Photo By John Whitaker
This structure should be familiar to many San Jose residents as it has served as a saloon, blacksmith shop and bike shop for approximately 128 years. For the past several decades, the building has been leaning at what appeared to be a severe angle while still being occupied. As drivers entered the Southbound Interstate 280 freeway onramp located directly across the street, it was hard to miss this landmark.
Because of the building's stability issues, the firefight operated primarily in a defensive mode. At one point, live wires came down forcing fire crews to temporarily abandon several of their rigs in response to a "life Safety" alert. Firefighters did an amazing job keeping the damage basically confined to the second floor of the entirely wood building.
Bruce Dembecki and Don Gilbert arrived at the fire in Fire Support Unit 2 and a rehab area was quickly established on a sidewalk near the command center. Hot coffee, cold drinks and Clif Bars were provided as the usual fare. Rehab was in operation until fire crews were released shortly after midnight.
- John Whitaker's photos can be viewed at: Faber Bike Shop Fire
- Bruce Dembecki's photos can be viewed at: Victorian Fire
- A San Jose Mercury News story can be read at: Faber's Cyclery Fire