Monday, March 29, 2010

March 28-29, 2010 -- Three Calls within 12 Hours!

As a "crazy-busy" March approached its end, Fire Associates had a very busy 12 hours. Whether the full moon overhead later in the evening was responsible or not, three calls for service from three different departments kept the group very active. Here are the details:

Response #1 - 2-Alarm Mobile Home Fire in San Jose

At 3:56 in the afternoon, a lazy Sunday afternoon turned very busy. San Jose Fire paged Fire Associates for a 2-alarm inferno burning in a mobile home. Located in the Casa Alondra Mobile Home Park at 5450 Monterey Road, a unit on Calle Pintada was completely destoyed by a fast moving fire. Responding in Support Unit 2 were Bruce Dembecki and John Whiteside. They were joined by FASCV members Jerry Haag, Mike Chappell and John Whitaker along with guest, Dan Wong. Bruce has provided this report:

At 3:57 P.M., March 28th, San Jose Fire Department paged Fire Associates to respond to a second-alarm fire in a trailer park at 5450 Monterey Hwy., San Jose. The fire had originally been reported around 2:35 P.M. and, upon arrival, San Jose's bravest were confronted with flames bursting from three sides of the double-wide, and three injured residents waiting outside for medical attention. One of the firefighters also received burn injuries. With so many injuries, and fire raging in the tight confines of the trailer park, a second alarm was called. Firefighters managed to prevent damage to the various exposures, while the mobile home was a total loss.

The fire was directed by Incident Commander B/C Keesling (Battalion 13) and B/C Alvarado (Battalion 21), together with B/C Juan Diaz as Safety Officer. Units on scene included first-due Engine 35, Engines 18, 27 & 12, Trucks 18, 16 and 313, Rescue Medic 18, Light Units 18 and 16, along with the HIT units, and of course, Fire Support 2!

Bruce Dembecki and John Whiteside in Fire Support 2 left SJFD Station 6 around 4:15 P.M. to head to the fire scene, and were met on scene by John Whitaker, later joined by Jerry Haag, Mike Chappell and Fire Associates' guest, Dan Wong. Cold drinks, particularly lemonade, were the order of the day on a rather warm early spring day. FSU 2 was refueled, restocked and back in quarters at Station 6 by 7:15 P.M.
Response #2 - 1-Alarm Active Structure Fire in Mt. View

Then, at 4:51 P.M., while FASCV members were busy at the San Jose fire, Jerry Haag received a phone message from FASCV member Len Williams. Not knowing that Jerry was in San Jose, Len was giving a "heads-up" that there was a working structure fire in Mountain View. Jerry decided to leave the San Jose incident and head back to the north county area in the event Mountain View should pull a second alarm.

The second alarm never happened, but Jerry drove to the scene just in case service was needed and has submitted this report:

Date and Time: 28 March, 1651 hours (based on Len's call)
Address: Middlefield Rd. and Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View

Details: Fire in a 6-unit garage in a condo complex. Fire started in a BMW, quickly spread to the attic over the garage. Damage held to two garages by effective attack and fire stops in the attic. I made a "voluntary response" and the water I carry with me was welcomed by all.

Responder: Haag (in own vehicle)

Response #3 - 2-Alarm Response for Santa Clara County Fire

Finally, at 3:42 A.M. on March 29th, almost exactly 12 hours after the first call, Santa Clara County Fire requested FASCV's services at a fire in Campbell. Located at 871 E. Hamilton, some pallets were burning in a confined area in amongst a complex of offices, warehouses and former retail space. The fire's location was so "hidden", that the actual material that was burning could not be seen from outside any of the incident's four sides. First-arriving units saw the fire, though. Initial reports had the flames leaping to 40 feet and visible from the Hwy. 17 freeway.

Responding in Support Unit 2 were Don Gilbert and Bruce Dembecki. They were joined by Mike Chappell, Jerry Haag, George Hoyt and John Whitaker. Rehab was established along the curb on Hamilton Ave., just west of Bascom Ave. In the "middle of the night", firefighters were very appreciative of the donuts, coffee and cold drinks provided by Fire Associates.

As the Support Unit was put back into service around 6:45 A.M., everyone was in full agreement that it had definitly been a full-moon kind of 12 hours.