Thursday, February 25, 2010

February 24, 2010 -- 4-Alarm Fire Near Downtown San Jose

On Wednesday morning, Feb. 24, the San Jose Fire Department called for Fire Associates' assistance. Eventually going to 4 alarms, the fire was burning in an old, Victorian-syle home at 555 E. Julian Street, near the intersection with 12th Street. A Google Maps Street View of the structure can be viewed at: 555 E. Julian.

Jerry Haag responded in Support Unit 1 to the 2:55 A.M. page. He was joined on scene by FASCV members Ron Green, George Hoyt, Mike Chappell, Bruce Dembecki and Bob Gundrum. Jerry has sent along the following report:

Date: 24 Feb. 2010
Time: 0255 Sonitrol dispatch, 0345 arrival, released at 0800.
Type: Structure fire
Size: Fourth alarm
Jurisdiction: San Jose
Location: 555 E. Julian St.

Details: Two-story Victorian, balloon construction. Fireplace was apparent origin of the fire. Ran up walls into attic space. Two ladder-pipes utilized.

Units in attendance:
SJS: Engines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 30 and 34; Trucks 1, 2, 3, 4 and 16; HIT 29A&B; USAR 5A&B; Med-30; RM-4; CV-33, and Batts. 1, 10, 21 and 29
Responding Members: Haag (driver), Green, Hoyt, Chappell, Dembecki, Gundrum
Fire Support Unit Responding: FSU-1

Remarks: Over a dozen pots of coffee made (Thanks, Ron!). 50 burritos served (Thanks, George & Ron!)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February 18, 2010 -- 2nd-Alarm Response in Cupertino

* Photo from “smokeshowing” Flickr account

This time, it was 3:40 A.M. on Thursday, Feb. 18, when the pagers went off. Santa Clara County Fire was requesting Fire Associates help for a 2-alarm fire in Cupertino. Jerry Haag responded in Fire Support Unit 1 and was met by FASCV members Ron Green and Larry Carr. Jerry has submitted this report:

Date: 18 Feb. 2010
Time: 0343 Sonitrol dispatch, 0410 arrival, released at 0735.
Type: Structure fire
Size: Second alarm
Jurisdiction: County Fire
Location: 10132 Deeprose Place, Cupertino

Details: Single-family, split-level, frame dwelling. Engine 1 and Truck 1 were first in. Two 1-3/4" crosslays and one 2-1/2" exposure line pulled from E-1. Engine 2 on E-110 provided water supply by 5" supply line from nearby hydrant. E-1 also supplied T-1 ladder-pipe through 5" hose line. Seriously exposed dwelling on "B" side was saved from serious damage. Dwelling of origin was greatly damaged. No injuries to occupants or firefighters.

Units in attendance:

CNT: Batt. 3 (IC), 2, 14, 16; E-1, 3, 7, 14; R-3, 17; HM-2; BS-2; T-1

Responding Members: Haag (driver), Green, Carr

Fire Support Unit Responding: FSU-1

Remarks: Page that said who was taking the FASCV rig was truncated and caused a little confusion for members who were responding -- resolved by cell phone.

  • Photos from the "smokeshowing" Flickr account can be viewed at: Home Destroyed

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February 8, 2010 -- 4-Alarm Warehouse Fire in San Jose

The second call of the day, and the 5th call in 5 days, was received at 3:45 P.M. on Monday, Feb. 8. This time, the 4-alarm fire was burning in a long-abandoned warehouse in San Jose. Located across the street from 1880 Dobbin Drive, the fire proved to be a challenge to firefighters who used a surround-and-drown technique on the 40,000 sq. ft. structure.

Don Gilbert, John Whiteside and Bruce Dembecki all responded in Support Unit 2 -- an advantage of the extra seating in our new rig. They were met by FASCV members John Whitaker, George Hoyt, Rick James and Jerry Haag. FASCV staffing in Rehab was not a problem!

John Whiteside has submitted the following report:

A San Jose FD fire located at the end of 1880 Dobbin Drive -- off King Road. Initially, a quickly called 3rd alarm, it went to 4-alarm mutual aid incident, with a Santa Clara City and Santa Clara County overhead support team. This was a very large warehouse with a second-floor office area. Seemed to be abandoned. Very good stop. FSU-2 responded with Don Gilbert, Bruce Dembecki, George Hoyt, John Whiteside, Jerry Haag, Rick James and John Whitaker all in attendance. Picked up and served 130 burritos for dinner. Arrived on scene before 1600, released about 2000.

February 8, 2010 -- 2nd-Alarm Response in Sunnyvale

Early Monday morning, Feb. 8, at 6:30 A.M., Fire Associates was dispatched to a 2nd-alarm fire in Sunnyvale. Located at 1101 Elko Rd., the location was near the intersection of Lawrence Expy. and Hwy. 237. Bob Gundrum responded in Support Unit 1 and was met by FASCV members Ron Green, Jerry Haag, Len Williams, George Hoyt, and Dan Wong (guest). Jerry has submitted the following report:

Date: 08 Feb. 2010
Time: 0630 initial fire dispatch, 0610 Sonitrol dispatch, 0630 arrival, released at 0945.
Type: Structure fire
Size: Second alarm
Jurisdiction: Sunnyvale
Location: 1101 Elko Rd.

Details: Single story, free standing restaurant and bar. Engine 6 first on scene on A side, two elevated master streams operated, Truck 1 on A-B corner, Truck 2 on C-D Corner.

Units in attendance:
SNY: E-1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 60; T-1, 2; R-2; Med-7, Batt. 10 (Gienger)
Responding Members: Gundrum (driver), Green, Haag, Williams, Hoyt, Wong (guest)
Fire Support Unit Responding: FSU-1

Remarks: Involved building practically nextdoor to Fire Station 6.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

February 5, 2010 - 3rd-Alarm Response for SJFD

At 7:25 P.M. on Friday, Feb. 5, Fire Associates was paged by the San Jose Fire Dept. for a 3rd-alarm response at 2400 Forest Ave. A small fire had been burning on the third floor of the Nordstom's Dept. Store in the Valley Fair Mall. Although the blaze was small, the resulting "flood" of water was proving difficult to control and extra man-power was needed to minimize the damage. Don Gilbert responded in Support Unit 2 and was met on scene by FASCV members Jerry Haag, Bruce Dembecki, and guest, Dan Wong. After providing assistance for several hours, the Support Unit was released at approximately 10:00 P.M.

Friday, February 5, 2010

February 4, 2010 -- 2nd-Alarm Fire in Morgan Hill

At 5:55 A.M. on Thursday morning, Feb. 5, Fire Associates was paged to a 2nd-alarm blaze in Morgan Hill. The fire was burning at
2490 Pinto Ct., near the intersection of Dunne Ave. and Hill Rd. on the city's east side. Mike Chappell responded in his personal vehicle and requested that a FASCV member also respond in a support unit. With FASCV's normal south county responders tied up with personal commitments, Jerry Haag responded to the call in Support Unit 1, only to have the call canceled. Here is Jerry's saga:
  • 0536: I awoke to the full-first structural assignment by County Fire to 2490 Pinto Ct. Went to Thomas Map and confirmed in Morgan Hill. Figured South-siders would take it.

  • 0545: Second-alarm response requested. Heard Mike Chappell go on the air (ham radio).

  • 0551: First page from Sonitrol. Waited for someone from South to respond to page.

  • 0603: Sonitrol reported Mike responding in own vehicle.

  • 0636: Sonitrol put out another call for driver, as requested by Mike.

  • 0640: Mike put his call on the ham radio again. I answered and he told me none of the South-siders were available and he needed a rig at the fire. I told him I would take FS-1.

  • 0651: Sonitrol reported that I was responding in FS-1 with 60 minute ETA. That was at my request.

  • 0715: I arrived at SNC Sta. 9 and was on the way out of the station at 0720 when I got Mikey's cancellation, as relayed by Bob Gundrum.

  • 0724: Gundrum paged out the cancellation. I took the rig around the block to warm it up and then put it to bed.
Two hours start to finish and a support unit never got to the scene.

However, even though in his own vehicle, Mike was able to provide drinks to the tired firefighters. Thanks to Mike, after all the confusion, FASCV was once again able to be of service.

February 3, 2010 -- Level 2 Hi-rise Response in San Jose

On Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 9:46 P.M., Fire Associates was paged to a Hi-rise alarm in San Jose. Located at 111 W. St. John, a water-flow alarm was ringing on the seventh floor of a multi-story office building. Bruce Dembecki responded in Support Unit 2 and was met on scene by FASCV member Ron Green. This was Bruce's first response driving for FASCV and he has submitted the following report:

Upon arrival on scene, firefighters reported the alarm was active and strobes were flashing. They started a floor-by-floor search. Upon arriving on the 6th floor, they discovered water coming through the ceiling, signaling a sprinkler activation on the 7th floor. At this point, B/C Kevin Conant called for a precautionary Level 2 hi-rise response, which resulted in FASCV being paged by Sonitrol.

Bruce Dembecki hit the road with FSU 2 around 10:00 P.M. and arrived on scene at 10:20 P.M., just as FD department units were being demobbed. The fire operation was turning into a mop up being handled by the crews from Engine 1 and Truck 1. Chief Conant canceled both Ron Green and myself when we checked in at the Command Post.

Fire Associates members on scene: Bruce Dembecki, Ron Green

FSU #2 was back in the barn at Station 6 by 10:48 P.M.