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Structure Fire-601 and 603 Parker Avenue, Rodeo

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March 8th, 2016
Posted to Press Releases by

DATE:   March 7th, 2016

TIME OF ALARM:   0857 hours

TYPE OF ALARM:   Multi-Family Residential Structure Fire

LOCATION:     601 and 603 Parker Avenue   Rodeo, CA

RESPONSE:    2 Truck Companies, 11 Engine Companies, 1 Squad Company, 1 Breathing support, 1 Training Captain, 2 Fire Chiefs, 1 Assistant Chief, 5 Battalion Chiefs and 1 Fire Investigation Captain

ASSISTING AGENCIES:   Rodeo-Hercules Fire District, Pinole Fire Department, Contra Costa County Fire District, Crockett-Carquinez Fire District, El Cerrito Fire Department, Richmond Fire Department, Moraga-Orinda Fire District, CCC Fire District EMS, PG&E, American Red Cross, CCC Sheriff’s Office, CHP and CCC Building Dept.



Property Saved:  Seventeen adjoining apartments and 1 adjacent apartment building (value of well over $1 million)


Property lost:  3 apartments were a total loss.  Several apartments sustained smoke and other minor damages.  Preliminary damage estimate is $500,000.

Cause:  Undetermined, not suspicious and likely accidental in nature.

All Concerned-

Rodeo-Hercules Fire – Engine 75 (Rodeo) and Engine 76 (Hercules), Pinole Fire – Engine 73 and Battalion 7, Contra Costa County Fire – Engine 69 (El Sobrante), Crockett-Carquinez Fire District – Truck 78 (Crockett) and El Cerrito Fire – Battalion 71 responded to a reported Residential Structure Fire in a two-story apartment building on Parker Avenue in Rodeo.

Upon arrival E75 found smoke coming from a middle downstairs unit of a two-story twenty unit apartment building.  As E75, 76 and 73 attempted to make an aggressive interior attack on the fire, they were met by an extreme accumulation of materials in the apartment.  This storage volume made it impossible for crews to reach the fire.  While the crews were trying to reach the fire, the fire grew rapidly.  The heavy volume of materials in the apartment contributed to the rapid fire growth.  This additional fuel load made the fire burn hotter and faster.  Battalion 7 assumed Incident Command and was assisted in managing the incident by FC 7500, FC 7300, BC71, BC2, BC4, El Cerrito FD’s Training BC, and a Con Fire AC.  As the apartment became heavily involved in fire, a second alarm was requested.  The second alarm brought Contra Costa County Squad 70 (San Pablo), Engine 13 (Martinez), Training Captain 10 and Battalion 2, Crockett-Carquinez Engine 78, Richmond Engines 61, 62, 66, Breathing Support 61 and Truck 64, and Orinda-Moraga Battalion 4.   The fire was threatening to extend into the adjoining and adjacent apartments and into the common attic of the building.  Firefighters from E75, E76 and E73 redeployed hoselines and began to extinguish the fire.  Engine 69 and E13 positioned at the rear of the apartments and deployed a 2 ½” hoseline to attack the fire that was threatening adjoining apartments and spreading to the attic.   Truck 78 and Truck 64 performed vertical ventilation.  Two additional engines were requested and Orinda-Moraga Engine 43 (Orinda) and Contra Costa County Engine 70 (San Pablo) responded to the scene.  Engine 78 and E76 extinguished the attic fire while E43 and E70 performed searches for any occupants or animals as well as for fire extension.  One deceased feline was found during these searches.  TC10 was the Incident Safety Officer.  Crews were able to contain the fire and confine the fire damage to the apartment of origin and the two second floor apartments located directly above.    Additional Firefighters secured the gas and electric utilities.  The adjoining and adjacent apartments were threatened by the fire.  Several adjoining apartments sustained minor smoke damage from the fire.

Both residents of the apartment where the fire originated were home at the time of the fire.  They had to be assisted out of their apartment by a neighbor and an off-duty Crockett-Carquinez Firefighter due to the excessive accumulation of materials and goods in the apartment.  Both of the residents sustained smoke inhalation injuries and were transported by Contra Costa County Fire District EMS to a local hospital for treatment.   All other residents of the apartment building were able to evacuate without injury.  The fire displaced the residents of all twenty units of the building.  The displaced residents are being assisted by the American Red Cross.  PG&E responded and assisted with the utility systems.  Contra Costa County Building Department assisted with evaluating the extent of damage to the structure.  The Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office and CHP provided traffic control.  Fire crews remained on scene until approximately 1530 hours when the building was released to the owner and his representatives.  This fire grew to the equivalent of a 3 Alarm Fire.

The cause of the fire was undetermined at the conclusion of the investigation, but it was likely accidental in nature.  There were no Firefighter injuries during this incident.  Due to the quick response and aggressive efforts of the fire agencies, the fire did not significantly damage seventeen of the apartments.  Additionally, the fire did not damage the apartment building located directly behind the building.

Contra Costa County Engines 2 (Pleasant Hill) and 17 (Lafayette), Crockett-Carquinez Engine 277 (Port Costa) and Moraga-Orinda Fire District Engine 43 (Orinda) provided coverage for Battalion 7 during this incident.

The fire department would like to use the opportunity presented by this unfortunate incident to remind the public that the excessive accumulation of materials in homes poses a significant threat to both those who live in the home and others who may enter the home, including firefighters.  In this instance, the occupants required the help of others to exit the burning apartment, firefighters could not reach the fire and the fire grew rapidly due to this excessive accumulation of materials.

Please contact the Rodeo-Hercules Fire District with any additional information needs.

In Service,

Steve Akre, Battalion Chief

Pinole Fire Department