Sunday, September 27, 2015

Tier 2 Vegetation Fire in San Jose Brings Fire Associates to the Scene

Date:  Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015; 4:06 P.M.
Agency:  San Jose
Type:  Tier 2 Vegetation Fire
Location:  Interstate 280 at McLaughlin Ave., San Jose
Details:  Vegetation blaze burned along the edge of Interstate 280 near Coyote Creek. Fire crews accessed the blaze off Remillard Court and at 965 McLaughlin Ave. Just before FSU-2 departed Station 6, the IC asked that Med 30 be dispatched to provide drinks. Someone replied that Med 30 would have to respond to Station 30 to refill the rig's drink supply as it had been exhausted on its last run. San Jose Dispatch stated Fire Associates was ready to go en route and the IC said, "Come On!"
Once on scene atop the landfill, one cooler was dropped off and then FSU-2 proceeded to the road behind some adjacent buildings to serve the engine crews stationed there. Finishing up, FSU-2 also provided service to crews at the rear of Wal-Mart. On the way back to the station, the FSU had to buy 100 lbs. of ice at Wal-Mart to replenish the FASCV freezer at Station 6.
Fire Support Unit:  FSU-2
FASCV Responders:  Don Gilbert (driver) and John Whiteside

-- Report Submitted by John Whiteside

Saturday, September 26, 2015

San Jose Firefighters Attack 2-Alarm House Fire

Date:  Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, 4:50 P.M.
Agency:  San Jose
Type:  2-Alarm House Fire
Location:  3146 Marten Ave., San Jose
Details:  San Jose firefighters worked a 2-alarm structure fire on Marten Ave. (near S. White Road) across the street from Mt. Pleasant High School. Fire crews worked to quell the blaze in 2 houses, with the "Delta" exposure side having caught. Only external damage resulted as the occupant was able to remain in the house that night. Fire Support Unit 2 responded to a special request on the air from the IC. John Whiteside drove the rig to the scene for Rehab on a hot, late summer afternoon. FSU-2 departed Station 6 at 5:30 P.M. and John met Mike Garcia at the scene. Med 30 later asked FASCV (Mike) to pick up 6 burritos for the ambulance crew and fire crew awaiting the board-up contractor.
FASCV Support Unit:  FSU-2
FASCV Responders:  John Whiteside and Mike Garcia
-- Report submitted by John Whiteside

Monday, September 21, 2015

Fire Associates Makes Late-Night Run to Summit Road Blaze

Photo By Bill Roth
On September 21, at 17 minutes past midnight, Cal Fire Morgan Hill received multiple calls of a structure fire at 70 Summit Rd. Summit Rd. runs along the top of the hills west of Morgan Hill and marks the border between Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. The blaze was intensive enough that responders from the South Santa Clara County Fire Protection District station in San Martin could see the blaze from many miles away as they departed their station. 
Fire Associates received a page at 2:45 A.M. for a Fire Support Unit to respond and John Whiteside volunteered to drive FSU-3. He left south San Jose and headed to Morgan Hill where he stopped to pick up FASCV member Bill Roth. They continued to the fire, arriving at approximately 4:00 A.M. The fire scene was located 2 miles up Summit Road from Highway 152, with access through Mt. Madonna Park.
Plenty of doughnuts, Clif bars, coffee, water, and Gatorade were well received by the tired firefighters. Later in the morning, breakfast burritos were furnished by Cal Fire logistics. In the end, San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara Cal Fire Units responded engines to the fire. They were joined by water tenders from the Loma Prieta and Spring Valley Volunteers as well as a water tender from the San Jose Fire Dept. Because a Humboldt County Cal Fire strike team was covering Santa Cruz stations, one HUU engine was also dispatched to the call.
The 2,500+ sq. ft. home, surrounded by tall trees, was a total loss. A resulting 1-acre wild land fire was contained with the assistance of Cal Fire's Ben Lomond Fire Crew 3 and Almaden Crew 1. Almost 600 feet of supply line hose was laid from the pumping engine located at the portable dump tank. Supplied by the water tenders out on on the road, the hose lay went along the driveway up to the 3 engines located at the house. Since the alarm was for both structure and wild land incidents, 15 engines, 5 water tenders, and 2 dozers were dispatched. Some crews remained on scene for the rest of the day.
FSU-3 was released at 8:45 A.M. and returned to quarters after replenishing their water and Gatorade supply from Morgan Hill Cal Fire. 
-- Report submitted by John Whitside

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

San Jose Firefighters Attack Tier 2 Fire In Coyote Creek

Photo By Craig Allyn Rose
Wednesday, September 9, was a VERY hot day in San Jose. At approximately 7:00 P.M., San Jose Fire dispatched a Tier 1 response to a vegetation fire located at 1358 Oakland Road, near Gish Road. To the rear of the Riverbend Mobile Home Park, a fire had started in Coyote Creek. It quickly spread south and across the creek which requiring the incident to be upgraded to a Tier 2 response. The additional fire units were directed to a location at Hazlett Way (Sierra Road) and Notting Hill Drive -- across the creek on the east side of the San Jose Municipal Golf Course.
At the dispatch of the Tier 2, Bob Gundrum sent out a “Heads Up” page to all FASCV drivers. John Whiteside called San Jose Dispatch to inquire if Fire Associates would be requested and the answer was "YES!", due to the heat. In fact, Dispatchers were just preparing to issue the request. John met Don Gilbert at Station 6 and they took Fire Support Unit 2 to the scene -- assigned to the east side. Upon arrival, they found several 5-inch hose lines were being used to supply various engines and brush patrols with some engines using their Stang monitor to hit areas that were ablaze. After providing Rehab services to many hot and thirsty firefighters, John and Don were released at 11:00 P.M.  
As a follow-up to this report, many trees had become involved and for safety reasons it was decided to wait for daylight before attempting to fall them. Crews were rotated throughout the night for fire watch. As Thursday morning began to dawn, tree fallers were on the job with at least 15 trees marked for falling due to their burned-out condition. Fire crews were on scene to extinguish the trees as they fell. News reports pegged the fire at 7 acres in size.
  •  More photos by Craig Allyn Rose can be Viewed at:  Tier 2 Fire 
-- Report submitted by John Whiteside

Monday, September 7, 2015

House Fire On A Very Hot Day Requires Fire Associates Response to Milpitas

Photo By Bruce Dembecki
Date:  Monday, Sept. 7, 2015
Agency:  MLP
Type:  1 Alarm

On a very hot Labor Day, Milpitas Fire responded to reports of a house on fire. First-arriving fire unit (Engine 87) reported flames through the roof. While firefighters started an aggressive interior attack to try and control the blaze, additional crews worked to protect the "Delta" exposure. Reports of explosions at the rear, and a propane-fed fire, caused the IC to switch to a defensive operation.
Just before 6:00 P.M., with heat in the mid 90s, Fire Associates was requested for Rehab support. FASCV president Bruce Dembecki responded to the scene with Fire Support Unit 2 and crews thankfully set about downing much water and Gatorade.
By 8:30 P.M., all crews had been released from the scene and Fire Support Unit 2 went back into service.
-- Report submitted by Bruce Dembecki

Saturday, September 5, 2015

FSU-1 Responds to Sunnyvale Grass Fire

Date:  Sept. 5, 2015
Agency:  Sunnyvale Fire
Type:  Grass fire
Incident Address:  Lawrence Expy. and Hwy. 237

Details:  2 acres of vegetation at Baylands Park. Started by Drone. FSU-1 arrived at 12:00 P.M. and was released at 2:00 P.M.

Agency Responders:
   SNY DPS:  BC Rushmeyer, E42, E242, E43, E243, E44, E244, E46, and E246
   San Jose:  E25

FASCV Responding Unit:  FSU-1
FASCV Responders:  Mike Garcia (driver), Bob Gundrum, and Ken Needham (guest)
-- Report submitted by Mike Garcia

Fourth Fire in 24 Hours Brings Firefighters and Fire Associates Back to Earlier Fire

Photo By Bruce Dembecki
Can a house burn twice in less than 24 hours? The answer is apparently, "Yes!"
At 3:00 A.M., on Saturday, Sept. 5,  San Jose Fire responded to a rekindle of an earlier blaze at 191 N. 9th Street. This time the building was a total loss with roof collapsed, etc. Worse than that, there was also significant damage on the "Bravo" and "Delta" exposures.
At 4:30 A.M., a special request was made for FASCV support. Bruce Dembecki responded bringing 2 dozen donuts. In addition, 5 pots of coffee were quickly consumed. At 7:00 A.M., the incident switched to "fire watch" mode and most crews released and Bruce demobbed.
-- Report submitted by Bruce Dembecki

Friday, September 4, 2015

Fire Associates Responds to 3 Multi-Alarm Fires In Less Than 4 Hours!

Fire Associates Responds for Lunch Service at San Jose Fire
Photo By Craig Allyn Rose
Date:  Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, 12:04 P.M.
Agency:  SJS
Type:  2-Alarm Structure

This blaze was a garage fire that quickly spread.  With the collapse of the roof (in a major way) throughout the structure, the IC requested a 2nd Alarm. Fire Associates was called to the scene for lunch service -- Mike Garcia went to Togo's to pick up sandwiches while Bruce Dembecki brought  Fire Support Unit 1 to the scene.
  • More photos by Craig Allyn Rose can be viewed at:  Burgundy Fire
-- Report submitted by Bruce Dembecki
House Fire Causes 2nd Response of the Day for FASCV  
Photo By Bruce Dembecki
Date:  Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, 2:20 P.M.
Agency:  SJS
Type:  2-Alarm Structure

This fire broke out as Fire Associates members were packing up at the Burgundy Drive incident. However, Med30 was stuck -- surrounded by several very large fire apparatus between the rig and getting to the next fire. Plus, one of the pull-out trays on the Med30 rig was stuck in the open position with its materials unloaded while being fixed. It was going to take a few minutes to repack Med30 at the very best.
So, since the FASCV Support Unit was and mostly packed up and able to get out, Med30 requested we respond from the Burgundy Drive incident to the 9th Street fire.
This second blaze of the afternoon involved a downtown San Jose Victorian. The fire started on the 2nd floor with flames out the windows on the "Bravo" and "Charlie" sides when the first engine (E8) arrived. When the 2nd-due Engine (E6) came in and took one look, they requested the 2nd alarm. Firefighters struggled to protect the "Bravo" side, but in the end, there was very little damage and the blaze was kept it to 2 alarms.
FSU-2 provided cold drinks only -- mostly in front of the involved buildings.
-- Report submitted by Bruce Dembecki
A Large Vegetation Fire Is FASCV's 3rd Response 
Date:  Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, 3:54 P.M.
Agency:  SJS
Type:  Tier 2 + Cal Fire Medium response (including aircraft)
Location:  1733 Echo Canyon Ct., San Jose
After finishing with the two earlier fires, FSU-2 went to Station 30 to refill with sup[plies of Gatorade and bottled water. While there, a Tier fire started up in the southeast portion of the city and quickly went to Tier 2 level. Bruce Dembecki quickly finished the resupply and responded from Station 30. However, the rig was totally out of ice. Long-time FASCV member Don Gilbert brought bags of ice to the scene to meet with FSU-2. It should be pointed out that the rig was full of Water/Gatorade. Cases filled the back bed and 20 more cases were in the passenger cab. Since the rig had been totally emptied on the first 2 fires, and there was not much in reserve at the station, Bruce had really loaded up when this call came in.
The fire started at the base of some hills in a residential area of The Ranch at Silver Creek. At the top of the hill was another residential area and between them was dry grass. Because of wind, the fire spread very quickly. Engine 24 was in its station located only 1/4 mile away and recognized the threat to the homes above the fire and called for a Tier 2 -- specifically for a second Tier to provide structure protection at the top. At the same time, they also called for air support.
Use of the aircraft quickly was very effective and they were able to stop the fire's spread -- a familiar story. The "black area" was surrounded by "pink". However, this air assault resulted in a few pink cars and homes at the top of the hill -- but a VERY grateful neighborhood. One boy (about the age of 10) came up to the FASCV Support Unit with his Mother and said, “Thank you for saving our Community” -- very sweet.
Working as a team, FSU-2 was stationed at Division Bravo, in the residential area above the fire while Med30 handled hydration for those at the bottom.
During the incident, Fire Associates were requested to get meals from a nearby restaurant. FASCV member George Hoyt (whose health has not been great, lately) made the food run - which proved to be very helpful during a busy Rehab operation. By the time food arrived, the top of the fire had been declared “Cold”, so everyone relocated to the bottom and we served dinner to both divisions. Forty Togo's sandwiches were served at lunch with 50 burritos arriving for dinner -- and, not a scrap of food was left! In addition, eight cases Gatorade and 10 cases of water were provided across the first 3 incidents of the day.
-- Report submitted by Bruce Dembecki