Gary Dinkel

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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 …

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

Canadian Firefighters battle a barn fire in Wilmot Ontario

Gary Dinkel photo

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.

Gary Dinkel, Box 690

house under construction destroyed by fire at night

Gary Dinkel photo

house under construction destroyed by fire at night

Gary Dinkel photo

house under construction destroyed by fire at night

Gary Dinkel photo

house under construction destroyed by fire at night

Gary Dinkel photo

house under construction destroyed by fire at night

Gary Dinkel photo

house under construction destroyed by fire at night

Gary Dinkel photo

house under construction destroyed by fire at night

Gary Dinkel photo

rural water supply at night fire scene

Gary Dinkel photo

house under construction destroyed by fire at night

Gary Dinkel photo

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.

Gary Dinkel, Box 690

Kitchener ON Firefighters at work

Gary Dinkel photo

Kitchener ON Firefighters at work

Gary Dinkel photo

Kitchener ON Firefighters at work

Gary Dinkel photo

Kitchener ON Firefighters at work

Gary Dinkel photo

Kitchener ON Firefighters at work

Gary Dinkel photo

Kitchener ON fire trucks

Gary Dinkel photo

Kitchener ON Firefighters at work

Gary Dinkel photo

Kitchener ON Firefighters at work

Gary Dinkel photo

Kitchener ON Firefighters at work

Gary Dinkel photo

Kitchener ON Firefighters in rehab

Gary Dinkel photo