|Photo by Mike Garcia|
On Sunday night, April 24, at approximately 11:40 P.M., Santa Clara County Fire (CNT) received reports of a structure fire at 354 N. Santa Cruz Avenue. The location was only a couple of blocks from County Fire's Station 83, “Los Gatos Station”. So close that the crew later stated they could smell smoke as they left the station.
Upon arrival, they reported flames visible inside structure. The fire was in the attic of "Double D’s Sports Grille", a popular sports bar and restaurant. Within minutes, a full first alarm was filled out and a 2nd alarm was requested by the Incident Commander, bringing additional County fire crews to the scene.
John Whiteside, who was monitoring the radio at home, heard the initial dispatch. He anticipated a Fire Support Unit request and was preparing to respond. At 12:17 A.M., Fire Associates was paged to respond an FSU to the scene, and John responded with Fire Support Unit 3 from San Jose Station 35 -- about 8 miles from the fire. As John was en route, the IC called a 3rd alarm, which brought a mutual aid structure response from San Jose.
|Photo By John Whiteside|
Upon arrival, John was met by FASCV member Mike Garcia and guest Walter Huber. After helping set up Rehab next to the on-scene ambulance crew, Mike went to locate and purchase some ever-popular donuts. Portable benches, Gatorade, water, CLIF bars, lighting, and hot coffee in the cool early morning air, were provided.
The extinguishment efforts were difficult as there were 3 different roofs atop the building. The stubborn fire just kept advancing through the attic and small pockets of fire kept appearing when hoses were shut down. The fire was declared under control about 2 hours after first-arrival. Crews remained through the night and into the next day. Fortunately, firefighters managed to save many treasured sports memorabilia items that were on display in the restaurant.
Fire Associates personnel were released at 3:45 A.M.
- John's photos from the fire can be viewed at: Double-D Fire
- A San Jose Mercury News story can be read at: Los Gatos Fire
-- Report submitted by John Whiteside