October typically represents one of the busiest months for our Department and, notwithstanding emergencies and similar public safety issues, this month is no different. The somewhat hectic schedule begins on October 2, as Fire Station #30 will celebrate 30 years of exceptional response within the Regency Square area and beyond with a luncheon and gathering of many of the current and former members of, and at, this 'legendary' site. Following the merriment at Station 30, Fire Prevention Week kicks off the following week, with the culmination on Friday, October 10th, in the form of the annual Fallen Firefighter Memorial...then it's off to the annual Retired Firefighters Luncheon at the Union Hall on the 14th of October, followed by the Re-Dedication Ceremony of the new 'Dr. Roy Baker Fire/Rescue Communications Center' the very next day, October 15. Wrapping things up the following week: Grand Opening Ceremony for Fire Station #5 on the 21st of October, with our Quarterly Promotions Ceremony occurring on Friday, October 24th, at 9 AM on the 5th floor at our downtown Administration Building.
Our first memorable fire of autumn arrived early Wednesday, October 8, as units responded to a warehouse fire in the 700 block of Scotia Road just before 1 AM. First on scene, Engine 17 immediately reported flames shooting through the roof of an enormous 40,000 square foot, approximately 100 foot deep and 500 foot wide general freight warehouse. With the only hydrant located off Scotia Road, and a mere 8 inch main at that, Command quickly ordered additional Tankers to the scene and declared a Second Alarm within minutes of size-up. A partial roof collapse on the northside of the building soon led to a complete abandonment of any interior sectoring, and the facility operated by Eagle Logistics became subjected to relentless pommeling by ladder pipes and stingers. Following a three and a half hour marathon, the fire was called under control and investigators from both the local Fire Marshal's Office and the State could begin sifting through the remains to determine both causation and point of origin. Damage estimates were well in excess of $500,000; even though the building was deemed a total loss, Command could certainly enjoy the fact that no injuries were reported from the incident and the tanker shuttle operations with basin tethering proved a successful approach in dealing with a major shortcoming in the localized water supply.
On a cold and windy morning, specifically Wednesday October 29th shortly after 8:30 AM, Engine 36 found itself first in on a dispatch for a two story, single family structure fire in the 1600 block of Oakhurst. Reporting heavy smoke and flames breaching the roof of the asbestos shingled home, the crew of 36 was soon joined by both Engine and Ladder 18 in the initial effort to halt the forward progress of the blaze that seemed to be confined to the rear area of the second floor. Unfortunately, as two firefighters from Ladder 18 were advancing a line up the narrow stairwell during the primary search, the fire flashed leading to the surprised firefighters taking a tumble back down the stairs. Although luckily free from any serious injury, the incident involving the two firefighters promptly delayed a more aggressive combat approach and, with the fire increasing in size, forced Command to withdraw and abandon all ongoing interior assignments. After 45 minutes the fire was called under control, with the home evaluated as a total loss and investigators faced with the difficult task of sifting through charred evidence to pinpoint both origin and cause. No civilian injuries were reported, as the homeowner had apparently left earlier that morning just prior to the fire being reported via cellphone by a passer-by.