On Christmas afternoon, at approximately 6:00PM, San Jose Fire dispatched on a structure fire located a few blocks away from Station 35. The incident address was 244 Omira Drive, near Lean Avenue. It was a 2-story house, single-family, with several wheelchair-bound occupants. The first on-scene unit, Truck 35, concentrated on rescue of the occupants. Heavy fire was soon reported in the garage and a 2nd alarm was called. Soon a precautionary 3rd alarm was called, which triggered a response from Fire Associates for a Fire Support Unit (FSU). John Whiteside was monitoring the call from the beginning, notified the answering/paging service and started responding upon the 3rd alarm request.
Just as John was leaving his driveway enroute to pick up FSU #3 at Station 35, he monitored a fire dispatch to a chimney fire on Loma Prieta Drive, a few blocks from his house and an empty Station 12, which was at the Omira fire. Since John would have to go past this fire scene, he rerouted to it, gave a status report via radio to San Jose Fire, then continued on to Station 35 to activate FSU-3.
Upon John’s arrival at the Omira fire in FSU-3, the Incident Commander requested he set up for coffee and drinks. Soon John was joined by Don Gilbert, and then Mike Chappell. Clif Bars were available for anyone who wanted them -- or maybe had not yet had Christmas dinner. FSU-3 was released at 9:30PM and returned to nearby Station 35.
There were many “Thank you’s” from area residents to both the firemen and policemen at the scene for working Christmas Day, as well as to Fire Associates from the fire personnel. It seems that either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day is a regular fire callout for Fire Associates, based on the past few years’ history.
-- Report Submitted by John Whiteside