On Wedensday, Sept. 8, Fire Support Unit 2 responded to a 2-alarm fire at Gilroy Foods at 1350 Pacheco Pass Highway in Gilroy. Bruce Dembecki took FSU 2 and picked up John Whiteside en route, Upon arrival, the Support Unit was met by FASCV members Mike Chappell, Herman De Kruyff, Ron Green and Dan Wong. FASCV was directed to setup rehab by the entrance to the fire building inside the complex. Cold drinks and coffee both were popular on a surprisingly overcast day for September, and we went through 4 dozen donuts while on scene, with Gilroy taking a dozen back to their HQ and the remaining dozen to Morgan Hill for the Cal Fire Operations Center on our way back to the City.
The fire had originated in one of the ovens used to dry garlic and onion, and caused some disruption to one part of the factory. Initially, there was a lot of heat and smoke in the building, but by the time Fire Associates was on scene, the bulk of the activity was an extensive overhaul operation. Other parts of the factory continued to operate. There was a secondary problem with water from firefighting efforts on the factory floor, and when firefighters left, the sprinkler system in that building had been deactivated.
During the incident, one firefighter was taken to hospital, with vitals spiking during a Rehab check.
Gilroy Fire responded all three of their engines, with additional support from South Santa Clara County Fire District, Cal Fire and Santa Clara County Fire all on scene, and additional County and Cal Fire resources providing Station Coverage (and ultimately a multi-engine response to a grass fire at another location in Gilroy).
- Bruce's photos can be viewed at: Gilroy Foods Fire
- A Gilroy Dispatch news article can be read at: Fire at Gilroy Foods