Friday, September 28, 2012

Third San Jose Fire In Four Days Keeps Fire Associates Busy

Photo By Craig Allyn Rose
In a neighborhood where all of the homes have cedar shake roofs, the almost inevitable fire is bound to happen. That was the case on the morning of Friday, September 28, when a house fire at 1689 Mulberry Lane caused a 2-alarm response from the San Jose Fire Department. A fire that possibly began in either the attic space or on the roof was threatening to spread to adjoining homes when the first firefighters arrived on scene.
With that threat, and a fully involved wood shake roof ablaze, a second alarm was quickly called. At the same time, a response from Fire Associates was also requested. Don Gilbert responded in Fire Support Unit 2 while John Whitaker immediately headed to the scene. They were later joined by George Hoyt, Dan Wong, Bruce Dembecki and FASCV guest, Walter Huber.
Although the involved home was heavily damaged, a Herculean effort by firefighters kept the fire from spreading into the neighborhood of upscale, single-story, ranch-style homes. After an initial search, it was determined that all occupants were out of the house. At that point, crews could concentrate on extinguishing the blazing roof and protecting the exposures. Many tired and dirty firefighters passed through the Rehab area as the fire evolved into overhaul mode.
Photo By John Whitaker
Fire Support Unit 2 was able to set up directly in front of the residence and Rehab was established in a neighbor's semi-circular driveway. Upon arrival of FSU-2, benches were the first item to be set up followed by tables for coffee service and a few dozen bagels provided by an off-duty fireman. With the fire call coming in an hour before 8:00 A.M. shift change, no one had eaten breakfast before being called to the scene. And, judging by the very crowded Rehab area, the food was well-appreciated.
With only a few fire crews remaining on scene for final overhaul and awaiting board-up, Rehab was broken down shortly after 10:00 A.M. and FSU-2 returned to quarters at SJFD Station 6.
- Report Submitted by John Whitaker