Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January 5, 2010 -- San Jose Scrap Metal Fire

You wouldn't think that a pile of scrap metal could burn -- But, guess again!

At approximately 5:00 PM on Tuesday, January 5, the San Jose Fire Department asked for assistance from Fire Associates. Although the incident amounted to a little more than a first alarm, the dinner hour was fast approaching and help was needed in serving meals to the crews on scene. Don Gilbert and John Whiteside responded in Support Unit 2, while FASCV members John Whitaker, Mike Chappell and George Hoyt went directly to the location.

The fire was burning in a pile of scrap metal at the Sims Metal Management yard located at 1800 Monterey Road. The 300 sq. ft. pile of recycled appliances and other items apparently contained enough combustible material that it caught fire and was difficult to extinguish. The corporation's excavators were put into service to break apart the pile so water could penetrate into the pile's core. The fire was eventually put out after SJFD brought in their foam unit.

The challenge for arriving FASCV members was to find a dry place to set up a rehab area. Because the site is a potential hazmat facility, all water is kept on the property and not allowed to empty into strom drains. That meant that all the runoff water was quickly developing Lake Sims! To get to the IC location, all arriving vehicles had to drive through approximately 8 inches of water. Hot coffee on a cold evening was in demand as crews awaited meals to be delivered. Firefighters were served burrittos, Gatorade, water and coffee before they were sent back into service.

Support Unit 2 was released from service shortly before 9:00 PM.