On February 3, at a few minutes past 8:00 P.M., San Jose Fire dispatchers received many calls of a fully involved house fire in the Willow Glen area. The address was 1041 Ellis Avenue near its intersection with Louise Avenue -- just off Lincoln Avenue. The location is only several blocks from SJFD Station 6, where Engine 6, Air Unit 6, and Fire Support Unit #2 are housed.
A full first alarm was dispatched: 3 engines, 2 trucks, 2 chiefs, a squad, etc. Upon arrival, E6 reported a 2.5-story home under construction, fully involved, with scaffolding in place on the front of the structure. A hydrant was almost directly in front of the involved house, but the heat was too intense for the engine to position there, so it moved down to the next house, while laying a 5-inch supply line.
The intense heat soon began to influence the 2 adjacent structures as well as a detached garage at the rear. A 2nd alarm was requested by the Incident Commander, and resulted in a 5-inch hose being laid across Lincoln Ave., closing that main artery for over 3 hours. Due to the structural conditions and scaffolding, a collapse zone was established at the scene.
At approximately 9:20 P.M., a roof fire was reported to be starting on a house a block behind, and across a street, from the primary structure. The IC requsted a 3rd alarm -- which automatically pages Fire Associates for a response.
Don Gilbert and John Whiteside met at Station 6 to take FSU-2 to the scene. They were assisted later by guest Teri Cosentino. FSU-2 was released at 12:15 A.M., February 4, after serving the initial fire crews while waiting for the fire-watch crew to arrive.
-- Report submitted by John Whiteside