On 7-24-2012 the Salisbury Fire Department was dispatched for a reported building fire at 671 Fitzwater Street. PM16 arrived on location with smoke showing from a second floor window and reported all occupants out of the building. Deputy Chief 1 arrived on location with a two-story multi-unit row house with smoke showing from the #7 unit. The entire building has eight (8) total units with six (6) exposure units on the "B" side and one (1) exposure on the "D" side. This unit contains several one room apartments with a shared kitchen and bathroom on both floors. Reporting party stated that the fire started in the kitchen area on the #2 floor due to grease on the stove with extension into common living area. Engine 16 arrived on location, established water supply with dual 3" lines from hydrant located at the corner of Hill St & Fitzwater St. Crew advanced handlines up to the second floor and encountered dense smoke conditions throughout the second floor. Truck 1 arrived on location and was positioned in front of Engine 16 on the "A" side of the building. Their assignment was to assist the engine crew by performing horizontal ventilation and search. The driver/operator of Truck 1 positioned the aerial device to the roof. Truck 2 arrived on location and was positioned on side "A" near the "AB" corner. Their assignment was to throw ground ladders and control utilities. Engine 2 arrived on location and searched the "B" & "D" exposure apartment for civilians and any fire extension. Engine 1 arrived and took position of the "C" side and assisted with overhaul.
As the crews were advancing the hoseline, conditions worsened with fire extension out the second floor "C" side windows and into the common cockloft area. Fire began to travel in the open area above the ceiling due to the deteriorating conditions on the second floor. Once this occurred, crews operating on the second floor requested vertical ventilation be performed. The crew of Truck 2 performed the roof ventilation. The fire was extinguished and crews performed extensive overhaul.
As a result of the fire several occupants had to be relocated. Command requested the assistance of the Red Cross and a representative of GN&I Properties to respond to the scene. There were no operating smoke alarms in this rowhouse unit.Prior to leaving the scene, crews verified that all adjoining units had working smoke alarms and if not, SFD members installed new battery operating ones.
Story By: Deputy Chief Tull