You heard it right! I caught a job today and Willie Wines Jr. was on the scene as well.
Willie was in command and I was riding the seat on the first in engine. I was paying back Lt. Bradford for a day he worked for me, and Captain Martin decided to give his medics a break and ride the medic unit.
A perfect storm!
Pictures from the fire here + videos and here
Hell, I didn’t even have to give a size-up! Captain Wines took care of that and struck a 2nd alarm in the same breath.
I was riding Engine 3 on C-shift and we brought a hydrant in with us. We pulled in right behind Ladder 5. They forced entry and we made our way in to put some wet stuff on the red stuff.
So there we were…Willie in command and loving it! Me paired up with Ladder 7 to go in and find the fire (my firefighter was on the hydrant and driver was pumping).
AND…I got the nozzle! Happy Birthday to me!
You have to understand that Willie and I working a job together is not probable. We work different shifts and probably never be stationed together…unfortunately. You never know…it could happen!
I got inside with zero visibility, found a staircase straight ahead and headed up the steps. I found a wall the hard way…took a left found some more stairs and then found another wall…again the hard way. I got up to the 2nd floor. The 1st floor had about 14 foot ceilings. The next thing I know there is fire behind me…and a lot of it! I didn’t see any when I went in. I knew there was smoke coming from side Charlie/Delta and the eaves on the roof.
I quickly had to move back down the stairs where the rest of my crew was humping hose and began extinguishing the fire. We found the bulk of the fire in a room behind the stairwell. The fire had already gotten through the second floor to the attic. We made a decent knock on the fire.
The problem was that the fire in the attic was not easy to get to. There was very little visibility, no access, and 12-14 foot ceilings. While crews were inside trying to get to it, command thought it had gotten too much of a jump and we were working inside too long. We had to pull out.
We made a defensive attack on the attic and once that was knocked down we re-entered and finished the job.
The building was originally a house I believe…over 5000 square feet and built in 1925.
The fire was vacant and boarded up…it was ruled unoccupied after a primary and secondary search!
Since I was the officer on the first in engine I got to do all the reports and the press release.
The bonus…I am pulling a 48!
All that…and we started the day with ARFF training from 9-noon. The fire toned out after lunch around 1:45pm.
Tomorrow I get to do the ARFF training again…oh joy!
Did I mention it was hot as hell out and sunny!
One call so far this shift and it is almost midnight! One hell of a day!
- Photos from Mike Overacker (Roanoke Lt. retired) on RoanokeFirefighters.com
- Pictures from the fire on Roanoke Fire-EMS Department’s Facebook fan page
- Roanoke Fire-EMS Department’s Facebook fan page
- Fire rages at Roanoke’s old Villa Heights recreation center
- Firefighters battle fire at Villa Heights Recreation Center in Roanoke
- Roanoke fire scorches Villa Heights Rec Center