|Photo By John Whitaker|
At approximately 10:30 A.M. on Thursday morning, Oct. 9, San Jose Fire Dispatch received numerous calls for a garage on fire near Story Rd. Located at 919 Gerard Ave. in East San Jose, the fire was sending up a column of black smoke that could be seen throughout the Santa Clara Valley. It was not long before the first-alarm units were on scene and pulling hose lines to protect exposures on the "Bravo" and "Delta" sides of the blaze.
Fire crews that went to the rear of the structure were hampered by power lines that were running along the back side of the property. By this time, the blaze was getting so hot (being fed by multiple burning vehicles in the garage and driveway) that the garage roof totally collapsed. The fire was quickly declared a "defensive" effort and all firefighters were ordered out of the structure.
When a second alarm was called, Fire Associates was "special-called" for Rehab support. Don Gilbert picked up Fire Support Unit 2 and headed to the fire while FASCV member John Whitaker went directly to the scene. After interfacing with the IC and Med 30, John picked out a somewhat shady location for Rehab and awaited Don's arrival. Just before FSU-2 arrived on scene, John was joined by FASCV vice president, Bob Gundrum. They directed Don to the Rehab location and quickly went about setting up tables and benches for tired firefighters.
An order was put in for 25 Togo's sandwiches with John going to pick them up in his personal vehicle. Firefighters were very appreciative as they downed the sandwiches and lots of water and Gatorade. As the last of the fire crews were released from the incident, rehab was broken down and FSU-2 returned to quarters at San Jose Fire Station 6 shortly before 1:30 P.M.
- John's photos can be seen at: Gerard Ave. Fire
- A San Jose Mercury News story can be read at: Animals Saved from Blaze
-- Report submitted by John Whitaker