Saturday, October 19, 2013

County Firefighters Tackle Difficult 2-Alarm House Fire

Photo By John Whitaker
The calm of a warm, Autumn evening was broken for Fire Associates' members when a page was received for help at a 2-alarm house fire. Located at 405 Payne Ave. in Campbell, the fire involved a 2-story home along with 2 vehicles parked in the driveway. Fire Associates (FASCV) member Don Gilbert quickly responded the 4:19 P.M. call in Fire Support Unit 2. He was joined on scene by Jerry Haag, John Whitaker and Dan Wong.
First-arriving firefighters from Santa Clara County Fire found the front of the house and vehicles in the driveway fully ablaze with the fire quickly spreading to the second floor and the roof. The interior of the 2-car garage was already burning and the upper roof was threatening to collapse due to the weight of roof-mounted solar panels. A second alarm was quickly called, which brought additional fire units and FASCV. The challenge was gaining access to the fire as the 2 burning vehicles in the driveway were hampering access to the garage which was fully involved. Additionally, the upstairs interior attack was made a little more complicated by the solar panels which were repelling water and adding to the weight of the roof.
Once the fire was knocked down, there was a need for extensive overhaul. FASCV had set up rehab across the street from the incident as firefighters were in need of a place to sit down and lots of cold water and Gatorade on an 80-degree, late afternoon. As the firefighting efforts extended across the dinner hour, Togo's sandwiches were provided to the tired and hungry crews. Additionally, neighbors also arrived with Starbucks coffee and a plate of cookies for the very appreciative firefighters.
As some of the crews were being released and remaining firefighters were awaiting the arrival of a board-up contractor, FASCV was released at approximately 7:50 P.M.
-- Report submitted by John Whitaker