mopping up
RESPONSE - Firefighters mop-up a garage fire after flames broke out at a garage on a Los Gatos cul-de-sac. (Drew Penner / Los Gatan)

Santa Clara County Assistant Fire Chief Brian Glass was on the way down the mountain from Los Gatos’ newest fire station to the department’s headquarters on Winchester Boulevard, Oct. 16, when he spotted a column of smoke.

At 4:06pm he called in a fire and headed to the source—a single-family home lot on a cul-de-sac near the Lark Avenue off-ramp.

“Our assistant fire chief was getting off the freeway and saw the smoke,” said Mike Krisman, a SCCFD battalion chief, standing at Farm Hill Way and Garden Hill Drive. “He arrived on scene and saw the exterior of that garage on fire.”

Dispatch sent out a “Full First” response—meaning a fire has been confirmed and multiple resources are needed immediately.

In this case that included a ladder truck, a light rescue vehicle, two battalion pickups, three engines and a two-vehicle HAZMAT team.

“The extension of the fire was limited,” Krisman said. “Truck 85 got here and made an aggressive attack.”

While the cause of the fire is under investigation, a prime suspect is the wine refrigerator that was sitting outside the structure.

The fact the assistant chief was able to put the call in so quickly saved precious moments that may have played a part in the positive outcome, according to Krisman.

The homeowner is currently looking at a trip to the hardware store for some new paint and a garage door, at the least, however, if crews had arrived five minutes later, the shopping list may have included solar panels and a new roof, he added.

A little after 5pm, firefighters high-fived each other, having finished mopping-up.

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Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected].


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