Sunday, May 15, 2016

Fire Associates Called to 2-Alarm Auto Shop Fire In San Jose

Shortly before 9:00 P.M. on Sunday, May 15, San Jose Fire received reports of a car on fire inside an automotive repair business on Almaden Avenue at Willow Street. The owner of the business, located at 1018 S. Almaden Ave., said they were working on the car and it caught on fire. The fire spread before anyone was able to extinguish it, and a call as made to 911 and the building evacuated.
Responding from Fire Station 26, Engine 26 reported a thick column of black smoke from the area of the fire, and arriving crews reported the building was fully involved when they arrived. A 2nd alarm was struck and crews went into defensive mode, attacking the fire initially with hand lines and the deck gun of an engine, until two truck companies could set up an aerial attack.
There were significant problems with power cables in the area. A large power pole in front of the business carried power transformers and high voltage lines, and that pole developed a significant tilt to it. Also, the building, which was not reinforced, suffered some structural problems in the fire and developed large cracks in the side walls on at least three sides. While PG&E dealt with the power issues, the structure problems caused a 20-foot collapse zone around the entire building. During the night, city engineers red-tagged the structure.
The fire, and resulting structural issues, caused the evacuations of residents from the adjacent apartment building on the "Delta" side. Several hundred PG&E customers were impacted by power outages resulting from the blaze.
Fire Associates was special-called by the IC to the 2-alarm blaze, with members Bruce Dembecki and John Whiteside responding to Fire Station 6 to pick up Fire Support Unit 2 and bring it to the scene. They stopped on the way for a supply of fresh donuts. Bruce and John were met on scene by Fire Associates member Mike Garcia and guest Daniel Capostagno. The team set up Rehab adjacent to the IC.
-- Report submitted by Bruce Dembecki

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Santa Clara City Firefighters Respond to 2-Alarm House fire

Date:  Saturday, 14 May 2016 at 11:12 A.M.
Agency:  Santa Clara City Fire
Type:  2-alarm
Location:  3572 Mauricia Ave.

SNC Dispatch advised a working fire at 3572 Mauricia. Single-story, single-family structure. Garage fully involved with fire spreading into attic. 2nd alarm at scene with 3rd alarm mutual aid units for coverage at Station 2 Training Center.

FASCV Unit:  FSU-1
FASCV Responders:  Bruce Dembecki, Mike Garcia, Bob Gundrum (driver), Cliff Smith with wife Shelia, and Dan Wong.

— Report submitted by Bob Gundrum

Friday, May 13, 2016

Arriving Mountain View Crews Find Fully-Engulfed Garage

Photo by Bruce Dembecki
On Friday, May 13, at approximately 1:30 P.M., Mountain View firefighters responded to a report of a house with thick black smoke coming from the garage. First-in crews reported a large column visible from the fire station, and upon arrival found a fully involved garage with a major threat to the "Delta" exposure. They immediately called a second alarm. The blaze was burning in a house at 719 Alice Ave., near Moorpark Way and E. Dana. St
A civilian was treated and transported for burn injuries. Additional support came from Sunnyvale DPS and Palo Alto Fire, along with a contingent from County EMS.
With the second alarm request came page out for Fire Associates assistance. Mike Garcia responded in Fire Support Unit 1 and was met on scene by Bruce Dembecki. Rehab was set up outside the "Alpha"-adjacent property and, together with County EMS, Mike and Bruce worked all the crews through a formal Rehab process.
Water and Gatorade were popular, as were the ice-cold water towels for crews to freshen themselves after some very hard work.
-- Report submitted by Bruce Dembecki

Monday, May 2, 2016

Barn and Vegetation Fire Spreads to Mobile Homes

Photo By Craig Allyn Rose
Just before 2:00 P.M. on Monday, May 2, the San Jose Fire Department responded to reports of a grass fire on an empty lot off Capitol Ave. near Gimelli Way. Once on scene, firefighters not only found grass on fire, but barn-like structures on the edge of the property were burning, as well. With the heavy fuel load of the barn buildings, the fire grew rapidly and quickly jumped to two mobile homes in the adjacent La Buona Vita mobile home park.
With the fire spreading quickly, the incident was escalated to a second and then 3rd alarm in less than 20 minutes. The 3rd alarm triggered a dispatch to Fire Associates, and members Don Gilbert and John Whiteside went to Fire Station 6 and brought Fire Support Unit 2 to the scene. They were met on scene by John Whitaker and Bruce Dembecki.
Rehab was established and cold drinks were quickly attacked by thirsty crews.  One firefighter suffered minor injuries during the blaze, and two mobile homes were completely destroyed.
The fire was declared under control at 4:20 P.M. and most units were released by 5 o'clock. With high winds continuing, San Jose Fire established a Fire Watch to remain on scene for several additional hours.
-- Report submitted by Bruce Dembecki