1. #1
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!

    Default My first "urban renewal" project

    I did my first "urban renewal project" as a Deputy Chief.

    0320 hours.. the tones go off for a reported smoke coming from a building across the street from Marlborough Nissan. Engines 1 and 3, Rescue 1, Ladder 2 and Car 2 were dispatched.

    Engine 3 , the first due in the district, sees smoke in the area while going down Route 20.

    When I got there in Car 2, fire through the roof. Struck the box for a working fire, then a second alarm about 5 minutes later, bring all of our available staffed apparatus to the scene with mutual aid from Hudson, Southborough and Sudbury to cover our stations.

    The building was the Boston Trolley Diner, a former railroad dining car that was placed on a concrete block foundation and had an addition built onto it.

    The structure had a rain roof (rubber membrane over wood) covering a metal roof. The fire through the roof was the in the area of the kitchen ventialtion fans, aka the path of least resisitance.

    Heavy fire was found in the basement area when smoke began seeping through an opening blocked with plywood. When the plywood was removed, the basement, which was subdivided by a concrete block wall lit up.

    I had personnel on the roof and in the restaurant over the area of the basement fire, and when it lit up, I broadcast the "urgent" meessage to evacuate and had the evac signal sounded (60 seconds of air horns)

    The foundation wall was breached for better access, and the fire in that area was knocked down with a deuce and half with a smooth bore nozzle.
    After the heavy fire was knocked down, crews were allowed back in after the stability of the floor in the area was confirmed.

    The fire was still burning in the wall between the adddition and the original trolley car and in the space betwen the metal roof and the rain roof. I made two obervation while my crews were working...

    Pulling stainless steel wall panels is a bitch!
    Cutting and opening up two roofs is also a bitch!!
    Extensive overhaul is tiring and is a bitch!!!

    Four hours later, the recall went in, a firewatch was established while the the Department's Fire Investigations unit and the State Fire Marshal conducted a prelimninary investigation.

    Seeing that the restaurant had closed a year ago, and there were no utilities to the building and where the fire originated from, the cause was determined to be arson. A reward of up to $5000 for the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved in the fire has been offered by the Arson Watch Reward Program.

    My chief, who arrived after the second alarm, and was there as an observer said we did a nice job... nobody got hurt, everybody went home.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 04-08-2007 at 10:56 AM. Reason: spelling correction
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 1999


    Welcome to the club. I also have had the opportunity to direct several unscheduled urban renewal projects.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    My chief, who arrived after the second alarm, and was there as an observer said we did a nice job... nobody got hurt, everybody went home.
    Considering the fire conditions, I'd say that it was a very successful outcome.
    "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
    Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Pt. Beach, NJ


    Gotta love those original diners that have 6 or 7 additions added on throughout the years. We had one a few years ago where we found an 18 wheeler trailer being used as their storage refrigerator.

    nobody got hurt, everybody went home
    Best part.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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