Cambridge Fire Department

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Cambridge ON million dollar fire

Cambridge (ON) Fire dispatch toned out P2, A6, A3, P1, R1, and Car 6 for a possible fire at the Ontario Provincial Police station at 500 Beaverdale Road at 14:24. P2 reported a thermal column enroute, and fire through the roof on arrival. A6 was second due at the fire and set up it’s aerial for master stream operations. A hydrant was picked up on the east side of the fire to supply P2 and A6. Interior firefighters reported they couldn’t open up the ceiling to get into the attic. The roof was reinforced so no one could exit through it or get into the station through the roof. The firefighters were pulled from the building and A6 was ordered to open up their nozzle. Crews tried to trench cut the roof but were pulled off quickly due to fire already running the length of the structure.

Firefighters pulled a four-inch supply line to a second hydrant on the west side of the fire, the only other hydrant available in the area. Multiple lines were used to attack the fire. P5 was added to the call as firefighters were battling high heat and the heavy fire. Off-duty crews were called in to staff spare equipment. The fire was brought under control in two hours. Firefighters were rotated through rehab to keep well hydrated. There were four new fighters at the fire having been hired as part of a new station opening.

Damage was set between $1 to $1.5 million. The Ontario Fire Marshal and Cambridge Fire Prevention are investigating the cause of the fire. Box 690 served 197 cold drinks, numerous snacks, and dinner. The Cambridge mayor said they could not have scripted a major fire less than half an hour after officially opening a new station. A6, a 2018 Pierce 110’ Ascendant platform was placed in service at 7 am when the first firefighters moved into the station prior to the grand opening. Photos and video shot 25 minutes into the fire.

Gary Dinkel, Box 690

heavy smoke pours from Ontario Provincial Police building fire
Gary Dinkel photo

Cambridge, Ontario P2, P1, A6, R1, and Car 6 were dispatched to 51 Livingstone Crescent for a dryer fire January 17, at 20:30. The closest station to the call was Station 3 but A3 was on a medical call. P2 arrived and reported some smoke showing and all occupants were out of the building.

P2 pulled a line into the basement reporting heavy smoke, and near zero visibility. A hydrant was picked up as firefighters performed primary searches of the first, second, and third floors while fire attack looked for the source of the fire in the basement. The fire was located at the rear corner of the basement and quickly knocked down. Basement windows were taken out so ventilation could be performed by the attack crew. A3 cleared from their call and command had them return to their station as the fire was knocked down. 

Three firefighters were sent to perform a secondary search of the house and while on the second floor they reported the lights had gone out. Within a couple of minutes heavy black smoke was showing from the first and second floor. A minute later both floors flashed over. Two firefighters were able to exit via the stairs while a third had to bail out a second floor window onto the garage roof. He was transported to hospital with second degree burns and wass released the next morning. His gear and SCBA saved his life.

massive fire in a house in Cambridge Ontario
Dave Westwood photo

The entire building was now fully involved, and fire came through the steel roof within minutes. A6 was setup quickly to protect exposures, and A3 was added to the call, ordered to grab another hydrant, and get their aerial up. Large lines were pulled to attack the fire and protect exposures. A third hydrant was pulled from Newport Drive as A6 didn’t have enough water to supply their bucket and lines. A4 and P5 were added to the call necessitating call-in of off-duty crews to staff spare apparatus now that all six stations were on scene.

massive fire in a house in Cambridge Ontario
Gary Dinkel photo
massive fire in a house in Cambridge Ontario
Gary Dinkel photo
massive fire in a house in Cambridge Ontario
Gary Dinkel photo

The upper two floors collapsed 30 minutes after the flashover and the fire was brought under control in two hours. One station remained on scene all night, and others are still on scene chasing hot spots. Due to the collapse, firefighters can’t go into the structure to work on fully extinguishing the fire. The Ontario Fire Marshall is on the scene to investigate the cause. Damage is pegged at more than $750,000.

Box 690 provided rehab. My photos and video were shot 25 minutes after the flashover. Box 690 member Dave Westwood’s photos taken immediately after the flashover. 

Gary Dinkel

Box 690

more to come …

On May 24 2018 at 19:05, Cambridge, Ontario firefighters had their second general alarm fire in five days. P1, P2, P5, A3, R1, and Car 6 were dispatched to the fire at 515 Hespeler Road. Regional Police advised they had fire showing from the front of the building and roof. P1 arrived and reported heavy fire and smoke showing and requested the next unit pick up the hydrant. The fire was in the front waiting room and a 40’ high sign at the front of the car wash. A4, the last truck left in the city, was added to the call shortly after they cleared a med call.

Kitchener fire was requested for mutual aid to an alarm ringing and Ayr fire was toned out to respond with a pumper to cover the city while overtime crews were being called in. Multiple lines and both aerials were set up to attack the fire. Firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading into the main building which housed a large car wash, oil change business, and garage. The fire was brought under control in 40 minutes.

Preliminary damage has been set at $250,000. The Ontario Fire Marshal was called to investigate the cause. Early video and photos by Box 690 members Dave Westwood and Nic Murray. Box 690 provided rehab for the fire.

This was the first working fire for a number of new recruits. Cambridge is opening station six in the fall.

Gay Dinkel, Box 690

fire at suds Car Wash in Cambridge Ontario

Dave Westwood photo

The Cambridge Ontario fire department dispatched A3, P2, P1, P5, R1, and Car 6 for a possible structure fire at 509 Speedsville Road May 20 2018, at 19:45. A3 arrived on scene and reported a large, two-story, stone building with fire on the second floor, and defensive firefighting only. The area has limited hydrants, but one was right in front of the property. Two 4” lines were connected to the hydrant to feed A3 and P2. Water pressure was very low so a portable pump was set up in the Speed River approximately 250’ from the fire to augment water supply. A4, the last truck in the city was added to the call once they cleared a med call.

Additional firefighters were called in to staff spare equipment and were rotated to the fire over the course of the night. P5 reverse laid approximately 1200 feet of 4” hose to a second hydrant and relay pumped to A4 once they arrived and set up. Multiple lines were pulled to attack the fire from three sides. Both aerials flowed water once the fire broke through the roof. The second floor had two apartments and storage rooms that were loaded with household materials and furniture. Firefighters worked for hours before bringing the fire under control at 1:30. A3 and A4 were repositioned around 1:00. P2, P1 and P5 cleared the scene over the next couple of hours. Crews were rotated back to the fire over the next nine hours. Box 690 provided rehab.

Photos and videos were taken 20 minutes into the call after running off a nearby golf course to get to the fire.

Gary Dinkel, Box 690

In the following days, a female has been charged with arson for the fire.

Cambridge Ontario Firefighters battling a fire

Gary Dinkel photo

Cambridge (ON) fire dispatch 9-1-1 lines lit up May 1 at 17:00 reporting a townhouse on fire at 135 Chalmers Street South. Four of the five Cambridge stations responded. P5 arrived first and reported two, possibly three town houses fully involved. Firefighters picked up three hydrants and set up A4 to attack the fire. The fifth station was added shortly after the PC arrived on scene and took command. Crews successfully trenched the roof preventing the fire from spreading further down the block. The fire was knocked down in 45 minutes. Damage has been set at $1,000,000. The Ontario Fire Marshall is investigating the cause of the fire. All occupants and animals were able to get safely out of their units.

Early shots are from Box 690 member Brent Mackie who was less than a mile from the fire on dispatch.

Gary Dinkel, Box 690

heavy fire burning townhouses

Brent Mackie photo

aftermath of townhouse fire in Cambridge ON

Brent Mackie photo

Firefighters operate hose lines at townhouse fire

Brent Mackie photo

Firefighters operate hose lines at townhouse fire

Brent Mackie photo

Firefighters battle townhouse fire

Brent Mackie photo

Firefighters operate hose lines at townhouse fire

Brent Mackie photo

Firefighters operate hose lines at townhouse fire

Brent Mackie photo

Firefighters battle townhouse fire

Brent Mackie photo