Kitchener Ontario firefighters responded to a townhouse complex under construction August 24 at 19:50 hours. The large complex had fire showing on the end unit with extension into the next unit on the B side. Six of the seven stations were eventually dispatched to the fire. The three-story building of origin collapsed within six minutes of the fire department’s arrival. Five pumpers, two quints, a heavy rescue, and the Platoon Chief responded to the call.
Three pumpers set up at the rear of the complex on Manor Drive to protect houses from radiant heat and to knock down wooden fencing and decks that were on fire. Firefighters picked up two hydrants and pulled multiple lines to protect the houses. A number of houses had cracked windows, melted siding and melted roofing. Firefighters worked in very hot conditions to prevent the homes from catching fire.
At the front of the building, both quints set up and firefighters tapped into three hydrants. Multiple lines were pulled and the deck gun was used by P 11 once the water pressure was boosted in the area. The fire was brought under control in 45 minutes. Twenty eight units were damaged or lost in the fire. Total loss has been pegged at $2,000,000. Shots start 20 minutes after firefighters arrived. Attached link has good early video from fire.
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.
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.
Fire dispatch toned out Wellesley and Linwood for a possible barn fire on Manser Road near Streicher Line July 4, at 12:30. A passing Mennonite farmer called 911 and was able to get the cattle out of the barn before firefighters arrived. The Wellesley deputy chief saw light white smoke on approach and once on scene reported a well-involved barn fire. He requested St Clements, Box 690, and two tankers from Baden on the third alarm.
Linwood’s pumper setup 40 meters from the barn. Initially they drafted water from a port-a-tank while crews were setting up at the road to relay pump up to them. Water was shuttled from a fire cistern in Crosshill approximately 4.5 km from the scene. Once the tank was drained, tankers had to go to Wellesley pond (7 km) for water. Normally firefighters would use hydrants in town, but water levels in the reservoir were low due to the hot, dry conditions over the previous week. Regional water engineers asked them to use hydrants in St Clements.
The barn collapsed less than 15 minutes into the call. Firefighters pulled numerous small and large lines around the structure. Once the fire was contained, crews let it burn until a back hoe arrived around to pull the barn apart. Fire was declared out at 18:00. Box 690 served 185 cold drinks to firefighters. Southern Ontario has had very hot and dry weather from the end of June to July 10, with daily heat advisories from July 5-10. Photos and video start 35 minutes after firefighters arrived.
Kitchener Pump 14 , Pump 16, Aerial 11, Rescue 11, and the Platoon chief were dispatched to Costco on King St for a possible fire June 25 at 23:30. Responding firefighters received an update that the fire was at the Value Village across the street on Gateway Park Drive The fire was initially thought to be at the loading dock but it was a trailer on fire. Tower 13 was added to the call on this report.
Pump 14 reported smoke and flames visible as they neared the scene. A 53’ trailer parked in the loading dock was fully-involved only a few feet from the large store, and there were two other nearby trailers. Pump 16 picked up a hydrant for Pump 14, and Aerial 11 picked up a second hydrant at the rear as they pulled in. Crews pulled large lines and set up a blitz fire while Aerial 11 checked the roof.
A passing truck stopped and offered to help by moving the trailer. Command asked the driver to pull the trailer away from the dock. Once the trailer was moved firefighters confirmed there was no extension into the structure. The trailer was full of donations including clothes, toys, and household materials. The fire took a couple of hours to fully extinguish. Due to the trailer being compromised no firefighters were allowed inside it. Box 690 provided rehab to the 19 firefighters on scene. Photos start 15 minutes after crews arrived.
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.