The month began with the annual tradition of festivities centered around the city's extravaganza known as the Florida - Georgia game, this year featuring a litany of new and exciting activities for all football fans. From the 'Bold City Bash' to the Block Party, everyone enjoyed a great time and the event was a resounding success with only one major emergency garnering the attention of media: a Thursday (technically still in October as the date was Halloween, October 31st) evening fire in an RV area just off Talleyrand near the Hart Bridge ramp. A portable generator fire produced flames in excess of a whopping 30 odd feet, enveloping the underside of the ramp and necessitating the quick actions of a nearby JFRD Brush Truck as well as a Tanker, coupled with the initial mitigation measures with a portable extinguisher enacted by a civilian, to not only suffocate and eventually extinguish the blaze but to do so without any significant damages to nearby exposures or, for that matter, without any injuries reported to either civilians or first responders.
Two structure fires of significant prominence placed the JFRD firmly in the spotlight of local media coverage, more specifically a strip mall fire in the San Marco area on Saturday, the 2nd of November, and a vacant shed fire in the immediate vicinity of the former Thunderbird Motor Hotel in Arlington on Wednesday, the 13th of November. The San Marco fire, occurring at approximately 8 PM that night of November the second, originated in the Beach Diner business establishment at 1965 San Marco Boulevard. Serendipity and astute thinking prevented this fire from causing far more damage than it eventually did, as the firefighters from nearby Fire Station 13 smelled smoke in the air and went to investigate, discovering in the process the growing fire and initiating an emergency response before any fire alarm sounded. By the time the fire was brought under control by a Maximum Full Response that saw over 30 firefighters assembled at the scene, the worst of the damage had been confined to the building of origin with four adjacent businesses sustaining heavy smoke damage. No injuries were reported from the incident and the cause was deemed to be a faulty and overloaded electrical outlet in the kitchen area of the restaurant: initial damage estimates were in excess of a quarter of a million dollars.
The second fire, at the former Thunderbird Motor Hotel, was called into the 9-1-1 call center just after 6 PM by a motorist passing by who noticed smoke emanating from a large storage shed near the empty, vacant, former hotel. By the time crews began to arrive on scene flames were already shooting skyward through the roof, a fact that forced Command to assume a defensive attack and protect surrounding exposures while drowning out the flames via thousands of gallons of water delivered by the JFRD ladder pipes at the scene. When all was said and done, the fire was called under control in less than an hour with the empty shed completely destroyed but all other exposures sustaining little to no damage at all. The State Fire Marshal was called to perform the investigation.