Friday, October 24, 2014

Residents Escape 2-Alarm Fire In Milpitas

Date and Time:  10-24-2014; 3:26 AM
Agency: Milpitas Fire
Incident Address: 2236 Farmcrest St., Milpitas
Type: Second Alarm
Details: Fire in kitchen spread quickly to second floor and attic of large house. Four persons displaced. First-arriving Milpitas Police officers found all the residents on the roof of the garage. Their escape route down the interior stairway was blocked by fire, so the residents climbed out a window onto the garage roof at the front of the structure. The 2 officers assisted everyone off the roof and they took shelter on a lawn across the street from the residence.
Agency Responders:MLP: E-86, 87, 88; T-89; USAR-89; B-86 (Silvi-IC).
SJS: E-19, 619, 23, 29; T-29; B-29.
XSC: Med-72.
FASCV Responding Unit: FSU-1. Arrived: 0415; Released 0600.
FASCV Responders: Jerry Haag (driver), John Whitaker
-- Report submitted by Jerry Haag and John Whitaker

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Large Pallet Fire In Gilroy Lights Up the Morning Sky

Photo By Craig Allyn Rose
On Wednesday, October 22, an early morning blaze started in pile of pallets in a complex at 2713 Ferguson Rd. in Gilroy and was reported to South County Fire at around 4:40 A.M. Units from South Santa Clara County Fire District arrived and reported the blaze was large and starting to involve what could best be described as a barn.
Once on scene, the South County B/C requested more resources, adding 4 Water Tenders and more additional Engines to his original request. The fire was burning in several thousand square feet of pallet storage, and thousands of pallets were burning. Once the fire established in the barn, the IC added Ladder Trucks, 5 more engines, and 2 more Water Tenders to his request, together with a strike team of Type 1 Engines to stand by in the vicinity too protect other nearby structures.
Around 7:00 A.M., Fire Associates was paged to the scene, and John Whiteside responded in Fire Support Unit 3, stopping along the way for a supply of donuts. John was met on site by Fire Associates guest Bill Roth and the pair set up for morning Rehab. Hot coffee and donuts proved to be as popular as always. A short while later, Fire Associates member Bruce Dembecki arrived on scene to help out.
Eventually, the fire spread into bales of cardboard waiting to be recycled and the operation to pull apart the cardboard and other debris to extinguish the fire extended for multiple hours. While several thousand square feet of barn were lost, the bulk of the building was saved.
After a very long morning, fire crews were delighted when lunch was served by the Fire Associates team.
SSCCFD was assisted in fighting the blaze by units from Gilroy Fire, Morgan Hill Fire, Cal Fire, and San Jose Fire with additional support in the form of Water Tenders from Spring Valley Fire and Hollister Fire (and, of course, our FSU-3).
-- Report submitted by Bruce Dembecki

Thursday, October 9, 2014

San Jose Garage Fire Destroys Vehicles and Attached Home

Photo By John Whitaker
At approximately 10:30 A.M. on Thursday morning, Oct. 9, San Jose Fire Dispatch received numerous calls for a garage on fire near Story Rd. Located at 919 Gerard Ave. in East San Jose, the fire was sending up a column of black smoke that could be seen throughout the Santa Clara Valley. It was not long before the first-alarm units were on scene and pulling hose lines to protect exposures on the "Bravo" and "Delta" sides of the blaze.
Fire crews that went to the rear of the structure were hampered by power lines that were running along the back side of the property. By this time, the blaze was getting so hot (being fed by multiple burning vehicles in the garage and driveway) that the garage roof totally collapsed. The fire was quickly declared a "defensive" effort and all firefighters were ordered out of the structure.
When a second alarm was called, Fire Associates was "special-called" for Rehab support. Don Gilbert picked up Fire Support Unit 2 and headed to the fire while FASCV member John Whitaker went directly to the scene. After interfacing with the IC and Med 30, John picked out a somewhat shady location for Rehab and awaited Don's arrival. Just before FSU-2 arrived on scene, John was joined by FASCV vice president, Bob Gundrum. They directed Don to the Rehab location and quickly went about setting up tables and benches for tired firefighters. 
An order was put in for 25 Togo's sandwiches with John going to pick them up in his personal vehicle. Firefighters were very appreciative as they downed the sandwiches and lots of water and Gatorade. As the last of the fire crews were released from the incident, rehab was broken down and FSU-2 returned to quarters at San Jose Fire Station 6 shortly before 1:30 P.M.
-- Report submitted by John Whitaker

Friday, October 3, 2014

2-Alarm Fire Burns Garage In Los Altos

Date and Time: 10-03-2014, 1720 hours
Agency: Santa Clara County Fire
Incident Address: 13410 La Cresta Dr., Los Altos Hills
Type: Second Alarm
Details: Fire in a large garage exposing an attached garage of a large house. Access complicated by steep driveway.
Agency Responders:
CNT: E-71, 73, 75, 76,77, 78; U-72; R-73, 74; B-74, 76 (Bowden-IC).
PAF: T-66, B-66.
FASCV Responding Unit: FSU-1. Arrived: 1835; Released 2030.
FASCV Responders: Mike Garcia (driver), Jerry Haag, and Dan Wong.
  • A short news story from Palo Alto Online can be read at:  Los Altos Fire 
-- Report submitted by Jerry Haag

Second Alarm Called as Campbell Kitchen Fire Spreads Into Attic

Around noon on Friday October 3, Santa Clara County Fire received reports of a fire in a home located at 1964 Villarita Drive, Campbell. This area of Campbell is often served by the San Jose Fire Department on "AutoAid". However, the initial request for San Jose Engine 14 to respond was not filled as Engine 14 was already on a smoke investigation in a nearby area of San Jose.
It didn't take long for everyone to realize that these two events were likely related, and Engine 14 attached to the County incident. Arriving on scene first, SJ Engine 14 reported pressurized white smoke from the building, and a probable rescue requirement, with reports of an invalid person inside the home. When County Battalion 72 arrived and assumed IC, he requested a second alarm due the significant amount of fire inside the structure and the ongoing search for occupants.
The fire apparently started as a kitchen fire-on-the-stove incident, but spread through the flue into the attic. Once established in the attic, the fire ran the entire space one end of the building to the other, doing significant damage to the interior of the structure process.
It was over 90 degrees in the midday sun and Fire Support Unit 2 was quickly en route to the scene with Fire Associates member Bruce Dembecki. FSU-2 was met on scene by FASCV members Jerry Haag, Don Gilbert, John Whitaker, and Mike Garcia. Cold water, Gatorade, and Lemonade were popular as crews tried to beat the heat and stay hydrated.
FSU-2 was released from the incident, along with most other crews, by 2:30 P.M.

-- Report submitted by Bruce Dembecki

Thursday, October 2, 2014

FASCV Members Provide Emergency Support At Traffic Accident

Returning from an incident with Santa Clara County Fire, Fire Support Unit 2 came across a 2-vehicle accident in the major intersection of Leigh Ave. and Hamilton Ave. The wreck was straddling both San Jose and Campbell, just after 10:00 P.M. on October 2. With the two cars blocking a significant part of the roadway, and no other emergency crews on scene, FSU-2 stopped to investigate.
Fire Associates member Bruce Dembecki checked on the two vehicles and their occupants, while member John Whiteside contacted San Jose Fire Dispatch for an EMS response. The investigation revealed two patients (one moderate and one minor) and the incident was classified as an EMS "Charlie".
The location of the incident caused some confusion as to which agency would be responsible for the incident. Eventually, it was determined that County Fire should handle the EMS side of things, while San Jose PD took the traffic investigation.
Bruce and John provided comfort to the patients and used FSU-2 and it's emergency lights to provide protection on the scene until PD could setup traffic controls around the incident. Once Engine 81 was on scene, the Fire Associates crew passed on their information to the firefighters, and quietly left to continue their journey back to quarters at San Jose Fire Station 6.
It should be noted that this is the second time in the last 2 months that Bruce and John have provided EMS support at an incident while traveling to or from a fire call in FSU-2. The other EMS incident occurred on August 28 and can be read at this link:  Pachco Pass EMS
Good job, guys!
-- Report submitted by Bruce Dembecki

FASCV Monthly Meeting Interrupted By 2-Alarm House Fire

On Thursday, October 2, as Fire Associates members gathered at San Jose Fire Station 13 for their monthly membership meeting. But, just as the program for the evening was about to begin, Santa Clara County Fire crews were being dispatched to reports of a house on fire at 1072 Longfellow Ave. in Campbell.
County Truck 85 arrived on scene and promptly reported that what had started as a stand-alone garage fire had already spread to 2 exposures, and requested a second alarm be dispatched. With the second alarm request, Fire Associates members were paged to the scene.
Of course, with 15 members in attendance at the meeting, it got pretty loud when all the members' pagers sounded off simultaneously. Fire Associates members Bruce Dembecki and John Whiteside left the meeting at Station 13 and headed to Station 6 in Willow Glen to pick up Fire Support Unit 2.
Arriving on scene around 8:20 P.M., FASCV members discovered that the fire had been knocked down, but the IC was keeping the first alarm units for some extensive mop up on three affected buildings. He was grateful to have FSU-2 on scene to help with the rehab needs for his crews on a warm evening. Bruce and John were met on scene by a Fire Associates guest, and Campbell CERT member, Jenny Moore.
Cold drinks were popular into the evening as fire crews worked to make the various structures safe. FSU-2 and most of the crews on scene were released by 10:00 P.M. and the Fire Associates team headed back to Fire Station 6 to put the rig away.
-- Report Submitted By Bruce Dembecki