Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fire Associates Participates in 2015 Burn Relay


    Video of Our Run Along Mission Street, SF
Video by Bill Roth
The Fire Associates of Santa Clara Valley recently participated in an annual fund-raising event to benefit severely burned children. Held to benefit the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, the Peninsula Firefighters Burn Relay involves a procession of antique, classic, and in-service fire and police apparatus that winds its way between Moffett Field and San Francisco. During the day-long event, the Code-3 relay stops at various fire stations to "collect" funds raised by all the departments.
This year, FSU-1 and FSU-2 both were part of the event. FSU-1 was driven by Mike Garcia with Jerry Haag along as a passenger, while John Whitaker and Bill Roth shared the driving in FSU-2. In order to stay in service, FSU-1 went as far as Menlo Park. At that point, Mike returned with the support unit to Santa Clara while Jerry joined up with FSU-2 for the remainder of the trip up to San Francisco.
At the end of the day, $87,618.72 was collected, including a donation from FASCV. The money is used to fund a week-long summer camp for severely burned children and fire safety education efforts.
John's photos from the event can be viewed at:

-- Report submitted by John Whitaker

Monday, October 26, 2015

Middle-of-the-night Vegetation Fire Keeps San Jose Firefighters Busy

On Monday, October 26, San Jose Fire dispatched a Tier 2 brush fire response to Santa Teresa Boulevard at Bailey Avenue, in south San Jose. At 3:33 A.M., Cal Fire Morgan Hill dispatched a response of 6 engines, 1 dozer and 1 Chief to assist San Jose. San Jose paged Fire Associates at 3:29 A.M. for a Fire Support Unit and John Whiteside responded with FSU-3, departing San Jose Station 35 for the short drive to the fire.
As John neared the scene, he could see a very impressive fire line snaking up the hillsides toward Santa Teresa County Park, with red lights flashing from many fire rigs alongside the flames. John was directed down a paved access road off Santa Teresa near Bayliss Avenue. This road marked the southern edge of the fire and kept the fire from spreading in that direction. Within a few minutes, less than half the fire line was visible, indicating a successful mobile attack on the mostly high-weed-covered landscape.
John provided water, Gatorade and Clif bars for the firefighters. After 2 hours, most of the fire units had been released, except for several rigs waiting for Dozer 1641 to complete a dozer line around the fire, which was estimated at 5+ acres. FSU-3 was released at 6:05 A.M. and returned to quarters. 
-- Report submitted by John Whiteside

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Milpitas Firefighters Tackle Fast-Moving Vegetation Fire

Date and Time:  Oct. 24, 2015, 3:30 P.M.
Agency:  Milpitas Fire
Type:  Voluntary Response
Location:  End of Calaveras Ridge Drive, Milpitas

Details:  Fast-moving vegetation fire at the bottom of a very steep (45-degree) slope. Fire started near the road and was only about an acre when first units arrived but it quickly raced up the hill all the way to the ridge. Protecting a structure, stopping and extinguishing it took hundreds of feet of progressive hose lay, a chopper and fixed wing drop retardant drops. About 50 acres burned. Over 15 fire units on-scene. Fire Support Unit 1 arrived at about 4:00 P.M. and was released from the scene at 7:30 P.M.

Agency Responders:
  Spring Valley
  San Jose: Station fill
FASCV Responding Unit: FSU-1.
FASCV Responders: Haag (driver)
-- Report submitted by Jerry Haag

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sunnyvale Strip Mall Hit by 2-Alarm Blaze

Date and Time: 10-21-2015, 5:30 A.M.
Agency: Sunnyvale Public Safety
Type: Second Alarm
Location: 208 S Fair Oaks Ave., Sunnyvale
Details: Barbershop in a small, single-story strip mall. Exposures on the "B" and "D" sides were threatened but aggressive attack, aided by good fire separation walls, prevented serious fire damage to the adjoining businesses. The barber shop was seriously damaged. At one point, two elevated streams were in use and three 5-inch water supply lines were on the ground. Old, heavy construction and numerous voids in the roof space lead to an extended operation. Fire Support Unit 1 arrived at about 6:00 A.M. and was released from the scene at 9:30 A.M.
Agency Responders:
  SNY: E-41, 42, 43, 243, 44, 46; T-41, 42; R-41; Batt. 42 (Longnecker-IC)
  SNC: Station fill
  MTV: Station fill
  XSC: M-2, 66; Supervisor
Responding Support Unit: FSU-1.
FASCV Responders: Mike Garcia (driver), Jerry Haag, and Len Williams
-- Report submitted by Jerry Haag

Saturday, October 10, 2015

San Martin Structure Fire Destroys Garage

Photo By Bill Roth
Saturday, October 10 at 8:29 P.M., Fire Associates received a request from South Santa Clara County Fire (Cal Fire) in Morgan Hill to respond to a working structure fire on Terri Lynn Court located off Center Ave. near its intersection with Masten Ave., in San Martin. The site was about 2 miles east of Station 68. 
Bill Roth lives a few miles from the scene and he was first to respond with drinks and Clif Bars. John Whiteside and his son Randy brought Fire Support Unit 3 to the scene, departing at 9:16 P.M. from San Jose Station 35. Rehab was set up with benches, cold drinks, coffee, Clif Bars and doughnuts available to the firefighters.
Fire units from Gilroy, Cal Fire, and San Jose assisted at the incident. Engine tanks and water tender shuttles were used for a water supply. The fire was contained to the home's garage, burning through the roof. After providing support, Fire Associates members were released at 11:55.
-- Report submitted by John Whiteside

Friday, October 9, 2015

Firefighters Attack Grass Fire Located South of Gilroy

Photo Provided By Bill Roth
Friday, October 9, at 6:53 P.M., Gilroy Fire paged Fire Associates to respond to south Gilroy to assist with meals and drinks for firefighters. A large grass fire was burning in the area of Travel Park Circle near the intersection of Monterey Road and Highway 101. The fire started near that location and spread southward along the Union Pacific railroad main-line right of way. The fire burned for more than 1 mile, then jumped the tracks to also burn on the property of the local sewage treatment plant.
The initial dispatch occurred around 5:30 P.M and Morgan Hill Cal Fire headquarters sent equipment, including 11 engines and water tenders from the South Santa Clara County Fire District and Cal Fire, to assist Gilroy units, while fire units from San Jose Fire covered a Gilroy station.
Fire Associates member Bill Roth responded from north of Gilroy in his POV with drinks and Clif bars. John Whiteside was already in Morgan Hill and responded after contacting Don Gilbert to bring Fire Support Unit 3 to the fire. Gilroy Fire provided burritos to the firefighters. While Bill maintained his position near the origin with his supplies, Don and John in FSU-3 were directed to follow Gilroy units onto the sewage plant property, driving on the levees around the grassy basins, which had burned. Drinks and Clif bars were provided.
It was estimated that 30+ acres burned. Rail traffic, including the No. 14 Amtrak Starlight, was halted until the track area was safe for traffic. Several freight trains came through the area, restricted to 10 mph.
At 10:30 P.M., Fire Associates members were released. Don and John were over 30 miles south of San Jose and had a late-night, un-congested drive back home.
-- Report submitted by John Whiteside

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Two Vegetation Fires Keep Fire Crews Busy

Date:  Oct. 8, 2015;  4:33 P.M.
Agency:  San Jose Fire
Type:  Tier 2 Vegetation Fire
Location:  Hellyer Avenue at Hwy. 101

Details:  San Jose Fire Dept. units responded with Santa Clara County Parks and Cal Fire. Two fires, one on west side of Highway 101 at the Hellyer exit and a larger, second fire east of Highway 101 about half mile. Total 5 aces per SJS PIO.

Fire Support Unit:  FSU-3
FASCV Responders:  John Whiteside (driver)

-- Report submitted by John Whiteside

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Eichler Home Burns In Sunnyvale

Photo By Mike Garcia
Date:  Oct. 6, 2015; 3:14 P.M.
Agency:  Sunnyvale DPS
Type:  2-Alarm Structure Fire
Details:  House fire in a 1-story Eichler home.
Agency Responders:
   SNY DPS:  BC Locke; E41, E42, E243, E44, E45, E46; T41 and T42; R42; plus 14 Sunnyvale fire academy recruits.
   SNC:  E94 for station coverage.
FASCV Responding Unit:  FSU-1; Arrived 3:15 P.M., Released 6:45 P.M.
FASCV Responders:  Mike Garcia (driver) and Len Williams
-- Report submitted by Mike Garcia

Monday, October 5, 2015

Sunnyvale Auto Accident Possibly Results In House Fire

Photo By Mike Garcia
Date:  Oct. 5, 2015
Agency:  Sunnyvale Fire 

Type:  2-Alarm House Fire
Incident Address:  915 Homestead Rd.
Details:  A car hit a power pole earlier in the morning resulting in a power loss to a one-block area. PG&E arrived on scene to turn power back on at about 4:49 P.M. and then saw smoke and flames coming from the house next to the pole. Homestead Rd. was shut down north and south do to smoke.
Agency Responders:
    SNY DPS:  IC Clifford; E43, E243, E41, E44, E244; T41; R42.
    SNC: E99 covered SNY station.
FASCV Responding Unit:  FSU-1; Arrived: 5:30 P.M., Released 7:30 P.M.
FASCV Responders:  Mike Garcia (driver)
-- Report submitted by Mike Garcia

Sunday, October 4, 2015

4-Alarm Fire Causes Severe Damage to San Jose Strip Mall

Photo By Craig Allyn Rose
On Sunday morning, October 4, reports of a fire were called in to San Jose Fire dispatchers at 2:45 A.M. The blaze was burning at a large, block-long strip mall called the Caribbees Center. Located in south San Jose, the main focus of the fire was in the Cho Senter Market - a large, Vietnamese-themed, grocery store at 2889 Senter Road. This area of Senter Road is located between Umbarger and Lewis Roads.
Within minutes, the alarm level was upgraded to 3 alarms and at 3:00 A.M. Fire Associates members were paged to respond to the structure fire. Not long after that, another page stated the fire was at a 4th alarm!
Fire Associates member Don Gilbert responded with Fire Support Unit 2 at 3:18 A.M. Don set up Rehab on Senter Road across the street from the fire scene. Here, FASCV members could take care of the firefighters on the “Alpha” and “Delta” sides of the fire. At 4:25 A.M., John Whiteside responded with FSU-3 and met Don on scene. At the request of Med 30, John positioned FSU-3 on Lewis Road at Hunken Drive, 2 blocks away from Don. From this location, he could handle firefighters on the “Charlie” and “Bravo” sides. Soon after John set up the second Rehab site, FASCV member Mike Garcia arrive on scene to assist.
Photo By Craig Allyn Rose
Four aerial ladders were flowing water and at least 3 stangs/monitors were also employed. Parts of the parking lot became flooded due to blocked drains and there were concerns some businesses, not affected by the fire, might have water intrusion.
Lots of coffee, drinks, donuts, and Clif bars were consumed. Both support units were released at 9:25 A.M. and returned to their respective quarters. 
San Jose Fire units were still on scene Monday morning. From some overheard radio traffic, fire units from Milpitas, Santa Clara, and Santa Clara County covered San Jose stations during this event.
-- Report submitted by John Whiteside  

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October Starts with House Fire In Milpitas

Date:  Oct. 1, 2015
Agency: Milpitas Fire
Type:  2-Alarm Structure Fire
Incident Address:  476 Maple Ave., Milpitas
Details: House fire with steel roof. FSU-1 arrived on scene at 5:00 P.M. for Rehab support and was released at 7:00 P.M.
Agency Responders:
  MLP:  BC 86 (Stelling); Engines 188, 86, and 87; Trucks 86 and 89; USAR 81.
  San Jose and Fremont crews called for station coverage.
FASCV Responding Unit:  FSU-1
FASCV Responders:  Mike Garcia (driver) and Dan Wong
  • A San Jose Mercury News story can be read at:  House Fire  
-- Report submitted by Mike Garcia