Sunday, October 23, 2011
Type: Structure Fire
Size: 3 Alarm
Jurisdiction: San Jose Fire Department
Location: 1675 Bowling Green Drive, San Jose
Responding Members: Bruce Dembecki, Jerry Haag and Don Gilbert
Response Units: FSU2
Bruce has provided the following report:
A little before 2:00AM on October 23, San Jose Fire called for Fire Associates at 1675 Bowling Green Drive, San Jose. An apartment complex had been burning and within 30 minutes, with flames shooting through the roof, a decision was made to go to a 3rd alarm. While the fire was raging on both floors of the complex, the situation was made more challenging for firefighters as the flooring on the second story of the building became quite weak. The fire building was one in a complex of several, and all 32 apartments in that building were uninhabitable as a result of the fire.
Upon arrival, firefighters had difficulties advancing a line much further inside than 15 feet into the building due to extremely heavy smoke and flames inside the building. The hallway between the units acted as a tunnel trapping heat and smoke - this, together with the number of units, complicated firefighting efforts. Two residents of the complex were transported to hospital as a result of injuries suffered in the blaze. One resident was rescued off a 2nd-story balcony and another was treated for injuries after jumping from a balcony.
Once the fire was under control, firefighters set about gathering the residents still on scene and organizing Red Cross assistance. Of the 32 apartments, firefighters found residents from 17, totaling 47 people who had lost most of their belongings and a place to sleep. Valley Transit Authority responded two city busses to the scene to give the residents somewhere sheltered to wait while the Red Cross worked with them on finding temporary housing and other assistance. As it was already after 4:00AM, it is believed the residents from other units had found temporary accommodation with friends in other buildings in the complex and Red Cross's work load will rise as Sunday goes on.
FASCV member Bruce Dembecki arrived on scene at 2:20AM with Fire Support Unit 2. He was met by members Don Gilbert and Jerry Haag. Rehab was quickly established and FSU 2 served firefighters both hot and cold drinks and as always provided a great location for firefighters to take a break and recover from their exertion.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Date & Time: 05 October 2011, Sonitrol page at 1814, FASCV on scene at 1920.
Agency:County Fire Dept. request for Sheriff's Office.
Type: Special Call, Police Operation.
Incident Address: 19120 Homestead Road near Tantau Ave. (Police Command Post).
Details: Support at Command Post for police action atincident, released during canteen set-up.
FASCV Responding Unit: Fire Support Unit-1. Released at 1945.
FASCV Responders: Dan Wong (Driver) and Mike Chappell.
-- Report Submitted by Dan Wong
For the second time in a month, one of Santa Clara County's police agencies has asked for Fire Associates' aid. This time, it was support for the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office requested through Santa Clara County Fire Dispatch. At the time, several police agencies were involved in a manhunt for an assault suspect. Jerry Haag has submitted this report:
Date & Time: 05 October 2011, Sonitrol page at 1034, on-scene at 1125.
Type: Special Call
Details: Support at Command Post for police action at cement quarry. 60 meals served.
FASCV Responding Unit: Fire Support Unit-1. Released at 1530 hours.
FASCV Responders: Jerry (driver), Dan Wong, George Hoyt and Mike Chappell.
- A San Jose Mercury News story on the day's events can be read at: Suspected Gunman Hunted in Cupertino
- An update on this story can be read in the San Jose Mercury News at: Suspect Shot as Manhunt Ends
Saturday, October 1, 2011
The first day of October found the Gilroy Fire Department fighting a fire in a small house located at 335 Old Gilroy Street. John Whiteside was listening to his radio scanner and upon hearing a fast upgrade to 2nd alarm, he started listening a little more closely. Soon, he heard additional requests for even more equipment. So, being proactive, he called Gilroy and asked if they wanted a Fire Support Unit. Dispatch reached the IC and called back, saying, "Yes, please come down." John contacted Sonitrol and a page was sent out at 3:17 P.M. to all FASCV members.
John responded in FSU-3 and was joined on scene by FASCV members Bruce Dembecki, John Whitaker and Herman DeKruyff.
Although the involved structure was relatively small, because of its close proximity of other houses, a third alarm was eventually called. The fire ran the entire attic of the home and spread throughout the residence. Even after the fire had been declared under control, firefighters spent considerable time on the roof gaining access to pockets of smoldering shingles and roofing material.
- John Whitaker's photos can be viewed at: Gilroy Structure Fire
- Bruce's photos can be seen at: Old Gilroy Road Fire