Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Popular Businesses Lost In 4-Alarm Strip Mall Blaze

Shortly before midnight on Tuesday, June 14, San Jose Fire received reports of bushes on fire and flames showing from above the roof of a strip mall at Santa Teresa and Cahallan.
First-arriving units found the flaming trees at the rear of the complex and reported that they were impinging on the structure at the roof line. While setting up to handle the trees first-in units requested next arriving units check the roof of the strip mall.
By the time fire units arrived, the fire was already into the attic. While crews made several attempts to run a strip cut on the roof to isolate the fire from other areas in the building, the fire was moving too quickly through a common attic space. The fire spread rapidly from one end of the building through to the other, destroying all but two businesses in the main building of the mall. The remaining businesses suffered from smoke and water damage.
The Incident went to 4 alarms in less than 20 minutes from the original call. On the 3rd alarm request, Fire Associates was dispatched and John Whiteside headed to Fire Station 35 to pick up Fire Support Unit 3. FASCV President Bruce Dembecki went straight to the scene. There was a good mix of both hot and cold drinks being consumed and both Cliff bars and donuts were popular at 2:00 A.M. Assisted FASCV members on scene by guest, Walter Huber.
The 4th alarm was filled by units from Santa Clara County Fire which allowed the brand new Truck 85 to be put into service for the first time. This turned out to be the first time its master stream had been used on an actual fire.

-- Report submitted by Bruce Dembecki