July 27 was a busy day for Cambridge Ontario firefighters. The temperature was 39 C (102 F) with the humidity factored in. Fire dispatch toned out Pump 33, 32, 31, Aerial 36, Rescue 31, and Car 323 for smoke coming from the windows of a townhouse at 220 Linden Drive at 14:02. P 33 reported heavy smoke coming from a row of townhouses on arrival. Firefighters pulled numerous attack lines to fight the fire and A 36 setup their tower.
The fire spread to 216 and 224 through the attic. Crews were pulled from the structure early to go defensive. Command requested A 34 to the scene and had them setup in front of P 33. The hot day was taking its toll on firefighters and Cambridge’s last truck, P 35 was requested to the scene. Two off-duty crews were called in to staff Tanker 31 and spare P 38. Ayr sent a pumper to stand by in the south end of the city, and Kitchener was put on standby.
One firefighter was taken to hospital with heat exhaustion. The bulk of the fire in the attic was knocked down two hours after arrival. Crews reentered 220 to knock down visible fire at the front of the unit. Once they extinguished the fire, command started to release some units around 16:40. Damage has been set at $1.5 million dollars but could be higher. The Ontario Fire Marshall was called in to assist Cambridge Fire Prevention in determining the cause. Box 690 provided rehab serving over 200 drinks at the fire. Photos taken 20 minutes into the call.
On 6/28/2020, Cambridge Fire Alarm struck a box for a reported fire on Cambridge Street. Companies found a fire between the first and second floors and after it was determined it had extended to the second floor, a second alarm was called.
As companies were fighting this fire, another fire broke out about five minutes away on Harvard Street when a dumpster next to a building caught fire. Boston Ladder 15, covering a Cambridge firehouse, was first due and reported the fire was extending to the building. Additional mutual aid companies responded to Harvard Street, and as the Cambridge St fire was placed under control some units were cleared and responded directly to the second fire.
Cambridge Ontario Fire covers portions of Wellington County under contract for first hour response. May 19, Cambridge Pump 31, 32, 35, Aerial 33, Rescue 31, Tanker 31, and Car 323 were dispatched to a structure fire on Elm Trail by Puslinch Lake at 08:30. Firefighters could see heavy smoke from kilometers away so they knew they had a working fire. P35 arrived on scene first, reporting a well-involved house fire, and pulled two 45 mm attack lines. Due to narrow roads, a 100 mm supply line was stretched between P32 and P35 from down the road where Tanker 31 could feed P32. P31 pulled in a laneway beside the house and pulled a 45 mm line to attack the fire. Command requested a full response from Puslinch Fire Department (Wellington County). Puslinch responded with a pumper, two tankers, and a rescue. Cambridge Aerial 34 was also requested by command for additional manpower. The bulk of the fire was knocked down in 25 minutes, with overhaul taking another hour. Puslinch Tanker 38 supplied water to Cambridge P31 once they arrived. Cambridge units returned at 10:30, Puslinch remained on scene for a few hours for fire watch. Box 690 provided rehab for the 33 firefighters on scene. Photos taken 30 minutes into the fire.
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.
The Cambridge Fire Department (ON) burned a large house and barn at 120 Blenheim Road May 1, 2019. Box 690 had been requested to provide rehab for the burn.
Lots of shots and video from the two burn downs, which are always fun to photograph. Firefighters had done some live-fire training on the house over the last couple of months. The buildings were being burned to allow a new house and garage to be built on the property.
Cambridge, (ON) P31, P35, A33, A34, R31, and Car 323 were dispatched to a structure fire at 201 Beverly St April 24 at 9:55. P35 reported they could see heavy smoke while responding to the fire. P35 arrived on scene reporting a large vacant building with heavy fire on the C – D side of the building extending from the first floor to the roof of the building.
Due to multiple previous fires at the former Joy Manufacturing building, all firefighting was defensive. There were holes in floors and needles throughout the structure. Police reported 12 homeless individuals were known to be living in the building.
Firefighters laid in from two hydrants to A34 and P35. A34 set up their aerial to attack the fire in the roof, while P35 pulled numerous lines to the rear of the plant. A33, a 60’ quint was replaced by A36, a 110’ platform which could reach the roof to pull off the fiberglass siding. Two piercing nozzles where used on the D side to get at the stubborn fire.
The fire was declared under control two hours after arrival. Primary and secondary searches where completed once the visibility in the building allowed firefighters safe access. Damage was set at $200,000. Box 690 provided rehab, photos taken 30 minutes into the fire.
Cambridge (ON) fire dispatch received a 9-1-1 call for fire in a large industrial complex February 22, 2019 at 19:25. A3, P1, A6, P2, R1, and Car 6 were dispatched on the first alarm. A3 arrived on scene reporting light smoke showing from a middle unit of a 225 x 60’ industrial building. The fire had a good hold of the roof. The roof was steel on top and bottom and had multiple layers of asphalt from repairs and new roofs added to the building over the years.
Both aerials and multiple hand lines were pulled to attack the fire as firefighters did what they could to peel the roofing off to get at the fire. The roof was buckling, so no firefighters were allowed near the seat of the fire. Trench cuts were made to stop the fire from spreading to adjacent units. This was a very stubborn fire. Overtime crews were called in to staff spare apparatus. All six stations and the overtime crews were rotated to the scene to fight the fire. The fire was not declared out until 8:25 the following morning after a lot of hard word. Box 690 provided rehab at the fire. Photos and video taken two hours into the fire.