Saturday, August 27, 2016
On Saturday, August 27, at a few minutes past 9:00 P.M., San Jose Fire received calls for smoke coming from a unit in a very large complex of Public Storage buildings. The location was 925 Felipe Avenue at the dead end off Olinder Court and Story Road. This location is almost underneath the bridges at the junction of Highway 101 and Interstates 280/680.
San Jose dispatched a full first alarm at 9:06 P.M., and initial attacking units reported a car fire within a unit in the middle of a large, L-shaped building.
The fire soon spread to adjacent units and a second alarm was requested. Master streams were soon put into service and a third alarm was requested. At 10:31 P.M. Fire Associates was paged and Don Gilbert and John Whiteside responded with Fire Support Unit 2. They were met on-scene by Mike Garcia. While FSU-2 was enroute, the fire escalated to a fourth alarm with a Mutual Aid structure response from Santa Clara County, Milpitas, and Santa Clara City fire departments.
However, the en route fourth alarm rigs were cancelled when the smoke coming from the other leg of the L-shaped building was found to be only drift smoke from the main fire. A great effort contained the fire damage to several units centered on the initial fire site.
Donuts, water, Gatorade, Clif bars and coffee, along with bench seating were very much appreciated by the exhausted fire fighters. FSU-2 was released at 3:05 A.M. and returned to quarters. A few fire crews remained on scene through the next day to completely extinguish the fire.
-- Report. Submitted by John Whitesite
Friday, August 12, 2016
On Friday, August 12, CAL FIRE Morgan Hill received many, many calls reporting a fire west of Morgan Hill in the area of the Uvas Reservoir. Smoke could be seen from CAL FIRE Headquarters.
At 3:12 P.M., a high-level dispatch was initiated and ultimately included over 30 engines, 3 dozers, 4 hand crews, 3 air tankers, 2 copters, and an air attack coordinator. Fire Associates was also requested for Rehab. Other fire agencies included: San Jose, Santa Clara County, Felton, and Monterey CAL FIRE who all sent equipment.
Due to the steep terrain, air tankers were used to slow the spread of the fire by surrounding it with retardant and protect houses threatened by the blaze until ground crews could access the location.
Fire Associates member John Whiteside, on CAL FIRE Volunteer in Prevention (VIP) duty in the Emergency Command Center, put on his FASCV cap and responded in his POV with drinks and ice while Don Gilbert was preparing Fire Support Unit 2 in San Jose to respond to the support request. Rehab was set up in a vacant lot near Fell Court and Uvas Road. FA was released at 8:50 P.M. The fire was contained at 15 acres.
-- Report Submitted by John Whiteside
Sunday, August 7, 2016
SCC (South Santa Clara County Fire District) residential fire, 14119 Murphy Avenue - north of San Martin Avenue. FSU-3 with John Whiteside and Bill Roth.
Approx. 24 engines/water tenders/truck plus dozer and Copter 106 on scene. Burned cars, greenhouses, barn, several residences, and spreading into the grass requiring structure protection on the property of a wholesale nursery. A large natural gas line was afire and venting, requiring PG&E to dig and pinch-off the line to extinguish the last of the fire. FASCV released at 2350.
Because of the Hwy 101 repaving (I had forgotten about) it took almost 1 hour coming home at midnight to go from Cochran to Bailey. ALL 3 lanes were creeping along, backed up to Cochran, and forming a single lane south of Bailey.
-- Report submitted by John Whiteside