Thursday, March 15, 2012

San Jose Firefighters Battle 4-Alarm Apartment Fire

Photo By Craig Allyn Rose
Firefighter Hurt in
Morning Blaze
San Jose firefighters responded to reports of a four-plex apartment building on fire on Thursday, March 15 at 2:43 A.M. Arriving units reported fire through the roof of the fourplex  located at 3776 Underwood Street on the city's west side. The incident was eventually upgraded to a four-alarm response, including 2 mutual aid engines, a truck from Santa Clara City Fire and a B/C from Santa Clara County Fire. The fourth alarm units were cancelled en route.

During the incident, the roof collapsed around a ventilation cut, causing one firefighter to fall through the roof, suffering extensive burns to one hand. He was hospitalized in stable condition. As of Friday morning, he is reported to be resting comfortably in the burn ward where he is expected to stay for the next 2 to 5 days, depending upon his recovery.

San Jose Dispatch called Fire Associates for support at 3:19 A.M. and, by 4:00 A.M., Bruce Dembecki had Fire Support Unit 2 on scene. FASCV members Jerry Haag, John Whitaker, George Hoyt, Mike Chappell, Dan Wong and Ron Green were also on hand. Rehab was established in the narrow street and, together with Med 30 and the Rural Metro crews on hand, firefighters were rehydrated, fed and sent back to work. Fire Support Unit 2 was released shortly after 6:00 A.M. It was an unusually "balmy" Winter's night with a 58-degree temperature.

Knock down was achieved about an hour after the first reports, and the incident was under control about 4 hours later. Seventeen residents were displaced by the fire. Red Cross crews were summoned to assist the residents, while VTA provided a bus as shelter for the residents until other arrangements could be made.

-- Report Submitted by Bruce Dembecki

Thursday, March 8, 2012

FASCV Responds to Sunnyvale Gas Leak

Date and Time:  March 8, 1600 hours
Incident Address: 
779 East Arques, Sunnyvale
Type:  Voluntary FASCV Response

Agency:  Sunnyvale

Details:  Silane gas leak confined to gas cabinet. Small amount of flame. Sprinkler operated.

Agency Responders:
SNY: E-2, 5; T-1, 2; R-2; XSC Medic-25; IC-Batt. 1, Safety-Batt. 10.
FASCV Responding Unit:  FSU-1. Released at 1915 hours.
FASCV Responders:  Bob Gundrum (driver), Jerry Haag and Ron Green.

-- Report Submitted by Jerry Haag

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

House Fire Results In 2-Alarm Response By County Firefighters

At about 10:30 A.M., on March 6, Santa Clara County Fire Department responded to reports of a house on fire at 45 Welker Court in Campbell. Arriving units discovered the roof well ablaze and fire throughout the attic and portions of the home. A second alarm was called and firefighters struggled to contain the fire in very windy conditions.

Photos By Bruce Dembecki
County Fire called Fire Associates for a Support Unit at 10:58 A.M. and Bruce Dembecki arrived on scene at 11:15 A.M. with Fire Support Unit 2. Bruce was met on scene by FASCV members Robert Gundrum, Jerry Haag and, making a rare fireground appearance, Fred Abell. Fire Associates established a rehab area and provided both hot and cold drinks and, later in the day, served lunch to hungry firefighters.

Burning "blown in" insulation in the attic added to the problems firefighters were dealing with and contributed to increased risks for nearby exposures -- particularly on the "Charlie" side where the property backed onto an apartment block. Fire department investigators determined the incident was likely a result of a discarded cigarette.
-- Report Submitted by Bruce Dembecki

Sunday, March 4, 2012

FSU-3 Responds to San Jose Garage Fire

Photo By Bruce Dembecki
On March 4, at 2258 hours, FASCV member John Whiteside responded to a page from the San Jose Fire Department requesting a Fire Support Unit for a structure fire at 3946 Tuers Road near Yerba Buena Road. After getting details from San Jose Fire Dispatch, he went to Station 35 and responded with FSU-3 at 2325. On scene, Bruce Dembecki was waiting with staging instructions and Mike Chappell soon joined them.

A single-family, single-story house with a heavy fuel load in the attic was burning, and the metal tile roof over the garage soon collapsed. The dispatch level was a full 1st alarm (3 engines, 2 trucks, 2 BCs, Med 30) followed by special call for two additional engines and Fire Associates due to extensive overhaul. Drinking water, Gatorade, coffee, hot chocolate and Clif Bars were provided to the firefighters. FSU-3 was released sometime after 0200 and John got home by 0300 for a few hours of sleep.
-- Report Submitted by John Whiteside