On Saturday evening, October 9, SJFD firefighters went to a 4-alarm fire located at Wooster Ave. and Eggo Way. John Whiteside responded in Fire Support Unit 2 and was joined by FASCV members George Hoyt, Ron Green, Mike Chappell and John Whitaker (with Liz). John Whiteside has provided this report:
This event threatened the Kellogg's Eggo waffle plant located next to Hwy. 101, just north of McKee/Julian near the railroad overpass and next to a commercial radio station. The Eggo production run had to be scrapped due to smoke contamination of the equipment and products. The plant formerly was known as Mrs. Smith’s Pies, I am told.
The call came in approx 1700 hrs. with a report of car fire/rescue on the highway. No car was found but a grass fire was spreading. So, in addition to a rescue response (1 alarm), a Tier was requested (another alarm) and soon the radio transmitter building (5,000 sq. ft.) was afire and it went to 2 alarms (now totaling 4 alarms). This is per the Incident Commander, who confirmed the incident totaled 4 alarms. FASCV handled 70 meals on scene and lighting for the CP and Rehab. The vegetation fire was 5 acres. Police "Air 2" helicopter videoed the scene and transmitted data to Dispatch, and used IR to locate hot spots.
This was a voluntary response for FASCV. Listening to the radio traffic and realizing the extent, I called Dispatch about 1815 and asked if they wanted a FSU. The IC said, "Yes", so I called our answering service. I arrived on scene with FSU-2 at about 1840, after avoiding traffic backups. Fire units were special-called throughout the evening. The building just wouldn’t be extinguished. There were multiple 5-inch hose lays that had to be run around and to the backside of the large Kellogg's facility to supply the aerials -- totally defensive; one was 1,200+ feet and additional engines had to be called to make the hose runs. Even as we left in the early morning hours, smoke was still showing and new units were arriving. FASCV was released at 0045 on Sunday, Oct. 10.
All 5 SJFD BCs were on scene, so Santa Clara County and City of Santa Clara Fire Departments sent BCs and engines to cover SJ stations.
- Craig Allyn Rose's photos can be viewed at: Eggo Fire
- A San Jose Mercury News article can be read at: Radio Station Fire
- An ABC7 video can be viewed at: Radio Stations Off Air
-- Accompanying photo by Craig Allyn Rose