Fire times 2: Calls during same time keep firefighters busyFire departments in Jamestown were stretched thin Friday morning with two house fire calls at the same time. The Jamestown Fire Department was also hampered by communications problems with its paging system.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
Fire departments in Jamestown were stretched thin Friday morning with two house fire calls at the same time. The Jamestown Fire Department was also hampered by communications problems with its paging system.
“The paging system was down at the time,” said Jim Reuther, Jamestown fire chief. “The city firefighters were called by phone to respond to the fire,” referring to the first house fire.
Reuther said the Jamestown Rural Fire Department was paged out to assist because its paging system was working.
Jerry Kainz, Jamestown deputy fire chief, said the first fire was reported at 6:49 a.m. A house at 616 Second Ave. NW was fully involved. The house was unoccupied at the time.
“We have mutual aid agreements just for these situations,” Kainz said. “We had about 28 JFD people and about 13 rural firefighters involved fighting the fire.”
The units used the remote-controlled deluge hose to attack the fire from the outside and added the ladder truck to fight the fire from the roof and second floor windows. The deluge hose is mounted on the top of the pumper truck and provides a high volume of water to the exterior of the structure.
“At 8:25 we received another fire call,” Kainz said. “We dispatched the rural team that was with us and one company of city firefighters.”
They responded to a kitchen fire at 1108 Sixth Ave. SE. The fire started at the stove and caused extensive damage in the kitchen although the home was released to the residents after the blaze. A couple with three children lives in the home.
“The rural firefighters knocked down that fire,” Reuther said. “They handled almost everything there.”
The units cleared the second fire at 9:08 a.m.
“By then we had the first fire in hand and released the rural firefighters,” Kainz said.
Reuther said technicians were still attempting to isolate the problems with the paging system Friday afternoon.
“It’s all being tested,” he said. “They are working on it but it is not fully working.”
The Jamestown Fire Department remained on the scene of the first fire until 10:15 a.m. Fire units were called back to the scene of that fire at about 4:30 p.m. when flames flared up.
Property owners at both fires received assistance from the Buffalo Valley Chapter of the Red Cross.
No damage estimates were available for either fire and both remain under investigation.
Two firefighters received minor injuries fighting the blazes. One Jamestown police officer was injured when he slipped and fell on ice at the scene of the fire.
Kainz said fighting two fires at one time is a rare occurrence.
“As near as I can recall, this has happened maybe four times in the 44 years I’ve been associated with the fire department,” Kainz said. “Most of the other times were grass fires during dry summers.”
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at email@example.com