|Photo from San Jose Fire Department|
On a damp and chilly mid-winter day, the San Jose Fire Department called for a structure response on North 9th Street near the city's downtown. The fire was burning to the rear of 229 N. 9th Street. First-arriving fire crews found a garage and multiple cars already fully involved.
With the fire going strong in the detached garage, the flames began to invade the 2-story house and firefighters had their hands full keeping it out of the Victorian-style structure. At the same time, the fire was also spreading to the two adjacent garages or sheds. A second alarm was called, followed by a precautionary third alarm because of the close proximity to century-old wood buildings.
With the third alarm, Fire Associates responded with Fire Support Unit 2. Driven by FASCV member John Whitaker, the Support Unit arrived on scene at approximately 11:00 AM. John was met by Bruce Dembecki and Mike Garcia who had already scouted out a location for Rehab across the street from the involved structure. They were also joined on scene later by FASCV member George Hoyt.
|Photo by John Whitaker|
Cold drinks and Clif Bars were quickly set out and it wasn't long before the IC requested for sandwiches to be ordered as the lunch hour was quickly approaching. Bruce and Mike went to a downtown Togo's location to pick up the meals and returned to find tired and hungry firefighters awaiting their arrival. The 45 sandwiches and assorted chips were greatly appreciated by the crews working overhaul.
Of course, as luck would have it, it began to rain heavily just as the lunches arrived. The serving table was quickly moved to a location under a nearby shade tree along with the portable benches and ice chests full of drinks. It was close quarters as everyone huddle out of the rain.
After everyone had been fed and the operation was winding down, FSU-2 was released back to quarters at approximately 2:00 P.M.
- John's photos can be viewed at: 3-Alarm Downtown Blaze
- A San Jose Mercury News story can be read at: Downtown Garage Burns
- An NBC Bay Area report with photos and video can be viewed at: 3-Alarm Garage Fire
-- Report submitted by John Whitaker