of the event can be viewed at this link: San Jose's 9/11 Memorial

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ten FASCV Responses in 12 Days


Ten responses in twelve days!!!
Yep, that's what we said. After a below-average number of calls over the past several months, the dam burst during the first half of September.

It all began on the afternoon of September 2nd with a Tier 3 grass fire on San Jose's Communications Hill. We'll describe that response and then list the rest from there...

  1. Sept. 2, 2009: SJS - Communications Hill Tier 3 Grass Fire

    Fire Associates was paged at 3:00 P.M. to 2700 Carol Drive for a grass fire that was quickly spreading up the West side of Communications Hill. John Whitaker (and his guest, Bruce Dembecki) responded in Fire Support Unit 2. Already on scene were Mike Chappell and George Hoyt. FASACV members Don Gilbert and Ron Green also assisted later in the event. The Support Unit was first set up at a command post on the south side of the fire, at the intersection of Helzer Rd. and McIntyre Dr. However, after being set up there a while, it became obvious that the fire crews were too spread out for the Support Unit to be effective. We later moved operations to the main command center on Carol Dr. and were able to distribute meals and drinks to fire crews as they came down off the hill.

    Additional information can be found at these links:


  2. Sept. 3, 2009: SJS - Arson/Homicide Investigation Support

    At 10:46 A.M. on Wednesday, Sept. 3, Fire Associates was paged by special request to 14160 Woodhaven Drive. Earlier in the morning, San Jose Fire units responded to a fully-involved house fire. The incident resulted in a resident fatality and it was determined that the structure might be a crime scene. On a very hot afternoon, Don Gilbert responded in Support Unit 2. He was joined by George Hoyt and John Whitaker. Shade was provided along with some very cold drinks and much-appreciated meals. FASCV was released at approximately 5:00 P.M. -- in time to take the Support Unit up to Mountain View for our Sept. Monthly Meeting.

    Additional information can be found at these links:


  3. Sept. 4, 2009: SJS - "Modified 2nd-Alarm" House Fire

    Although not technically a multi-alarm event, Fire Associates was paged by special request to provide assistance at a house fire near the intersection of Story and MacLaughlin Roads. Don Gilbert responded in Support Unit 2 to the 10:45 A.M. call. He was met on scene at 1045 Owsley Ave. by FASCV members John Whitaker and Ron Green. On another very warm summer afternoon, cold liquids were in demand! Meals from Togo's Sandwiches were also served to some tired fire crews at a thankfully shady rehab location.


  4. Sept. 5, 2009: SJS - Quicksilver County Park Vegetation Fire

    Response number 4 was for a Tier 3 vegetation fire in Almaden Quicksilver County Park. Don Gilbert responded to the 4:36 P.M. page in Support Unit 2. He was joined on scene by Jerry Haag, George Hoyt and Dan Ross. Fred Oehm was also on hand in the staging area at Castillero Middle School, 6384 Leyland Park Drive. After reporting to the staging area and providing refreshments and relief to those crews, our new Support Unit's 4-wheel drive capabilities were called upon to deliver meals "up on the hill". Reports were that Don Gilbert was grinning from ear-to-ear as he drove along the trails that lead up from the Mockingbird Hill entrance to the park. Fire crews from Cal Fire, Santa Clara County Fire and San Jose had the 11-acre fire under control by 7:00 P.M.

    Additional information can be found at these links:


  5. Sept. 7, 2009: CNT - Los Altos Area Grass Fire

    Monday, September 7, brought the next in our series of fires. This time, we were paged by Santa Clara County Fire to 5872 Arboretum Drive in Los Altos, near Woods Lane, for a 2nd-alarm grass fire. Larry Carr was quick to answer the 6:04 P.M. call in Support Unit 4. He was met on scene by Jerry Haag and Ron Green.

  6. Sept. 9, 2009: SJS - McKee Road House Fire

    Two days later, on Wednesday, it was back to San Jose for a house fire at 3801 McKee Road on the City's east side. With many of FASCV's "South County" responders unavailable on this day, Jerry Haag answered the late-morning page with a rare sojourne into San Jose with Support Unit 1 and submitted the following:

    Date: 09 Sept. 2009
    Time: 1128 Sonitrol dispatch, 1230 arrival, released at 1345.
    Type: Structure fire
    Size: Augmented First alarm
    Jurisdiction: San Jose
    Location: 3801 McKee Road

    Details: Single-story, single-family, vacant, frame with stucco dwelling. Fire started on interior and spread to attic space. Engine 2, first-in, made attack with two 1-3/4" preconnects assisted by Truck 2 and Engine 19. Because of reported HazMat of unknown nature, County HazMat was requested since San Jose HazMat was otherwise engaged.

    Units in attendance:
    SJS: E-2 & 19, T-2, LU-2, BP-2, Batt. 21 (Alvarado)
    CNT: E-2, BS-2, HM-2
    Responding Members: Haag (driver)
    Fire Support Unit Responding: FSU-1

    Remarks: Long run but fun to see SJFD in action. FSU-1 ran like a champ.

  7. Sept. 10, 2009: MLP - 3rd Alarm for Multiple-Dwelling Inferno

    The very next day, it was Milpitas Fire's turn with a 3-alarmer. First-in Milpitas units arrrived to see the home a 679 N. Abel St. almost fully involved with a second structure beginning to burn. Wires were already down across a perimeter chain-link fence and the natural gas meter was burning. Fire crews had their hands full with a very smokey fire! A page for FASCV assistance came in at 2:44 P.M. and Bob Gundrum responded in Support Unit 1. He was met on scene by Jerry Haag, John Whitaker and Ron Green. Jerry Haag has submitted the following incident report:

    Date: 10 Sept. 2009
    Time: 1444 Sonitrol dispatch, 1530 arrival, released at 1830.
    Type: Structure fire
    Size: Second alarm
    Jurisdiction: Milpitas
    Location: 679 N. Abel Street

    Details: Single-story, duplex dwelling. Similar structure on the B-side was also involved. Heavy damage to both structures. 24 persons displaced. Three of four handlines were supplied by T-4. T-1 supplied two elevated master streams.

    Units in attendance:
    MLP: E-1,2,3; T-1,4; USAR-1; Batt. 19 (Mihovich); 19-A-5 (Brown)
    Fremont: E-55, T-57, Batt. 5
    SJS: E-19, T-29, LU-29, Batt. 29
    SNC: R-2

    Responding Members: Gundrum (driver), Whitaker, Green, Haag
    Fire Support Unit Responding: FS-1

    Remarks: Meals were served (44 Subway sandwiches).

    Additional information can be found at these links:


  8. Sept. 12, 2009: SCN Request for a 2nd-Alarm Industrial Fire

    Well, with all the fire activity, it was bound to happen -- two requests on the same day in the same city! The first page came in from Santa Clara City Fire at 6:28 P.M. on Saturday, September 12 for a fire burning at ECS Refining. Jerry Haag brought Support Unit 1 and was joined by Bob Gundrum, Ron Grene, Ed Del Prete, and Rick James. Jerry has issued this report:

    Date: 12 Sept. 2009
    Time: 1828 Sonitrol dispatch, 1900 arrival, released at 2216.
    Type: Structure fire
    Size: Second alarm
    Jurisdiction: City of Santa Clara
    Location: 705 Reed St.

    Details: Single-story, industrial building (plastics recycler). Fire in piles of shredded plastic, no structural involvement. All hand lines supplied by E-1, single 5" supply line. Smoldering piles had to be removed from the building using a front-loader operated by a firefighter wearing SCBA. Initial alarm at about 1430, second alarm followed shortly thereafter. FASCV not called for another four hours.

    Units in attendance:
    SNC: E-1,3,6,9; T-2,8; R-2; M-1; Batt. 1 (Phillips)

    Responding Members: Haag (driver), Gundrum, Green, Del Prete, James
    Fire Support Unit Responding: FS-1

    Remarks: Meals were served.

  9. Sept. 12, 2009: SCN Request at 2nd-Alarm Apartment Fire

    At 10:15 P.M., Santa Clara City Fire made another request for FASCV. This time, Bob Gundrum provided the support at the El Paradero Apartments, located at 2050 Royal Drive. He was joined by FASCV members Jerry Haag and Ron Green. Bob has provided the following:

    Date: 12 Sept. 2009
    Time: 2216 Sonitrol dispatch, 2220 arrival, released at 2330
    Type: Structure fire
    Size: Second alarm
    Jurisdiction: City of Santa Clara
    Location: 2050 Royal Dr.

    Details: Two-story, apartment building, smoke from attic, 2nd alarm
    upon arrival (more of a precaution, due to attic involvement). Seat of
    fire quickly located and extinguished. FASCV had just been released
    from the Reed St. call and self-dispatched to this event.

    Units in attendance:
    SNC: E-3, 5, 6, & 9; HM-9; T-8; R-2; M-1; Batt. Chief Della Maggiore
    Responding Members: Gundrum (relief-driver), Haag, Green
    Fire Support Unit Responding: FSU-1

  10. Sept. 14, 2009: SJS - 3rd-Alarm at 15,000-sq.-ft. Retail Structure

    FASCV's 10th request of the month was from the San Jose Fire Dept. Goodwill's large, donation and retail center was burning at 3020 Alum Rock Ave. Don Gilbert answered the 3:51 A.M. page and brought Support Unit 2 to the scene. He was met by FASCV members John Whitaker and Ron Green -- who were later joined by Pete Rowe who "...just happened to be coming to the (neighboring) Orchard Supply Store and saw all the activity", to quote Pete.

    Goodwill had just opened the outlet in July to serve the City's east side residents. Before that, the building had been the home of Reed's Sporting Goods, since 1972. The first-in engine companies found the structure totally involved and the fire-fight quickly became a "surround and drown" event. Support Unit 2 served the usual early morning fare (coffee and doughnuts) to over 60 tired and wet firefighters. As the sun began to rise, FASCV also arranged for, and served, "breakfast" from a nearby fast-food restaurant. FASCV was released by the IC at approximately 11:30 A.M.

    Additional information can be found at these links:

Monday, August 31, 2009

August 30, 2009 -- Special Call Support for Sunnyvale Fire


Sunday evening, at approximately 6:30 P.M., Bob Gundrum responded in Support Unit 1 to a fire in Sunnyvale. Located in the Willowbend Apartments & Townhomes at 1035 Aster Ave., the fire was burning in a multi-family apartment building. Responding with Bob were FASCV members Jerry Haag and Ron Green. Jerry has issued the following report:


Date: 30 August 2009
Time: 1829 Sonitrol dispatch, 1845 arrival, released at 2000.
Type: Structure Fire
Size: Special Call on Augmented First Alarm
Jurisdiction: Sunnyvale
Location: 1035 Aster Ave., Sunnyvale

Details: Two-story, multi-family apartment building with fire in the walls and ceiling space. Moderate damage -- two apartments affected. E-2 took a hydrant on a 5" supply line in the front of the building, stretched a 3" to a gated wye, one 1-1/2" taken from the wye, another in standby. Also a 1-3/4" preconnect was put in service.

Units in attendance:

SNY: E-2, T-2, R-2, E-4, E-6, E-30, Batt. 3
Responding Members: Gundrum (driver), Haag, Green
Fire Support Unit Responding: FS-1

Remarks: Lots of wall and ceilings had to be opened to get at a small amount of fire. Submitted by: J. Haag

FASCV Support at Corvette Rally


On Saturday, August 29, Fire Associates provided coffee support at the 2009 National Corvette Caravan kick-off event. Club Auto Sport, 521 Charcotte Ave., was the site of this event for Corvette enthusiasts. The 15th-annual rally will take the participants across the country on a 5-day journey to Bowling Green, Kentucky, the location of the National Corvette Museum.

FASCV got involved when San Jose Fire Museum asked us to help out with their pancake breakfast fund raiser. Because of earlier success at putting on open house events at a display of antique fire equipment, Club Auto Sport offered the event as an opportunity for the Museum and Fire Associates to raise funds. Although the turnout was not as high as had been hoped (the poor economy is suspected as the cause), our group and the Fire Museum were successful in getting good publicity and proving, once again, that we could host events of this type.

Thanks to FASCV members John Whitaker, Bob Gundrum and Ron Green for their early-morning help.

Photos of the event can be seen at: 2009 Corvette Caravan Kick-off

John's low-res video of the rally beginning can be seen at: 2009 Corvette Caravan

Thursday, August 27, 2009

August 27, 2009 -- Level 3 Hi-rise Response at SJSU


On Thursday morning, Aug. 27, at 9:02 A.M., Fire Associates was paged for a Level 2 hi-rise fire at the Campus Village dormatories (Bldg. B) at San Jose State University. Located at 355 S. 10th Street, a vintage VW van was burning in the underground garage. Arriving in Support Unit 2 was Don Gilbert who was met on scene by Mike Chappell and John Whitaker.

Building B is a 15-story structure with an underground, 2-level parking garage. It is described on the campus website as: "...the location of the upper division apartments, the Recreation Activities Center (RAC), and the Village Market. It is the centerpiece of the Campus Village and features a 15-story tower. It has one bedroom studios, and 3, 4, 5 bedroom apartments equipped with a kitchen, and living room area."

Initially called a Level 2 incident, it was briefly upgraded to a Level 3 fire by the IC before that call for equipment was canceled. At first, initial responders could not tell what type of fire they were dealing with or how extensive an area was on fire. First-in companies went down to the garage area and were met by heavy, dense black smoke requiring them to make the initial exploration with "tag lines". Once the source of the smoke was determined, fire crews could then decide how to extinguish the inferno.

Support Unit 2 was instructed to set up on the 10th Street side of the building. However, after being set up for awhile at that location, Rehab was eventually relocated in a courtyard area at the rear of the structure. Rehab was demobed at approximately 11:30 A.M.

John's photos can be viewed at: SJS - SJSU Hi-rise Fire

A good news story on the incident can be read at: SJ Merc-News

Friday, August 14, 2009

August 10, 2009 -- Special Call from Santa Clara City Fire


At 3:48 PM on Monday, August 10, Santa Clara Fire put out a call for Fire Associates help. This time, it was not for a fire or a Hazmat situation -- One of Great America's roller coaster rides was stuck and it was going to take hours of effort to get everyone to the ground safely.

Jerry Haag responded in Support Unit 1 and was joined at the amusement park by FASCV members Bob Gundrum and George Hoyt. Jerry has submitted the following report:

Date: 10 August 2009
Time: 1548 Sonitrol dispatch, 1630 arrival, released at 1830.
Type: High-Angle Rescue
Size: Special Call
Jurisdiction: Santa Clara City
Location: 2401 Agnew Road

Details: Rescue from elevated location of 24 patrons of Great America Park, 40 to 80 feet in the air. Two aerial platforms (CNT T-1 and SJS T-29) and one aerial (SNC T-8) were used. Riders were released and brought to the ground individually after having been stranded since 1315. Last one down about 1715.

Units in attendance:
SNC: T-8, E-10, E-6, R-2, T-2, Batt. 1
CNT: R-3, T-1, USAR-5, E-2, BS-2, E-305, T-5, Batt. 2
SJS: T-29, E-5, USAR-5, Tech. Rescue, B-29
Responding Members: Haag (driver), Gundrum, Hoyt
Fire Support Unit Responding: FS-1

Remarks: A difficult situation expertly handled by personnel in attendance. No riders were injured.

A SJ Mercury-News story can be read at: Riders Rescued

Bob Gundrum's photos are at this link: SNC - Great America Rescue


Thursday, August 6, 2009

July 28, 2009 -- 2nd-Alarm Response into Los Gatos


It was 1:37 PM on Tuesday, July 28, when Fire Associates was paged by Santa Clara County Fire to a second-alarm inferno. This time (it was our second call in 24 hours) the fire was in Los Gatos and involved one of the city's classic old homes. Located at 15945 Camino del Cerro, on the corner of Blossom Hill Rd., the 2-story home suffered severe damage to the attic and second floor.

Responding to the scene in Support Unit 2 was Don Gilbert who was joined by FASCV members George Hoyt and John Whitaker. Support Unit 2 was quickly on the scene as Don was already in the rig returning a tool to the County Fire Maintenance Shop. Rehab was set up on a side-street just north of the fire to take advantage of some shade on an 80-degree summer afternoon. Lemonade and cold drinks were so in demand that a seperate trip to the store to get more ice was needed.

Built in 1892, knocked off its foundation in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and restored in 1992, this building is on the city's historic landmarks list. With the owner standing by watching, firefighters quickly kept the damage to a minimum under difficult circumstances. The building's steep roof and wrap-around porch, made access to the fire tricky. Also, because of the steepness of the street, it was not possible to safely position a ladder truck for aerial access to the roof.

A very interesting video of the event can be seen at: Fire at Historic Home

John's photos of the event can bee seen at: CNT - Los Gatos House Fire

Los Gatos Observer news story can be read at: 2nd-Alarm Fire in Los Gatos

Monday, July 27, 2009

July 27, 2009 -- Early-morning, 2-Alarm Fire in Saratoga


At 4:18 AM on Monday, July 27, Fire Associates was requested by Santa Clara County Fire. A structure fire was burning at 13179 Shadow Mountain Drive in Saratoga. Responding in Support Unit 1 was FASCV member, Jerry Haag. Jerry was met on scene by John Whitaker. Jerry has submitted the following account of the incident:

Date: 27 July 2009

Time: 0418 Sonitrol dispatch; 0515 arrival; released at 0700.
Type: Structure fire

Size: Second alarm

Jurisdiction: County Fire (Saratoga's Area)
Location: 13179 Shadow Mountain Dr., Saratoga

Details: Ranch style, single-story, single-family dwelling. Fire most-likely started in a bedroom then spread to attic space. CNT Engine 17 first in, deployed several 1-3/4 and 1-1/2" lines, provided own 5" water supply line from hydrant across the street. Roof was tough to open due to metal, simulated-tile roof covering - but good stop was made. House is repairable. Three adults were displaced.

Units in attendance:

CNT: E-8, E-9, E-17, T-1, T-5, R-17, P-1, P-5, BS-2, HM-2
, Batt. 2, Batt. 14
Responding Members: Jerry Haag (driver), John Whitaker
Fire Support Unit Responding: FSU-1
Remarks: Donut-run made by Whitaker.

John's photos from the event can be viewed at: CNT - Saratoga House Fire

SJ Merc-News
story can be read at: 2-Alarm Fire Controlled

July Monthly Meeting Held in Santa Clara


The Fire Associates monthly meeting for July was held at Santa Clara City Fire Department's Station 2. Located at 1900 Walsh Ave., the station features a large training ground, tower and associated classrooms, making it an ideal site for our group meetings.

Our new Support Unit 2 was in attendance for this meeting, as it has for the last several meetings. This is part of our "Thank You Tour" to let all the firefighters in Santa Clara County know how much their donations towards the purchase of the rig were appreciated. The Station 2 crew had a walk-around of the new rig and seemed very impressed with it's capabilities.

Photos from the evening can be viewed at this link: FASCV July Mtg.

Monday, July 13, 2009

July 13, 2009 -- 2nd-alarm Response for SC County Fire


At 4:30 AM on Monday, July 13, Santa Clara County Fire requested Fire Associates' assistance at a 2nd-alarm blaze in Cupertino. Jerry Haag responded and has written this account:

Date: 13 July 2009
Time: 0430 Sonitrol dispatch, 0515 arrival, released at 0900.
Type: Structure fire
Size: Second alarm
Jurisdiction: SC County Fire (Cupertino's Area)
Location: 10620 Johansen Ave., Cupertino

Details: Single-story, single-family dwelling. Substantially involved upon arrival of first engine. SJS Engine 15 (first-due, auto-aid) arrived first, deployed two 1-3/4 and one 2-1/2 inch lines. CNT Engine 1, second-due, arrived almost at the same time, dropped a 5" supply line coming in and connected it to Engine 15. Each then stretched an additional 2-1/2 to cover exposures. The house was totally burned out. One elderly X made it out without serious injury. The other victim, a male, did not get out.

Units in attendance:

SJS: E-13
CNT: E-1, E-2, E-7, T-1, T-14, R-17, P-1, BS-2, HM-2, Batt. 2 (B/C Vega) (IC), Batt. 14
Responding FASCV Members: Haag (driver)
Fire Support Unit Responding: FSU-1

Remarks: One firefighter remarked that we are the unit he most likes to see at a fire (other than chopper 106, if it's a grass fire)

A SJ Merc-News story can be read at this link: Paralyzed Veteran Dies In Fire

Friday, July 10, 2009

July 8, 2009 -- 3rd Alarm Response to Mountain View


On Wednesday, July 8, Fire Associates was paged to Mountain View for a third-alarm fire. The following account was submitted by Jerry Haag:

Date: Wed., 08 July 2009
Time: 1010 Sonitrol dispatch, 1030 arrival, released at 1400.
Type: Structure fire
Size: Third alarm
Jurisdiction: Mountain View
Location: 400 Ortega Ave., Mountain View

Details: Three-story apartment building. Fire started on the first floor caused by plumber’s soldering torch. Fire got into vertical, concealed space and spread to third floor and roof space. Engine 1, first-in, took hand-paks to fire location and used the building standpipe. Engine 2, second-due, stretched two 2-1/2" lines to the FDC. Water supply was from a hydrant directly in front of the complex. Sprinklers did not activate because fire was confined to the unsprinklered concealed spaces. Three apartments, vertically stacked, were damaged. Only the apartment on the second floor had a tenant.

Fire units in attendance:
MTV: E-1,2,4,5, T-1, R-1, Batt. 18 (Acting B/C Trammel)

CNT: T-14, Batt. 14 (B/C Vega)
PAF: E-6, E-5, R-2, BS-2, Batt. 6 (B/C Broussard)
MOF: T-6
Overhead Support Team: Canceled enroute, but SJS D/C Dana Reid continued.

Responding FASCV Members: Larry Carr (driver), Jerry Haag; Guest: Bruce Dembecki
Fire Support Unit Responding: FSU-4
Remarks: Tea cup full of fire -- but hard to get at.
Submitted by: Jerry Haag

Photos by Bruce Dembecki at this link: Ortega Fire Photos

A news article from the Mountain View Voice can be viewed at this link: Ortega Building Evacuated