Virginia Three Alarmer Roars Through Warehouse

Richmond firefighters faced a fast moving structure fire, residents in fifty nearby apartments were evacuated.

Tones sounded at 1230 on Aug 18 for a possible fire in a dumpster at 1125 W. Clay Street.

Richmond's Quint 10 was dispatched to the call, while en route a box alarm sounded for a building fire in the same area.

"Quint 10 arrived on the scene and reported heavy smoke visible from a garage," said Lt Michael Oprandy. "Other companies arriving on the scene were assigned to evacuate 50 apartments in the exposure building and to begin gaining access to the upper floors of the warehouse. Battalion 2 arrived on the scene and updated the incident; reporting that there were now heavy fire conditions in a warehouse."

A second alarm was declared.

Quint 10 and Rescue 2 initiated an aggressive interior attack with multiple hand lines at the loading dock of the warehouse and the second floor of the D exposure. Heavy smoke blanketed the area.

Quint 11 operated on the roof gaining access to vents and deploying a hand line. Fire quickly broke through the roof spreading rapidly. The evacuation order was given to crews and the fire went to a defensive operation. Firefighters were pulled from the interior and the roof, as conditions rapidly began to deteriorate. Four ladder pipes were placed in operation, surrounding the building, along with multiple 2.5 hand lines.

A third alarm was sounded bringing companies from South Richmond to the downtown area to assist with fighting the fire.

Oprandy said after two hours the fire was declared under control.

Responding were: Rescue Co. 1,2,3,Quint Companies 10, 11, 8, 12, 17, 1, 13, 14, Engine Co. 6, 18, Battalion Chief's 1,2,3.

The fire is under investigation. Several firefighters were treated for heat illness.