Friday, February 26, 2016

San Jose Firefighters Call In 4-Alarm Blaze

Photo By Craig Allyn Rose
Just after noon on Friday, February 26, San Jose Fire Department’s Truck 30 noticed heavy flames coming from a residence across the street from the station on Auzerais Ave. Calling in immediately for a first and second alarm response, they went to work evacuating residents. The fire rapidly spread to the "Bravo 1", "Charlie 1", "Delta 1", and "Delta 2" exposures, leaving flames attacking multiple properties. Within 25 minutes, the IC, now Battalion 10, had escalated the incident to 3 alarms, and soon 4 alarms.
With the 3rd alarm dispatch, Fire Associates assistance was requested. Fortunately, our driver, Don Gilbert, was able to navigate Fire Support Unit 2 from the west side of Auzerais Ave. all the way into the fire scene, and it was quickly decided to set up Rehab INSIDE the apparatus bay at Fire Station 30. While Don was setting up the primary Rehab at Station 30, Fire Associates volunteer Bruce Dembecki was working to get cold drinks to crews working behind the fire ground on the "Charlie" side. County EMS joined the Fire Support Unit inside Station 30 to conduct a formal Rehab.
Apart from the very unusual benefit of running Rehab from an indoors location, there was the added benefit of being at Fire Station 30 -- home to Fire Associates' Rehab hydration supplies. So, water and Gatorade were pulled right off the station shelves -- instead of using the supplies on Fire Support Unit 2.
With Rehab up and running, FASCV members set about feeding the fire crews. Bruce made a run to a local restaurant and picked up 90 meals, and brought them back to set up a spot for lunch right in the apparatus bay at Station 30. We know serving meals happens multiple times a day at Station 30, but never before 90 meals at lunchtime! Fire Associates members George Hoyt, Rick James, and Mike Garcia also reported to duty at Station 30 to assist with the meal service.
By 4:00 P.M., crews had been fed and some teams were being released to go back into service. With a supply of drinks on hand and benches to provide remaining crews a break, it was decided FSU-2 could also go back into service. The rig was packed up and returned to service at 4:30 P.M., dropping off the left over meals to the BFO where an academy class was happy to meet Fire Associates and get an extra meal!
-- Report submitted by Bruce Dembecki

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Palo Alto Fire Responds 3 Alarms to House Fire

Date and Time: Feb. 20, 2016, 11:40 A.M.
Agency: Palo Alto Fire
Incident Address: 1143 Bryant St., Palo Alto
Type: Third alarm
Details: Two-story, older home. Fire started in attic then moved down through the walls to the remainder of the house. Larry Carr in FSU-4 responded to the incident for Fire Associates. FSU-1 also responded and, while on scene, provided bottled water, Cliff Bars, and ice to restock FSU-4. The Fire Support Units were released from the scene at approximately 2:25 P.M.
Agency Responders: Palo Alto, Santa Clara County Fire, Mountain View, Santa Clara City Fire, and Menlo Park. IC: A/BC Bill Dale. 
FASCV Responding Units: FSU-4 and FSU-1.
FASCV Responders: Larry Carr, Mike Garcia, Bob Gundrum, and Dan Wong.
-- Report submitted by Larry Carr.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Fire Associates Responds to 2-Alarm Blaze In Gilroy

On February 16, near 5:00 P.M., Gilroy Fire dispatched units to a working structure fire at 7238 Alexander Street, at E. 8th Street. This was the Mission Powder Coating Company, a large 10,000+ sq.ft. building. Crews said the fire was through the roof upon arriving and a 2nd alarm was requested. This brought 6 additional mutual aid engines from South Santa Clara County Fire District, Morgan Hill, and San Jose to assist at the fire and cover vacant stations. 
Fire Associates was initially alerted for a possible response by the Cal Fire Morgan Hill Command Center around 5:30 P.M. when the Duty Captain called John Whiteside to inform him (and thus Fire Associates) of the fire situation and that FA might be requested by Gilroy Fire. Several minutes later a formal request was made.
John had earlier made several calls to FA members and realized he would be responding alone. Member Bill Roth, who lives in the area, was already dispatched to the fire as a Gilroy Police Volunteer In Policing (VIP). John went to San Jose Station 6 to drive Fire Support Unit 2 to Gilroy, about 25 miles away. 
Upon arrival, John provided hot coffee, donuts, CLIF bars, and set up lighting and portable benches for the tired crews in Rehab. Sandwiches had been brought to the scene and CALFIRE provided cold drinks. John was released at 10:00 P.M.
-- Report submitted by John Whiteside

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Third Alarm Called as Multiple Structures Burn In Willow Glen

On February 3, at a few minutes past 8:00 P.M., San Jose Fire dispatchers received many calls of a fully involved house fire in the Willow Glen area. The address was 1041 Ellis Avenue near its intersection with Louise Avenue -- just off Lincoln Avenue. The location is only several blocks from SJFD Station 6, where Engine 6, Air Unit 6, and Fire Support Unit #2 are housed. 
A full first alarm was dispatched: 3 engines, 2 trucks, 2 chiefs, a squad, etc. Upon arrival, E6 reported a 2.5-story home under construction, fully involved, with scaffolding in place on the front of the structure. A hydrant was almost directly in front of the involved house, but the heat was too intense for the engine to position there, so it moved down to the next house, while laying a 5-inch supply line.
The intense heat soon began to influence the 2 adjacent structures as well as a detached garage at the rear. A 2nd alarm was requested by the Incident Commander, and resulted in a 5-inch hose being laid across Lincoln Ave., closing that main artery for over 3 hours. Due to the structural conditions and scaffolding, a collapse zone was established at the scene.
At approximately 9:20 P.M., a roof fire was reported to be starting on a house a block behind, and across a street, from the primary structure. The IC requsted a 3rd alarm -- which automatically pages Fire Associates for a response. 
Don Gilbert and John Whiteside met at Station 6 to take FSU-2 to the scene. They were assisted later by guest Teri Cosentino. FSU-2 was released at 12:15 A.M., February 4, after serving the initial fire crews while waiting for the fire-watch crew to arrive.
-- Report submitted by John Whiteside