On The Job: TEXAS

On Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, a three-alarm fire in downtown Tyler, TX, destroyed one building and damaged three historic structures. The two-story building that was destroyed was of Type III ordinary construction and built in the early 1900s. The...


On Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, a three-alarm fire in downtown Tyler, TX, destroyed one building and damaged three historic structures. The two-story building that was destroyed was of Type III ordinary construction and built in the early 1900s. The 80-by-100-foot building had a roof with rolled...


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Lindale Ladder 1 was positioned on the northwest side of the fire building and set up for aerial master stream operations. Lindale Engine 1's crew was assigned as the second rapid intervention team and staged at the command post. Dixie Engine 1 laid a 400-foot, five-inch line from Lindale Ladder 1 to a hydrant at the intersection of Broadway and Ferguson streets. Dixie Engine 1 hooked onto the hydrant with a five-inch line and pumped to Lindale Ladder 1. The crew from Dixie Engine 1 was assigned as a relief crew at the rear of the building.

Bullard Ladder 29 was positioned at the southwest corner of the building and set up for aerial master stream operations. Tyler Engine 5 laid a 300-foot, five-inch line from Bullard Ladder 29 to a hydrant on Erwin Street and hooked onto the hydrant with a five-inch line and pumped to Ladder 29. Crews from Flint Greshman and Noonday were staged at the command post and were rotated to relieve firefighters on the fireground. Winona Engine 1 was assigned to stand by at Tyler Station 4 and Chapel Hill Engine 1 was staged at Tyler Station 1.

Defensive operations using three aerial devices, two deck guns, one portable monitor and numerous handlines controlled and contained the fire. Rozell declared the fire under control at 12:30 A.M. on Tuesday. Mutual aid units were released beginning at 12:30 A.M.

Seventy firefighters operated eight engines, three aerials and one rescue at the scene of the fire. Seven hydrants on the municipal water system supplied 1.4 million gallons of water for firefighting operations. The last Tyler equipment left the scene three days after the initial call. One firefighter was treated for injuries. The temperature was 50 degrees and there were calm winds at the time of the fire.

Investigation

The Tyler Fire Department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted a five-day, origin-and-cause investigation. After a systematic fire scene examination, inspection of the physical evidence and considering witness observations, it is believed that the area of origin was in the basement of 113 North Spring St., an area that was occupied by a law office.

The fire extended north into the law offices at 115 North Spring and an architectural firm at 117 and 119 North Spring. A fire wall separating 119 North Spring from a space to the north once used as a theater helped slow the fire's progress. A fire wall on the south side of the law office at 113 North Spring helped contain the fire and limit the damage to the law office at 111 North Spring. The cause is undetermined at this time. The estimated damage to the buildings and contents is $3 million.

JAY K. BRADISH/IFPA, Firehouse® news editor, is a former captain in the Bradford Township, PA, Fire Department. He has been a volunteer firefighter and fire photographer for more than 25 years.