3rd Alarm fire displaces 47 while a 2nd fire kills 4 dogs and other pets

Stratford ParkI’m working what we call the “Hell cycle” this week…. Monday, Wednesday and Friday (24 hr tours).

We call it that for good reason and this week, it’s really earning it’s name.

We were busy enough on Monday but today, we started the tour with what turned out to be a 3rd alarm fire!

Not long after we returned to service, we caught our 2nd fire of the day, taking in a single family dwelling with the kitchen well off.

photo from WDBJ 7 Face Book

photo from WDBJ 7 Face Book

We caught the first job not long after shift break.

The first due Engine (E4) arrived with “nothing showing” but we were seeing smoke from our ride in.

There are multiple apartment complexes located inside the circle we were responding to and when we arrived, the smoke had disappeared. We didn’t see it either.

The Captain from E4 took his crew in to investigate as I was establishing Command. He quickly radioed back that they encountered heavy smoke and fire on the 3rd floor! I marked it a “working fire” and struck a 2nd Alarm.

The Battalion had arrived and assumed command releasing me to assist on the 3rd floor.Engine 5 was also arriving and was assigned to the 3rd as well.

Screen shot from WDBJ7.com

Screen shot from WDBJ7.com

A 3rd Alarm was quickly struck as all companies were going to work on the 3 story, 3 wing apartment complex. There were a lot of people to evacuate and protect.

Dean Russell, the Captain from #4 C-shift; did a GREAT job of ¬†“controlling the door” until we could make the connection and get the attack line in position. His efforts held the fire to a single apartment.

Every member on scene did an OUTSTANDING job ! I’m not sure how many were evacuated but several (using wheel chairs, walkers etc) had to be assisted. In the end, 47 people (and pets) were displaced. A majority of the East Wing sustained smoke and / or water damage. There were 4 residents treated at the scene but none had serious injuries or were transported. No firefighters were injured.

Screen shot from WDBJ7

Screen shot from WDBJ7

I should also note that a 3rd Alarm Fire in Roanoke is a big deal.

Not only does an incident this size utilize City units, it also brought in crews from Roanoke County and the City of Salem.  These companies either responded to the fire scene or filled in at our stations.

Again I’ll say that every member on scene did an OUTSTANDING job of controlling this incident.


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Photo by Rebecca Barnett / Roanoke.com

Photo by Rebecca Barnett / Roanoke.com

We hadn’t made it back to the station before getting dispatched to a report of another fire. Dispatch advised that the caller stated smoke and flames were showing.

Our gear was still wet, we were tired and it sounded like we would be first in.

Fortunately, Engine 8 was near by on a medical call and took in the run. They arrived to indeed find smoke and flames showing.

Command was established as Engine 8 was stretching in and we arrived to back them up on the nozzle.

Photo by Trevor Fair / WDBJ7

Photo by Trevor Fair / WDBJ7

Additional companies quickly followed to make the searches, establish RIC, ventilation etc.

It was another well orchestrated incident.

The fire was a well involved kitchen and Josh Stovall (E8) made a good and quick knock down.

Unfortunately, the search crews removed 4 large dogs and 2 pet birds that perished in the fire.

No residents were home at the time of the fire so there were no injuries to civilians or firefighters.

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Let’s hope the remainder of the shift (and cycle) is a little lot more quieter….

Stay SAFE and in House!

Captain Wines