Wednesday, March 30, 2011

2nd Alarm House Fire In Gilroy

It was late morning on March 30, when John Whiteside was listening to his radio scanner. He was following a house fire incident in Gilroy when he heard the IC call for a 2nd alarm. John made a quick phone call to Gilroy Fire Dispatch and asked if the IC would like Fire Associates to respond. The reply back was "Yes!" John then had Sonitrol put out the page at 11:10 A.M. John Whitaker, Mike Chappell and George Hoyt responded along with John Whiteside, who drove Support Unit 3. The fire was located at 7810 Westwood Dr.

Upon arrival, FASCV members not only found the street full of fire apparatus, but also a large police presence. The house was set back from the street with the front yard fenced off and a lot of items stored where a front lawn normally would be growing. Cars, a tent, barrels and other assorted "stuff" littered the space. Inside, firefighters had an equally hard time maneuvering through the numerous items stored in the house. Because of the access problems, and known chemicals stored in the garage, the IC called for a 2nd alarm to be struck. Although the fire never got much past the smoldering stage, the access problems required additional manpower.

On a sunny, Spring day, FASCV served the usual water, Gatorade, and Clif Bars. Since the fire started just before the lunch hour, the fire department also ordered up 40 Double Whoppers and fries from Burger King to feed the hungry crews. FASCV provided the tables for serving and our portable benches were quite popular. After most of the fire crews had been released, FASCV members left the scene in the early afternoon.