|Photo By John Whitaker|
The afternoon of June 9th was a hot one in San Jose. So, when a call came in reporting a balcony fire spreading into the attic of an apartment building, a quick response was of necessity. Located at 3269 Shadow Park Place, in the south-eastern part of San Jose, the apartment was part of an 8-plex building. The first-arriving fire units found two balconies were ablaze with the fire spreading into the interior of the structure and the attic space.
Firefighters jumped on this fire very quickly as the facades of all the apartments in the complex were sheathed in cedar shake shingles. As the firefight progressed, a small blaze did break out on a building across the driveway from the involved structure. The roof of that building was quickly laddered and the small fire was extinguished.
It was at this point that a second alarm was struck and a call was made for Fire Associates assistance. Since afternoon temperatures were well into the 90s, hydration of firefighters became an important concern. John Whitaker had been listening to the incident on his scanner and he and John Whiteside quickly conferred by phone. With John Whitaker living 10 minutes away from the fire, John Whiteside volunteered to respond in FSU-3 while John Whitaker went straight to the fire scene.
Rehab had already been established by SJFD's Med-30 by the time the Support Unit arrived. The two Johns quickly replenished Med-30's water and Gatorade supply and a couple of gallons of Countrytime Lemonade was mixed up. Several cases of liquid were consumed by thirsty firefighters. Meals were ordered from Togo's and John Whitaker was dispatched to pick them up. After a brief misunderstanding on how many sandwiches were ordered, John returned to supply hungry crews.
FSU-3 stayed on scene until the very last firefighters returned to quarters.
- John Whitaker's photos can be viewed at: Shadow Park Place