Kokomo Fire Levels Multi-Use Structure

Jay K. Bradish details a blaze that destroyed a commercial building that was erected in 1908 as a fence factory and which had no fire detection or suppression systems.


KOKOMO FIRE DEPARTMENT Chief: David Duncan Personnel: 120 career firefighters Apparatus: Six engines, one reserve engine, one aerial, one quint, two squads, one hazmat van, one hazmat trailer, two boats, one service van, one BLS ambulance Population: 50,000 Area: 28 square miles On...


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At 10 o’clock, Duncan requested the recall of 27 off-duty firefighters to cover empty fire stations and to supply more manpower at the scene. Deputy Chief Pat Donoghue served as the resource officer, coordinating the deployment of the additional crews, as well as the response of the EMA and the Red Cross. Engine 8 responded to the scene with four off-duty firefighters and reverse laid two three-inch supply lines from the north side of the building to a hydrant at the corner of Tate and Market streets. These two lines were equipped with master stream nozzles and used to set up a water curtain to keep the fire from jumping Tate Street into the next block, where a car wash and an auto-detailing center were located. A portable monitor supplied by two three-inch lines from Engine 5 was positioned at the northwest corner of the building to assist with the water curtain operation.

Stevens declared the fire under control at 1:30 A.M. on Nov. 27. Mutual aid crews were released at 4 A.M. and Kokomo units left the scene at 4:09. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Kokomo Fire Department Investigative Unit headed by Battalion Chief Pat O’Neil. Damage was estimated at $750,000 to the building and $300,000 to the contents.


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.