At 2:50 P.M., on Thursday, Sept. 30, Santa Clara County Fire responded Engine 11 to reports of "Smoke in the area" near Bascom and Campbell Avenues. This led to reports of a house on fire a few minutes later at 74 Decorah Lane. Engine 11 arrived on the scene of a two-story residence with smoke and flames shooting through the roof. By 3:15, County B/C 2, Chief Miller, and B/C 3, Chief Parker, had called for a 2nd alarm response, resulting in a page out for Fire Associates a few minutes later.
Bruce Dembecki responded with Fire Support Unit 2 and was met on scene by FASCV member Cliff Smith who had arrived at the same time as Engine 11. During the first couple of hours, FASCV served large quantities of water and Gatorade and we went through 12 bags of ice on a warm, summer-like afternoon. More ice was delivered early in the evening as the event went on.
The fire caused a partial roof collapse inside the structure, and it took about an hour before the scene was declared under control. The scene was further complicated by the discovery of some drums and barrels containing unknown substances on the side of the house, and piles of debris around the apparent source of the fire, which needed to be pulled apart. After two hours, the second alarm units were released, while new units were called in to handle the hazmat issue.
Ultimately, the scene was left in the hands of the fire and police investigators, and the decision was made to board up the house and complete the investigation the next day, in good light. Fire Support Unit 2 was released at 19:44 and returned to quarters.
- Bruce's photos can be viewed at: Campbell House Fire
- An article on the Firefighter News website is at: Campbell Home Damaged
- Craig Allyn Rose's photos are at: Derorah Lane Fire