Kitchener (ON) fire dispatch received multiple calls for a fire October 22, 2017 at 17:35. P3, P4, A2, R1, and Car 23 were dispatched for a house fire near 266 Zeller Drive. Car 23 asked what details dispatch had on the call and the address was updated to Wild Meadow Street near Zeller Dr. It was a house under construction, and they were receiving multiple calls reporting fire on the second floor. P2 was added to the call as the RIT enroute to the fire. P3 arrived first reporting a large, 2.5-story house under construction with heavy fire showing on the E2-E3 corner, second floor. P3 attacked the fire from the outside awaiting P4’s arrival. P4 arrived a minute later and established a water supply and pulled a backup line.
Two 1.5” lines were pulled upstairs to attack the fire. R1 performed a primary search in the basement and on the first floor. Firefighters appeared to be getting a handle on the fire when smoke dramatically changed colour. Interior crews reported they had a flashover in the washroom. Command ordered the crews out and to go defensive.
Firefighters set up P3’s aerial for a master stream attack and pulled a 2.5” line to fight the fire from the exterior. The fire was knocked down fifteen minutes later. Crews reentered the structure to check for extension and to knock down the remaining hot spots. Box 690 provided rehab.
Early shots by Box 690 member Mike Wilson. I arrived on scene approximately 15 minutes into the call.
Cambridge, Ontario Pump 1, Aerial 2, Tanker 1, Rescue 1, and Car 6 were dispatched for a house fire at 6571 Ellis Road November 27 2017 at 2:30. A smoke detector alerted the resident who was able to get out safely with his dog. Cambridge covers this portion of Wellington County under contract. A2 arrived on scene reporting a fully involved bungalow with no exposures. A2 pulled into the driveway and pulled multiple lines. Puslinch fire was dispatched to the scene once Cambridge reported the working fire.
Port-a-tanks were set up on the road and water was relayed into A2. Puslinch responded with two pumpers, two tankers, a 75’ quint, and a heavy rescue. Two additional tankers were requested from Rockwood fire. Water was shuttled from a hydrant in Cambridge approximately a mile and a half from the scene. Firefighters worked for over an hour to knock the fire down.
Photos were taken 40 minutes into the incident. Box 690 provided rehab. This was the second time in a week that we had back to back serious fires. This was our third fire in less than 12 hours having done a kitchen fire in Waterloo the previous afternoon, and a Wellesley fire later in the evening.
Cambridge ON P1, P2 A3, A4, R1, and Car 6 were dispatched to a possible fire on Sheffield Street November 20, 2017 at 13:50. Pump 2 reported smoke visible just after they left their hall two blocks from the fire. Heavy black smoke pushing from cracks and windows greeted firefighters as they arrived. All firefighting was defensive from the start. The building was brick with a truss roof measuring approximately 300 x 200’. The warehouse was used to store recycled cardboard and paper, plastic auto parts, acetone, and unknown chemicals. Fire was through the roof at the BC corner within 20 minutes of arrival and five minutes later part of the wall collapsed.
Both aerials were set up, and multiple 2.5” lines and monitors were deployed. Regional Police were asked to evacuate businesses downwind of the fire. Area residents were instructed to shelter in place and close all windows. Command was concerned with the runoff from the fire. City public works employees diked storm sewers as best they could to try to prevent runoff from flowing into the Speed River 300 feet away. Reserve A33 responded to the scene with overtime crews at 16:30. Additional firefighters were called in to staff the tanker and spare pumper.
The fire eventually spread through the entire building. All three aerials were used to fight the fire. There were numerous collapses over the next few hours. Heavy fire continued to burn throughout the building all night.
9-1-1 lines int the City of Guelph, 17 miles north west of Cambridge, were jammed with people phoning in to report the smell of acrid smoke in the area. A backhoe was brought in to start pulling the remaining walls down to allow firefighters to get at numerous hot spots throughout the building. Firefighters were still on scene as of 19:30 November 22 as I typed this report.
Cambridge Fire Prevention is working with the Ontario Fire Marshall to look for the cause of the $1,000,000 fire. Box 690 provided rehab for the first ten hours of the fire and was back on scene the next day topping up supplies. Cambridge had a small garage fire during this incident as well as a two serious auto accidents; one involving a patient being flown out on air ambulance. I arrived on scene 20 minutes after the dispatch. I got home at 2:00 and was back on the road 30 minutes later to a large shed fire in Wellesley Township on Road 116, 21 miles from our hall.
Kitchener (ON) P3, P2, A2, R1, and Car 23 were dispatched to smoke coming from 15 Perkell Place November 14, 2017, at 12:26. P3 arrived first reporting smoke showing. Captain P3 reported heavy fire in the basement after doing a 360. Car 23 requested an additional pumper to the scene after hearing the size up. Firefighters tried to make entry to the basement but had to pull out due to untenable conditions. A piercing nozzle was used at the front door to knock most of the fire down. Shots were taken approximately 12 minutes after crews arrived. Box 690 provided rehab.
Kitchener (ON) fire dispatch toned out a full response from Conestogo and Maryhill plus a St Jacobs tanker for a chicken coup fire at 1492 Maple Bend Road, November 8 2017 at 20:20. A Maryhill deputy chief arrived on scene and reported a working fire in a small shed. The 20×40’ shed had a wood furnace on one side with totes of wood, and a storage shed on the other side. Conestogo pumper set up in the laneway for drafting and firefighters pulled a 2.5” line and split it into two 1.5” lines to attack the fire. Water was shuttled from a pond just down the road from the fire. The steel roof caved in 10 minutes after firefighters arrived on scene. I arrived as the roof collapsed approximately 20 minutes into the fire. Crews were on scene for a few hours pulling what was left of the building apart to get to hot spots. Box 690 provided rehab.
Kitchener, ON fire dispatch toned out St Clements and Wellesley fire departments for a confirmed barn fire October 29, 2017 just after 22:00. Dispatch was receiving multiple calls of a large fire with numerous explosions located on Moser Young Road just south of Lobsinger Line. The St Clements district chief could see a glow in the air from the hall and asked for a full response from Linwood. St Clements arrived on scene and reported fire visible from the road and updated that it was a sugar shack.
Pump 2 pulled in a narrow laneway and had Tank 2 back into them and drop their port-a-tank behind the pumper. After a quick 360, command had Tank 2 drop their high vol on the way out to the road. Tank 2 ran out of hose and had the Wellesley tanker complete the task. The two tankers dropped 800’ of 4” line. Water was initially shuttled from a fire department cistern half a mile up the road from the fire.
The steel sided structure was a large maple sugar operation, approximately 45 x 100’. The Mennonite owners had just put 40 bush cords of cut wood into the storage section of the building the previous week. Two lines were pulled to work the fire, one to protect a small driving shed and the other to water down the trees to the west of the building. Firefighters regrouped after an hour and a half and decided to let the stacked wood burn down for a couple of hours. Once the piles were smaller, the two lines were used to attack the fire. Linwood Pump 1 set up for drafting and relay pumping to St Clements Pump 2 on Moser Young Road. Crews went on air and worked at pulling the steel siding off and extinguishing the fire. The three tankers drove to a hydrant in St Clements approximately 1.5 miles from the scene to refill. Wellesley’s aerial set up at the hydrant and filled the tankers. After an hour of hard slugging the fire was knocked down. Firefighters cleaned up and returned to their halls at 2:50. Box 690 provided rehab on this cold windy night, saw the first snowflakes of the year around 2:20.
Kitchener (On) fire dispatch toned out Pump 6, Rescue 1, and Aerial 1 for a multi-vehicle MVC on highway 401 eastbound just before Homer Watson Boulevard, October 27 at 7:27. Pump 4 was added to the call as trucks were responding. Ayr Fire was also dispatched as they cover a large portion of the 401. Cambridge Tank 1 was added to call as Ayr’s second tanker was out of service. Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) advised they had heavy entrapment in a collision involving three transport trucks. Orange Air Ambulance was also dispatched on OPP’s report.
Kitchener P6 headed westbound on the highway, slowed at the scene and confirmed very serious entrapment and headed up to Cedar Creek Road to turn around. R1 stopped in the westbound lanes and started to pull equipment over the barrier to start the extrication. Firefighters worked for over an hour cutting and using rams to try to move the cab off the driver. Command asked dispatch to expedite a heavy wrecker to help with the extrication.
Paramedics pronounced the patient and extrication was stopped pending arrival of the coroner around 9:00. Once the coroner arrived on scene crews returned to extricating the victim. The load from his truck (wood pallets) sheared part of the top of the cab, but didn’t hit the driver. The driver didn’t see the traffic slowing and plowed into a second 18-wheeler that then hit a dump truck in front of him. The other two drivers were not injured. The dump truck driver said the rear of the first trailer appeared to jump 25-35 feet in the air on contact with the second trailer. It doesn’t appear that the driver of the first trailer ever hit his brakes. Posted speed limit on the road is 100 KPH or 62 MPH. It took over an hour to remove the driver. The 401 is the busiest highway in North America, the Toronto section of the highway sees almost half a million vehicles a day. Box 690 was on scene for three hours providing rehab. Shots taken approximately two hours into the call.