Saturday, July 26, 2014

Early Morning Warehouse Fire Goes To Five Alarms

Photo By Craig Allyn Rose
On Saturday morning, July 26, dispatchers received an early morning report of a fire in an industrial area of San Jose. Originally reported to be at 2440 South 10th Street, the fire was found burning in a structure at 1596 South 7th Street, located between South 7th and South 10th Streets.
Early difficulties in locating the seat of the fire were overcome and the fire, burning in several warehouses and an exterior storage area, went to 5 alarms. 4th and 5th alarm units were provided by mutual aid from surrounding cities, with Santa Clara County, Santa Clara, Milpitas, and Sunnyvale Fire Departments all providing resources. The incident IC also requested an Overhead Support Team, which resulted in Senior staff from Santa Clara County, Santa Clara, Mountain View, and Palo Alto Fire assisting at the scene.
Fire Associates were called out at 3:42 A.M. with the 3rd-alarm escalation, and Fire Support Unit 2 with Don Gilbert and Bruce Dembecki was on scene shortly after 4:00 A.M. Through the morning, Fire Associates members Jerry Haag, Larry Carr, Mike Garcia, and Len Williams joined the crews on scene, as did guest Kenny Needham. 
Photo By Craig Allyn Ros
The fire destroyed several buildings, but the large amount of smoldering debris presented additional challenges for fire crews. While the fire was under control by 8:00 A.M., additional resources were requested to deal with the smoldering piles. San Jose called in two front-end loaders from the City yard to pull the debris piles apart. On what would eventually be a 95-degree day, it was clear that the operation would extend into the afternoon.
During the early morning hours, coffee was popular as were cold drinks for the crews who were already working up a sweat. Once the sun came up, and the operation moved into an extended mode, the coffee pots were put away and the demand for cold drinks increased. A supply run was made to restock the ice supply which was running low as Fire Associates crews worked to keep up with the demand from hot and tired fire crews.
Meals were served late in the morning and Fire Associates members were released from the scene shortly after 1:00 P.M.
-- Report submitted by Bruce Dembecki