Monday, November 29, 2010

The "New" FSU-3 Makes First Run

History will show that at apporoximately 6:25 P.M. on Monday, Nov. 29, Fire Support Unit 3 made its first run out of SJFD Station 35. We say that with tongue-in-cheek, but the fact is, that's what happened. The "new" FSU-3 is actually our former FSU-1 that has been renumbered and stationed at SJFD Station 35 specifically to better cover the south end of the Santa Clara Valley.

At 6:03 P.M., South County Fire called for Fire Associates' assistance at a structure fire in the Holiday Lakes Estates area of Morgan Hill. FASCV president, John Whitaker, was behind the wheel, and Bruce Dembecki was along for the trip, as FSU-3 pulled out of the station and headed down U.S. 101 for the East Dunne Ave. exit.

Once on scene at 3069 Butterfly Lane, FSU-3 was positioned just up the hill from the incident as the narrow roads in the area limited access to the fire scene. John and Bruce were joined by FASCV member Mike Chappell. As the evening turned into a cold night, one would think that hot coffee would be the beverage of choice. But, fire crews seemed to prefer Gatorade and water after a lot of hard work to get at the stubborn flames. The structure was located on a hillside above Lake Anderson and was not easily reached on the downhill side -- where most of the fire was burning!

A resident, who was at home at the time, said that she noticed "a flickering out on the deck" and went to investigate. When she got to the window, she noticed that her feet were getting warm and knew that something was not right. That was a good guess, as the fire made its way into the kitchen and living room areas by the time fire crews arrived at the remote location.

All who were on scene braved very cold temperatures, making a dinner from Jack-In-The-Box more appreciated than one might normally think. By the time FSU-3 was released, the temperature had dropped into the low 30s. FSU-3 was back in the station and ready for service by 12:15 A.M.
-- Accompanying photos by Bruce Dembecki and John Whitaker