Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Spell of 3-Fires-In-1-Day Livens Up October

After a period of no activity during the middle of the month of October, that all changed for Fire Associates members on Sunday, October 28. Read on...

San Jose Condos:
Photo By Craig Allyn Rose
The San Jose Fire Department was the first to request our aid. During the early morning hours, a fire broke out in a garage complex attached to a row of seven, two-story condominiums. The first-arriving engine company reported that a garage was on fire at 3131 Creekside Drive in San Jose's Berryessa neighborhood. By the time the fire crew had positioned the engine and deployed their hose lines, the single garage fire had spread to 3 garages. A second alarm was immediately called and the increasing inferno eventually grew into a 4-alarm event. Only the two end-unit condos and garages escaped fire damage, but all units experienced some water or smoke damage.

Fire Associates was paged at 8:02 A.M. John Whitaker had been listening on his emergency scanner and immediately responded in Fire Support Unit 2. He was joined on scene by Ron Green, George Hoyt and Mike Chappell. Because the narrow streets in the area were lined with parked cars, fire apparatus were filling the streets when FSU 2 arrived on scene. The Support Unit was positioned several hundred yards from the Rehab location and all food and beverages had to be walked to the location.

Photo By John Whitaker
As the firefighting efforts wound down, Rehab became a very busy place. All four portable, 6-man benches (ours and the two off SJFD Med 30) were quickly filled with tired firefighters. A folding table was set up to serve coffee and nutrition bars with the coffee being made at the Support Unit and then transferred into air pots.
John returned FSU 2 to quarters at Station 6 just before noon.
 -- Report submitted by John Whitaker

San Jose House Fire:
The day's second call for assistance came at 9:32 P.M., just as the San Francisco Giants were wrapping up their World Series sweep of the Detroit Tigers.
A house was on fire on San Jose's east side...and the 3-alarm fire was threatening to spread to adjacent structures. John Whiteside responded in FSU 3 and submitted this report:
"I was watching TV as the local team was celebrating its World Series championship, and listening to my fire scanner. The San Jose Fire Department was fighting a residential fire in east-central San Jose at 10292 Murtha Drive at South White Road. As the fire escalated in alarm levels, I prepared to respond to the scene with a Fire Support Unit. When the third alarm trigger was reached, I notified Sonitrol, our answering service, for the response page and responded to SJS Station 35 to take FSU 3 to the scene -- going en route at 2130 hours.
At the scene, I was joined by members Bruce Dembecki, Ron Green, George Hoyt and guest, Walter Huber. Bottled water, Gatorade, lemonade and CLIF bars and were provided, as well as 2 folding bench sets for the firefighters in Rehab. Around 2300 hours, some fire units on scene were re-dispatched to a minor fire at a local high school. FSU 3 was released and returned to quarters by 2330 hours."
-- Report submitted by John Whiteside
San Jose's 3rd Fire:

Photo By Craig Allyn Rose

On Monday morning, October 29, the third multi-alarm fire in San Jose in less than 24 hours occurred in a large, abandoned structure.  Located at 19600 Almaden Road, the fire consumed the former home of the Almaden Valley Gymnastics Club. Don Gilbert felt that it was his turn to take a support unit, so he drove Fire Support Unit 2 to its second fire of the day.
The very large, concrete tilt up structure was fully ablaze when fire crews arrived. The building had been abandoned since the successful Club had been disbanded in 2006 after 32 years of existence. A San Jose City redevelopment sign out in front of the property stated that the lot was to be the site of several new, single-family homes. Firefighters began an interior attack on the fire, but retreated after reporting swimming pools and several water-filled landing pits inside the building. A master stream off Truck 13 was set up in front of the building and hose lines were extended along the sides of the fire towards the rear. Although the exterior walls were concrete, the wide open floor area was spanned by large timbers that provided fuel to the fire and threatened to collapse as the incident progressed.
Photo By John Whitaker
Fire Associates set up on the shoulder of Almaden Road, directly in front of the incident. It was a very foggy, fall morning and firefighters enjoyed several pots of hot coffee. As the morning commute traffic picked up in the area, Rehab was broken down at approximately 8:30 A.M.
-- Report submitted by John Whitaker