Wednesday, August 29, 2012

San Jose Firefighters Tackle 3-Alarm Nursery Fire

Photo By John Whitaker
Photo By John Whitaker
As the clock struck midnight, firefighters from the San Jose Fire Department struck a 3rd alarm at a popular plant nursery. Located at 4606 Almaden Expy., the Summerwinds Nursery has provided the plants for many, if not most, gardens in South San Jose. Now, the main building was fully engulfed in flame.

When the SJFD paged Fire Associates at 12:20 A.M. on Wednesday morning August 29th, Bruce Dembecki responded with Fire Support Unit 2. It was the middle of night for most people, but San Jose firefighters were hard at work. They were soon joined by FASCV members John Whitaker, George Hoyt, Mike Chappell, Dan Wong and guest, Walter Huber.
The first-arriving units found the front of the wood structure fully involved with the flames quickly spreading to the interior of the building. After the IC surveyed the scene, a second alarm was quickly called. Anyone who has been inside the business knows that the entire interior was wide open with cathedral ceilings. That was a lot of open space for the flames to spread and the interior was filled with fertilizers, pesticides and indoor plants that provided a lot of fuel for the fire. Because the entire structure was fully involved, the strategy early on was for a defensive attack. While two master streams were aimed at the center of the building, one from the "Bravo" side and one on the "Delta" side, other teams concentrated on hot spots on the exterior of the blaze.
Photo By Bruce Dembecki
At the direction of SJFD Med30, Fire Associates set up rehab in the slow lane of Almaden Expy., near the "Alpha-Delta" corner. The nighttime temperatures were still warm throughout the incident's duration, so water and Gatorade were in demand. However, several pots of coffee helped to keep fire crews, and FASCV members, alert during the wee hours of the morning.

With the fire operation in overhaul mode, and police wanting to open up Almaden Expy. for the quickly approaching commute hour, FSU-2 was released at: 04:15 A.M.
-- Report submitted by John Whitaker