Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January 25, 2010 -- 2nd-Alarm Response for Santa Clara County Fire

Fire Associates was paged at 6:25 A.M. on Monday, Jan. 25 by Santa Clara County Fire. A single-story house was burning at 264 Old Adobe Rd. in Los Gatos. John Whiteside responded to the early morning call in Support Unit 2. John has submitted the following report:

Paged at 0625 on Jan. 25 for a 2-alarm fire in Los Gatos, near the Monte Sereno border, off Quito Road. Arrived about 0730 with FSU #2. Typical, 1-story, ranch-style house. An elderly gentleman was the lone occupant. He escaped the fire and went next door to phone -- about 0545. He was taken to the hospital, but not in serious condition. Fire destroyed the back half and right side of the structure.

Last fire unit finally cleared about 1245. NO RAIN!!! Ron Green and Jerry Haag were on scene when FSU #2 arrived and Bruce Dembecki arrived later. FSU #2 was released about 1000.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January 20, 2010 -- Rainy-Night Response for San Jose Fire

At 1:56 A.M., on Jan. 20, when everyone else was warm and cozy in bed, Fire Associates responded to a request for help from the San Jose Fire Department. A fire had broken out in a duplex at 162 Bendorf Drive. It was a cold, windy and rainy night when Don Gilbert responded in Support Unit 2. He was met on scene by John Whitaker.

The fire had broken out in the rear of the duplex and residents scrambled out into the night. One unit was fully involved when the first-due firefighters from Station 18 arrived. Fire Associates was special-called to the two-alarm incident because of the worsening weather conditions. Hot coffee and Clif Bars were served to the firefighters, while hot chocolate was provided to the children of the displaced residents.

Support Unit 2 was released back into service at approximately 3:30 A.M.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

January 16, 2010 -- 2nd-Alarm Response into Milpitas

On Saturday morning, Jan. 16, service from Fire Associates was requested from the Milpitas Fire Department. Despite some irregularities with the paging system, and a battery problem with Support Unit 1, FASCV responded to the incident and rendered service with Support Unit 2. Jerry Haag has submitted the following report:

Date: 16 Jan 2010
Time: 1151 initial Sonitrol dispatch, Haag responded to SNC Sta. 9 to pick up FSU-1. FSU-1 would not start (dead battery), Haag had Sonitrol page out FSU-2, Don Gilbert responded with FSU-2, 1315 arrival, released at 1500.
Type: Structure fire
Size: Second alarm
Jurisdiction: Milpitas
Location: 837 Calero St.

Details: Small, single-story dwelling. Engine 3 first on scene, found building fully involved.

Responding Members: Gilbert (driver), Green, Haag, Dembecki
Fire Support Unit Responding: FSU-2

Remarks: Despite delayed response, many firefighters served and much thanks received. Thanks to Don for prompt coverage of this call.

In addition, Bruce Dembecki has added the following details to the incident:

The fire is believed to have started at the rear of the house while the occupants were cooking outside. The fire was fueled by grease and propane. The residents were quite upset about their missing small dog. About four hours after the fire started, cheers erupted as firefighters emerged from the inside of the house carrying the scared, but mostly unscathed, pup. It had managed to hide itself sufficiently to escape the fire (and earlier detection by the fire crews).

Finally, the debris build-up around the side of the house (and inside the house) caused the firefighters considerable difficulties during the firefight and afterwards. Ultimately, they called in a Bobcat from Milpitas DPW to pull apart the structure and debris on the Delta side of the house.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January 5, 2010 -- San Jose Scrap Metal Fire

You wouldn't think that a pile of scrap metal could burn -- But, guess again!

At approximately 5:00 PM on Tuesday, January 5, the San Jose Fire Department asked for assistance from Fire Associates. Although the incident amounted to a little more than a first alarm, the dinner hour was fast approaching and help was needed in serving meals to the crews on scene. Don Gilbert and John Whiteside responded in Support Unit 2, while FASCV members John Whitaker, Mike Chappell and George Hoyt went directly to the location.

The fire was burning in a pile of scrap metal at the Sims Metal Management yard located at 1800 Monterey Road. The 300 sq. ft. pile of recycled appliances and other items apparently contained enough combustible material that it caught fire and was difficult to extinguish. The corporation's excavators were put into service to break apart the pile so water could penetrate into the pile's core. The fire was eventually put out after SJFD brought in their foam unit.

The challenge for arriving FASCV members was to find a dry place to set up a rehab area. Because the site is a potential hazmat facility, all water is kept on the property and not allowed to empty into strom drains. That meant that all the runoff water was quickly developing Lake Sims! To get to the IC location, all arriving vehicles had to drive through approximately 8 inches of water. Hot coffee on a cold evening was in demand as crews awaited meals to be delivered. Firefighters were served burrittos, Gatorade, water and coffee before they were sent back into service.

Support Unit 2 was released from service shortly before 9:00 PM.