Fire dispatch toned out New Hamburg and Baden for a structure fire at 3787 Huron Road, June 24 at 19:30. Dispatch confirmed fire in a barn full of hay with exposures and the New Dundee tanker was requested on this report. A New Hamburg pumper arrived to a fully-involved barn (130 x 30’) with five large silos on the ‘D’ side just a few feet away. On the ‘B’ side was a large shop (130 x 60’) 15 feet away, which had a large beef barn (260 x 100’) attached to it. A second 260 x 100’ beef barn was 100’ from the ‘C-D’ corner of the burning structure.
New Hamburg’s pumper set up on the ‘A’ side between the fully involved barn and a 200 x 30’ driving shed. Three port-a-tanks were set up for water supply which was shuttled from a hydrant approximately three miles from the scene. Multiple small and large lines were pulled to protect the shop and silos. Baden’s pumper set up on the ‘D’ side and pulled lines to the rear of the barn and was supplied by New Hamburg’s pumper.
Firefighters did a really good job of protecting the exposures. There was some damage to the shop siding and roof from radiant heat, and it was believed there was no damage to the two silos that had just been filled. It was a warm night and command asked for the balance of New Dundee to the scene to relieve tired crews.
Fire was declared out at 2:00 after a front-end loader pulled the building apart, and spread straw out for firefighters to extinguish. Forty firefighters worked the fire. Box 690 provided rehab, serving 166 cold drinks. Photos start 25 minutes into the fire. Wilmot had five pumpers, four tankers, three heavy rescues, and a 75’ quint on scene.
Kitchener Ontario Fire Dispatch was extremely busy May 5, 2020 with multiple fires coming in minutes apart. Dispatch is responsible for all fire calls in the Region of Waterloo with a population of approximately 610,000. There are three full time departments, Kitchener (7 stations), Cambridge (6 stations), and Waterloo (4 stations). The four township departments are paid-on-call. The largest of these department is Woolwich (6 stations), then Wellesley (3 stations), Wilmot (3 stations), and North Dumfries with one station. Cambridge is contracted to cover 40% of the township for the first hour.
Tuesday, May 5 had been a relatively quiet day for dispatch with just a handful of calls. That all changed at approximately 14:20 when four of the Cambridge stations were dispatched to a possible structure fire at 144 Franklin Street North. Firefighters arrived and reported smoke and fire visible on the E4 side and were informed that homeless people had exited the abandoned building before crews arrived.
Numerous hand lines were pulled to attack the fire which was knocked down in 20 minutes. Access to the house was difficult due to the northbound lane of Fountain Street being closed for construction.
Cambridge’s remaining two stations were dispatched to a brush fire on Hespeler Road at this time, and just to keep dispatch busy, Waterloo was dispatched to an automatic alarm in an apartment building, which was updated to smoke in the hallway prompting a third station to be dispatched.
I was responding to the call and was halfway there when dispatch toned out Elmira, Floradale, and St Jacobs for a possible structure fire at 81 First Street West. Firefighters from the Elmira station reported heavy smoke visible from their hall.
Three Box 690 members were on scene at the Cambridge fire, so I turned around and headed north to cover the Elmira fire where three other members helped me. Elmira had arrived to a fully-involved, single-story group home, with heavy fire through the roof. The Elmira pumper was out for the annual pump test so Tank 612 was first out. One 65 mm and three 45 mm lines were pulled to attack the fire and protect the exposure on the C-side. Elmira’s quint picked up a hydrant on Flamingo Street and setup for tower operations in addition to putting two 45 mm hoses into operation. A passerby alerted residents and staff of the fire and all safely exited the building before firefighters arrived. The fire was knocked down in 45 minutes. Fire is believed to have started in a shed on the E2 side of the building. Photos were taken approximately 25 minutes into the Elmira fire. Box 690 provided rehab at both fires.
Kitchener (ON) Fire dispatch toned out New Dundee Fire for a barn fire at 966829 Oxford Waterloo Road, December 4 at 5:05. New Dundee requested a full response from New Hamburg plus Baden’s two tankers before arriving to the fire. Once on scene trucks had to dodge roaming cattle driving into the farm. Command requested a full response from Baden reporting they had an approximately 350×100 cattle barn fully involved on the east end of the structure. Due to heavy smoke, firefighters couldn’t see how much of the barn was burning. A 360 revealed 30% of the barn was burning and that there was a large number of cattle still in the structure. Multiple small and large lines were pulled to attack the fire. Two port-a-tanks were set up for water supply. Tankers drove to Plattsville, 1.8 miles from the scene in Oxford County to fill up at a hydrant.
Once the fire was contained, tankers drove to New Hamburg (Waterloo County) to fill up. The road is the dividing line between the two counties. Plattsville’s chief arrived on scene and advised command they had been dispatched for smoke in the area around 2:30 but were unable to find the source. Firefighters did a good job saving approximately 70% of the barn. Box 690 provided rehab for the fire. Video and photos taken 50 minutes into the fire.
Gary Dinkel, Box 690
Gary Dinkel photo
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Kitchener (ON) Fire dispatch toned out a Breslau pumper-tanker, Maryhill pumper, tanker, rescue, and Conestogo rescue for a confirmed structure fire at 138 Woolwich Street South in Breslau, 23 November 2018 at 3:45. Breslau reported they could see the fire from their hall more than a mile away. Elmira’s aerial was requested as firefighters responded to the scene. Breslau reported a large, upscale house under construction that was fully involved, with serious exposures on either side of the house. Crews pulled two lines initially to protect the exposures, a large, two-bay garage and house on the E2 side with siding already melting, and a bungalow on the E4 side with embers falling on the roof and heavy radiant heat. The nearest hydrant was approximately 1300 feet from the scene. The Maryhill tanker dropped their port-a-tank at Breslau’s pumper and shuttled water from the nearest hydrant to the south of the fire while a relay pumping operation was set up. Conestogo’s pumper tanker was requested to augment the water shuttle. Firefighters were able to save the two exposure buildings, both suffering exterior damage to siding. The fire was brought under control in an hour. Damage has been pegged at $1,000,000 and the Ontario Fire Marshal has been called to investigate. Box 690 provided rehab. Photos taken approximately 20 minutes into the fire.
Kitchener (ON) fire dispatch toned out P3, P4, Tanker 1, A1, R1, and Car 23 for a possible garage fire at 128 Limerick Road October 5, 2018 at 9:10. P4 reported a thermal column enroute to the call prompting Car 23 to add an additional pumper (P6). There are no hydrants on this street which had prompted the tanker to be dispatched with a full crew of four on the initial alarm.
P4 arrived on scene first reporting a large, detached garage fully involved, a vehicle in front of the garage fully involved, a wood-sided house well involved, a second garage possibly on fire on the E4 side, extension into a music studio four feet behind the garage, and siding melting on a second house on the E4 side of the fire. Due to the volume of fire, command requested incoming trucks catch a hydrant out on King Street and relay pump to the scene.
Approximately 2100 feet of 4” was laid into P4. Numerous small and large lines were deployed to fight the fire. Crews split up, one working on the garage, and a second on the wooden house where fire had extended into the dwelling. A third crew worked the rear knocking down the fire in the studio, and a fourth crew worked on the exposure garage and house. Firefighters did a great job knocking the bulk of the heavy fire in the first 20 minutes. Box 690 provided rehab. Pictures taken approximately 22 minutes into the fire.
Kitchener (ON) fire dispatch toned out Conestogo, Maryhill, Breslau, and St Jacobs for a fully-involved trailer fire on Katherine Street North at Line 86 August 10, 2018 at 14:00. The trailer was loaded with 20 bales of straw. Conestogo arrived on scene first reporting a fully-involved trailer, no exposure issues, and were setting up on the south side of the fire. Command advised Maryhill to respond with their pumper and tanker and set up on the north side of the fire off Line 86.
Numerous small and large hand lines were pulled from both pumpers. Water was shuttled from a cistern and then the dam in Winterbourne for the Conestogo pumper approximately 1.5 miles south of the scene. Water for Maryhill’s pumper was shuttled from a cistern two miles east of the fire. Center Wellington fire, Elora station arrived at the fire with a pumper and tanker having been dispatched by Guelph fire for smoke in the area. The border between Wellington and Waterloo County is approximately 1.5 miles from the fire. Elora firefighters checked with command to see if they would like their assistance. Due to the hot day command asked them to stay and help knock the fire down. They helped with water supply and firefighters went on air to relieve Woolwich crews.
Command requested Elmira fire respond with manpower and their tanker. The fire was knocked down in 40 minutes but overhaul lasted two hours as tractors had to pull the straw from the trailer, soak it down, then load in trailers to be driven to a nearby farm to be composted. This was the first fire for Conestogo’s pumper tanker that had just gone into service the week before. Box 690 provided rehab serving 135 cold drinks and 105 snack items. Photos and video taken 25 minutes into the call.
Gary Dinkel, Box 690
Gary Dinkel photo
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