|Photo By Craig Allyn Rose|
At 2:50 A.M. in the morning, you don't want to be awakened -- especially on your birthday! But that's what happened to FASCV member John Whitaker on Tuesday, September 16th.
The San Jose Fire Department had responded to the report of a lumber yard on fire at 1080 Oakland Road. As Engine 5 was en route, it became obvious from the glow and smoke column that this was going to be "a worker" and the Captain called a second alarm right then and there.
When the Engine pulled up on scene, the exact location of the fire was changed from the lumberyard on Oakland Road to an adjacent pallet and wood box business. Located at 751 Mabury Rd., the fire was burning at Chualar Pallets Recycle -- and flames were reported to be 40 feet high.
Don Gilbert was first to respond to the page for assistance and quickly left for SJFD Station 6. As he was going to get Fire Support Unit 2, FASCV members Bruce Dembecki and John Whitaker responded to the scene in there personal vehicles. What they found was Oakland and Mabury Roads were completely blocked off with fire crews completely surrounding the blaze.
|Photo By Bruce Dembecki|
Firefighters put several hand lines into operation as they tried to cool down stacks of pallets and wood boxes that were piled high with sawdust. Two master streams were also put into the firefight as the blaze was getting very hot. The word "bonfire" comes to mind!
Rehab was established at the Oakland/Mabury intersection and pots and pots of coffee were consumed in the early morning hours. But, as the sun began to rise, fire crews were released through Rehab and returned to service. By the time the sun was up, only two engine companies and truck crew remained on the fire and Fire Associates was released at approximately 7:00 A.M.
Needless to say, John hadn't quite expected such an early party, or such a big candle, on his birthday.
- Bruce Dembecki's photos can be viewed at: Pallet Fire
- Craig Allyn Rose's photos can be viewed at: Mabury Blaze
- A San Jose Mercury News story can be read at: Firefighters Contain Blaze
-- Report submitted by John Whitaker