Monday, August 17, 2015

Two Homes Burn In Area West of Gilroy

Photo Courtesy of the Gilroy Fire Dept.
Mid-afternoon on a summer's day is not the ideal time to be fighting a fire. But, shortly after noon on Monday, August 17, firefighters had to deal with a multi-alarm fire west of Gilroy. Located at 7945 Whitehurst Rd., near Hwy. 152, two homes were eventually involved and fire  units from South County Fire District, Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Spring Valley, San Jose, and Cal Fire worked the incident.
Cal Fire Engine 69 was first to arrive and reported a working house fire with possible threat to the nearby wild land. This prompted Cal Fire's Morgan Hill Emergency Communications Center to dispatch a full wild land response to the area. Upon arrival, Gilroy Battalion Chief 47 recognized that there was no wild land threat and canceled the wild land response.
Shortly thereafter, an explosion occurred in the attached garage which caused the fire to spread to a nearby house. That prompted B47 to immediately call for additional engines and water tenders.
The combined units responding included:
Gilroy Fire:
   B47, E47, T47, E48, E49
South Santa Clara County Fire District:
   E67, WT67, E68, WT68, E69, BS768
Morgan Hill Fire:
Cal Fire SCU:
   DC1601, U1630, E1681, E1684, PRV, WILD, CO70
Cal Fire BEU:
   D4645, E4675, E4677, E4699
Cal Fire CZU:
   D1743, E1761, E1782, BNL1, BNL3, PRV, WILD
Cal Fire Air Attack:
   AA460, T80, C406
Spring Valley Volunteers:
   C901, WT901
San Jose Fire: (Provided Station Coverage)
   E18, WT18
Due to the location of the fire scene, no hydrants were available. So, additional water tenders were requested. Additionally, Fire Associates, Red Cross, an air unit, a Cal Fire hydration unit, and other Battalion Chiefs were requested.
Access to the fire scene was hampered by a narrow road running down a steep hill from Highway 152. This quickly became congested with engines, water tenders, and hose lines with only a narrow passage allowing access the scene.
FASCV responded Fire Support Unit 2 (1:18 PM) with Don Gilbert (driver) and John Whiteside (passenger). However, FASCV member Bill Roth was first to arrive from his San Martin home with three cases of water. This quick response was much appreciated by firefighters due to a shortage of hydration. Upon arrival of FSU-2, additional hydration was provided and a Rehab area was established.
Both involved structures were a total loss with families displaced. As things wound down, FSU-2 departed at approximately 6:00 P.M. 
  •  A KSBW TV8 video news report on the fire can be viewed at:  Whitehurst Blaze
-- Report submitted by Bill Roth