Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Firefighters Tackle A Structure Fire On A Very Hot Day

Photo By John Whitaker
The members of Fire Associates don't get too many requests for assistance at fires that involve small, detached sheds. But, on this very hot, hot, hot day, the 1:46 P.M. call for our help on Wednesday, Oct. 3 made perfect sense.
With temperatures hovering right around the 100-degree mark, the fire quickly spread to a near-by perimeter fence, power pole and palm tree. The fire involved structures behind two residences at 5180 and 5190 Leigh Ave. - near its intersection with Los Gatos Almaden Road.
John Whiteside was listening to the incident on his emergency scanner and called San Jose Fire Dispatch to see if FASCV could be of assistance in Rehab. The reply from the IC was "Yes", so John responded in Fire Support Unit 3 and then put out a page that he was going to the fire. Responding to that message were FASCV members George Hoyt and John Whitaker.
Photo By John Whitaker
Rehab was set up on Leigh Ave. just across the wide street from the fire's location. Before FSU-3 arrived, firefighters had already staked out a Rehab site on a lawn area under a large tree. The cool grass and adequate shade provided a perfect rest area for hot and weary crews. Cold water, lemonade and Gatorade were high on the list of priorities as rehydration became a primary concern. In addition to these liquids, firefighters also enjoyed some banana bread provided the the homeowner at the Rehab location.  
Complicating the overhaul process was the fire's proximity to Leigh High School. Located across the intersection from the fire, students were leaving the school shortly after the fire began and had to be steered around the rehab area. This, in addition to parents driving into the area to pick up their students, made traffic control a little more challenging than usual. Fire Associates members broke from their usual Rehab duties and assisted with the traffic situation.

FSU-3 was released from service at approximately 4:15 P.M.
-- Report Submitted By John Whitaker