Monday, February 10, 2014

Two-Alarm House Fire Above Milpitas Starts Busy Day for FASCV

Photo By John Whitaker
February 10th was a busy time for Fire Associates with two calls for service spread out through the day.
The first call for Fire Associates' help came in at 10:49 A.M. The Milpitas Fire Dept. required Rehab assistance at a structure fire on Calaveras Road. Located at 3215 Calaveras Rd., the fire involved an unoccupied, single-family home that was apparently undergoing renovation. First-arriving fire crews saw a large column of smoke and found flames rolling out of the large structure.
The first report of a fire came in 8:51 A.M., and it was soon apparent that access to the fire and the location of a water supply were going to be the main concerns. The property was located up a very narrow, steep, winding driveway well back from the roadway. The equivalent of a second alarm was called as help was requested from the Spring Valley Volunteers and Cal Fire.
Eventually, two water tenders from Spring Valley, two engines from Milpitas, a Spring Valley engine, and a Spring Valley chief were located near the building at the top of the driveway. At the bottom of the driveway a Milpitas truck was used to pump water into approximately 2,500 feet of supply hose up the hill. In addition, several support vehicles as well as some Cal Fire equipment was also staged just off Calaveras Rd. Early on in the firefighting effort, Cal Fire's Copter 106 was utilized to make some water drops on the fire.
Photo Modified from Google Maps
Responding for Fire Associates was Jerry Haag in Fire Support Unit 1. He was met on scene by FASCV member John Whitaker. After initially staging near the entrance to the Spring Valley Golf Course, FSU-1 was cleared to go into the Incident Command location. Because of access problems, John rode into the scene in FSU-1 with Jerry driving. With most of the crews located up the hill at the fire scene, there was not much need for Rehab where FSU was located until lunch arrived in the form of Subway sandwiches and chips. As crews were released, they all passed through Rehab to get some well-deserved food. At that point, Rehab became very busy!
As the firefighting efforts wound down, incident command was turned over to Cal Fire who co-staffed the fireground with Spring Valley equipment and personnel. Spring Valley Engine One replaced the Milpitas truck as the primary pumping rig and several Cal Fire Type 3 Engines replaced the Milpitas equipment up near the smoldering structure. Once everyone had been served their meal in Rehab, FSU-1 was released to go back into service at approximately 1:00 P.M.
-- Report submitted by John Whitaker