Sunday, May 6, 2012

San Jose Apartment Fire Goes to 3 Alarms

OK. So now we're back to apartment fires.

On a warm, late spring day, the San Jose Fire Department responded to yet another fire in an apartment complex. This time, a 3-alarm blaze was burning at the New Horizons apartments located near the intersection of Almaden Blvd. and Alma Street. Long-time San Jose residents may recognize that location as the site of the former Big Sky Drive-in.
Located at 251 Shadow Dance Drive, the first-arriving fire crews found flames and smoke rolling out of the windows of the 2nd-floor unit. The active fire made for some interesting radio traffic.
Fire Associates members who were listening to their emergency scanners heard BC Juan Diaz ask the dispatcher how many calls had been received. The reply came back, "At least nine!" That prompted Chief Diaz to respond, "Give me a second alarm and please dispatch the Fire Associates."
So, even before a page was sent out by Sonitrol, some FASCV members were active on the telephone checking to see who was going to respond. Don Gilbert and Bruce Dembecki met at Station 6, and it was not long before Fire Support Unit 2 was in route to the fire. They were met on scene by George Hoyt, John Whitaker, Bob Gundrum and Mike Chappell.
Rehab was set up on a lawn area deep within the complex necessitating that all supplies be hand-carried into the area. The good news was large trees were in the sapace and provided adequate shade on a hot, mid-80s afternoon. Medical rehab was also busy with Rural/Metro crews scurrying to check the vitals on weary firefighters as they came off the front line. Eventually, one firefighter was transported to the hospital with heat exhaustion symptoms.
Needless to say, lots of liquids were dispensed -- both by Fire Associates and Med 30. After arriving on scene a little before 2:00 PM, FASCV was released at 4:00 PM.