Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Vegetation Fire Escalates Into 4-Alarm Blaze

On June 1st San Jose firefighters responded to reports of bushes burning on S. White Rd. near Story Rd. While units were responding, additional reports were received indicating the bushes were threatening an auto parts store, and then that the auto parts store was burning.
Upon arrival, units discovered the vegetation had burnt into the eves of the store and was spreading through the attic. A second alarm was called at that time. Additional concerns were raised given the possible hazardous nature of some of the materials stored on the premises, and the incident was declared a Hazmat incident. Within 8 minutes of the first reports, a 3rd alarm was called.
Before the incident was controlled, a fourth alarm would be called. With so many San Jose units on scene, mutual aid was called from nearby departments to provide station coverage.
On the 3rd alarm activation, Fire Associates new dispatching system, IamResponding, was activated directly by the San Jose Fire Dispatch system, notifying our members of the need for support. Don Gilbert responded to Fire Station 6 to pick up Fire Support Unit 2, while Bruce Dembecki responded directly to the scene.
With the 4th alarm activation Fire Associates member John Whiteside responded with Fire Support Unit 3. On scene the team was met by Fire Associates member George Hoyt and guest Daniel Capostagno.
With early afternoon temperatures into the 90s around the South Bay, crews were hot and thirsty. The first four cases of water and gatorade put out for firefighters were gone before we could open the cool and put them on ice!
Store employees and customers were evacuated without incident and there were no injuries during the incident. Traffic was significantly impacted as S. White Road was closed for an extended period.
-- Report submitted by Bruce Dembecki