Sunday, March 29, 2015

Fire Associates Members Respond for Meal Service at San Jose Blaze

On Sunday, March 29, before 1400 hours, San Jose Fire Dispatch saw the need for Fire Associates' support at a fire in East San Jose. Because it was not a multi-alarm incident, FASCV members had not been paged to this incident. A few Fire Associates members were contacted by telephone in an effort to get someone to respond with 40 meals to the police/fire scene.
Don Gilbert was one of this handful of people called. He answered and replied he would respond. At this point, Don called John Whiteside and they picked up Fire Support Unit 2 around 1530 and drove to the area of Eastridge Mall to pick up the meals from a local Togo's sandwich shop. 
The event was at 1394 Mocho Court near the cross street of Flory Drive, just a few minutes drive from Eastridge Mall. While FSU-2 was en route, the scene was rendered safe. So, upon their arrival, Don and John set up a rehab area for meal service. In the meantime, the garage fire was extinguished and grateful police, medical, and fire personnel enjoyed a sandwich and drink. They thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to sit in the shade on a warm day. 
FSU-2 was released at 1520 and returned to SJS Station 6 for restocking.  
-- Report submitted by John Whiteside

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

House Fire In Milpitas Requires Two Alarms

Photo by John Whitaker
Late Tuesday morning, March 24, the Milpitas Fire Department responded to a house fire in a residential neighborhood just north of Dixon Rd. Located at 186 Autrey Street, first reports of the fire came in shortly before 10:50 A.M. The blaze was described as burning in the roof and attic space of the house.

First arriving fire crews from Station 86 found flames rolling out of the structure and a large column of smoke was visible. Since a "full structure response" pretty much involves all of Milpitas' fire apparatus, a second alarm was called for additional manpower and station backfill. Units from San Jose and Fremont responded to fill out that need. Milpitas Fire Department spokesman, Sean Simonson, said the cause of the fire is under investigation, but that nobody was trapped in the structure, there were no injuries, and anyone who was inside the single-family home was able to get out safely.

With the second alarm request, Fire Associates members were paged to the scene. Mike Garcia went to get Fire Support Unit 1 while John Whitaker left his home to go directly to the scene. Once at the fire, John was able to status the need for rehab with BC Jason Schoonover. A location for the support unit was scouted out, and when Mike arrived, rehab was quickly set up with a table, benches, drinks and snacks. As it became obvious that the extensive overhaul operation was going to extend into the lunch hour, Milpitas PIO Sean Simonson arranged for sandwiches to be delivered. They were quickly consumed by tired and grateful firefighters.

In the category of "find a job and fill it", John and Mike spent part of their time protecting a 2-inch hose line that had been laid from a hydrant on Arizona Ave. to the fire scene. Although cones had been put out, vehicles were constantly driving over the brand new fire hose. John and Mike were able to protect the line by getting drivers to make u-turns and take an alternate route.

As the operation wound down, and hose lines were picked up, FASCV was released from the scene at approximately 1:45 P.M.
-- Report Submitted by John Whitaker

Monday, March 2, 2015

San Jose Fire Responds to 3-Alarm Garage Blaze Near Downtown

Photo from San Jose Fire Department
On a damp and chilly mid-winter day, the San Jose Fire Department called for a structure response on North 9th Street near the city's downtown. The fire was burning to the rear of 229 N. 9th Street. First-arriving fire crews found a garage and multiple cars already fully involved.
With the fire going strong in the detached garage, the flames began to invade the 2-story house and firefighters had their hands full keeping it out of the Victorian-style structure. At the same time, the fire was also spreading to the two adjacent garages or sheds. A second alarm was called, followed by a precautionary third alarm because of the close proximity to century-old wood buildings.
With the third alarm, Fire Associates responded with Fire Support Unit 2. Driven by FASCV member John Whitaker, the Support Unit arrived on scene at approximately 11:00 AM. John was met by Bruce Dembecki and Mike Garcia who had already scouted out a location for Rehab across the street from the involved structure. They were also joined on scene later by FASCV member George Hoyt.
Photo by John Whitaker
Cold drinks and Clif Bars were quickly set out and it wasn't long before the IC requested for sandwiches to be ordered as the lunch hour was quickly approaching. Bruce and Mike went to a downtown Togo's location to pick up the meals and returned to find tired and hungry firefighters awaiting their arrival. The 45 sandwiches and assorted chips were greatly appreciated by the crews working overhaul.
Of course, as luck would have it, it began to rain heavily just as the lunches arrived. The serving table was quickly moved to a location under a nearby shade tree along with the portable benches and ice chests full of drinks. It was close quarters as everyone huddle out of the rain.
After everyone had been fed and the operation was winding down, FSU-2 was released back to quarters at approximately 2:00 P.M.
-- Report submitted by John Whitaker