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