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.
- A San Jose Mercury News story can be read at: Commercial Building Damaged By Fire