Just two days after recounting tales of two-alarm fires in 2011 at our annual Installation Banquet, volunteers from Stonewall Jackson once again found themselves challenged by a two-alarm fire, this time complicated by hazardous materials and dangerous machinery.
At 2309, Box 1155 was struck for a fire alarm sounding on Doane Drive. E511B and T511 responded to a reported manual pull station activation at a printing plant. While en route, Communications advised they were upgrading the call to a commercial fire because they had calls stating the building was on fire and was evacuated. Units from Bristow, Gainesville, and Manassas completed the complement.
On arrival, E511B and T511 found a 700 x 300 foot warehouse with moderate smoke in the interior and from the roof. Workers advised that "everything was on fire..a machine, the whole roof." They further advised that the fire involved solvents, lubricants, and printing ink. E511B struck a second alarm and requested a HAZMAT assignment as well. Units from Lake Jackson, Nokesville, Evergreen, and Dale City filled the second alarm.
Guided by thermal imagers, T511 and E511B entered the building with a 300' attack line and searched for the fire in near-zero visibility as the smoke thickened and banked all the way to the floor of the 40-foot high warehouse. The area of the fire was a maze of machinery, catwalks, ladders, and high rack storage of chemicals and paper. Additonal first-alarm units arrived and began opening up overheard doors to increase visibility and aid in the search. E511B's crew reacted to radio calls reporting the fire had been located in two different quandrants, repositioning the line twice and then extending it to a 500 foot line with the aid of additional companies. Second alarm crews had to be rotated in to replace first alarm crews as the search for the seat of the fire continued and stretch additional lines as they searched.
As the sprinkler system was supplied by E525, multiple sprinkler heads knocked down the fire and guided crews to the seat of the fire in a machine in the middle of two other printing presses. Spot fires that the sprinkler heads had not knocked down were extinguished and the area was overhauled. Fire was determined to have seriously damaged a large printing press, overhead machinery, and the underside of the roof.
All crews worked well together in a coordinated effort to find and extinguish the fire in a dangerous environment and were "rewarded" for their efforts by being decontaminated to remove printing residue, and the HAZMAT team evaluated the runoff for hazards.
Crews cleared the incident at approximately 0215.
E511B, T511, A511, M511, BC501Y (BRADE)
1ST ALARM: E525, E504, E524, E501B, TWR525, R504, BC504
2ND ALARM: E507, E505, E515, TWR501, R501, M525, MAU525, BC505, BC591, BC581, BC582, C525, RC501, C501, DC506
HAZMAT: HS506, E506B, HMO502, DCN506
SPECIAL CALL: MVU514, CAN524, FM526, FM528
TRANSFERS: E518 TO STA 7, E508 TO STA 11, E516B TO STA 25, E1110 TO 24, E513 TO STA 18, E438 TO STA 8
T511 ladders the roof while E511B supplies multiple attack lines.