Saturday, July 4, 2015

4th of July Challenge for San Jose Firefighters

What do you get when you combine illegal fireworks in the neighborhood with someone who chronically keeps too much stuff…?
In this case, the fire was started by someone’s use of illegal fireworks, but made far more challenging by the amount of belongings the resident had in and around the home. By the time firefighters arrived on scene, the house had heavy flames shooting out of the "Charlie" and "Delta" sides and was spreading into the attic -- while also threatening neighboring exposures.
The first units on the scene, near the intersection of Yerba Buena Rd. and Brock Way, immediately called for a second alarm. Dispatchers were working hard to cover the multiple incidents taking place at that time -- 9:45 P.M. on July 4th. With a 5-in. supply line crossing Yerba Buena Rd., there were significant problems with motorists continuing on their way -- right over the 5-in. line. The dangerous situation resulted in a request for Code 3 SJPD assistance.
Bruce Dembecki in Fire Support Unit 2 responded to the scene at 10:00 P.M. and spent the first 20 minutes turning traffic around on Yerba Buena Rd. until PD units could establish a more-effective traffic plan. At that time, Med 30 requested Fire Associates establish Rehab for firefighters working to gain access to the congested interior of the house so they could control the blaze.
Rehab was popular on a warm summer evening with Gatorade and water literally flying off the shelves.
The blaze was contained and damage to the exposures was minimized. Eventually, fire crews were released to assist in other parts of the City on a busy July 4th night. Fire Support Unit 2 went back in service at midnight.
-- Report submitted by Bruce Dembecki