Monday, September 21, 2015

Fire Associates Makes Late-Night Run to Summit Road Blaze

Photo By Bill Roth
On September 21, at 17 minutes past midnight, Cal Fire Morgan Hill received multiple calls of a structure fire at 70 Summit Rd. Summit Rd. runs along the top of the hills west of Morgan Hill and marks the border between Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. The blaze was intensive enough that responders from the South Santa Clara County Fire Protection District station in San Martin could see the blaze from many miles away as they departed their station. 
Fire Associates received a page at 2:45 A.M. for a Fire Support Unit to respond and John Whiteside volunteered to drive FSU-3. He left south San Jose and headed to Morgan Hill where he stopped to pick up FASCV member Bill Roth. They continued to the fire, arriving at approximately 4:00 A.M. The fire scene was located 2 miles up Summit Road from Highway 152, with access through Mt. Madonna Park.
Plenty of doughnuts, Clif bars, coffee, water, and Gatorade were well received by the tired firefighters. Later in the morning, breakfast burritos were furnished by Cal Fire logistics. In the end, San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara Cal Fire Units responded engines to the fire. They were joined by water tenders from the Loma Prieta and Spring Valley Volunteers as well as a water tender from the San Jose Fire Dept. Because a Humboldt County Cal Fire strike team was covering Santa Cruz stations, one HUU engine was also dispatched to the call.
The 2,500+ sq. ft. home, surrounded by tall trees, was a total loss. A resulting 1-acre wild land fire was contained with the assistance of Cal Fire's Ben Lomond Fire Crew 3 and Almaden Crew 1. Almost 600 feet of supply line hose was laid from the pumping engine located at the portable dump tank. Supplied by the water tenders out on on the road, the hose lay went along the driveway up to the 3 engines located at the house. Since the alarm was for both structure and wild land incidents, 15 engines, 5 water tenders, and 2 dozers were dispatched. Some crews remained on scene for the rest of the day.
FSU-3 was released at 8:45 A.M. and returned to quarters after replenishing their water and Gatorade supply from Morgan Hill Cal Fire. 
-- Report submitted by John Whitside