Royal Harbor Updates – 02/21/2014

First. The puppy was found.

 I am now getting data from the Fire chief on activities. Wednesday you may have noticed the smoke in the sky in the North along the beach. This is what happened. I thought I would pass this on so we can all see that the fire department does indeed put out fires. Here below the email from Chief McInerny in its entirety.

Good Evening – I am taking the opportunity this evening to reach out directly to all of our City of Naples high-rise and multiple family occupancy properties, board members, homeowner associations and even single family residents who wish to know what’s happening when it pertains to the City of Naples Fire-Rescue Department and our operations and/or activities.  We have unfortunately not done a good job in properly communicating our mission, operations, activities and/or our life-safety educational concerns to our customers and I would like to start correcting that communications concern.

 As you may be aware, we had a rather large fire occur yesterday (Wednesday, February 19, 2014) at 1919 Gulf Shore Boulevard North.  At approximately 14:42:02 hours a 9-1-1 call was received from the building manager of the Diplomat Club Condominium located at 1919 Gulf Shore Boulevard North reporting a vehicle on fire.  Several more 9-1-1 calls were received and the incident was ultimately upgraded to a building fire.  All units assigned to both Fire Station No. 1 and Fire Station No. 2 were dispatched to the fire under the command of Acting Battalion Chief Jerry Pecar as Battalion No. 1.

 A police officer (Bravo 5) was the first one on the scene at approximately 14:48:09 hours.  The first arriving Fire-Rescue Department unit was Tower Ladder Co. 2 arriving at approximately 14:50:36 hours or approximately 8 minutes and 34 seconds after receipt of the initial 9-1-1 call reporting heavy smoke showing.  Tower Ladder Co. 2 was staffed with only a driver-engineer as we were at minimum staffing.    

 Engine Co. 1 was assigned to layout the large diameter hydrant (LDH) supply line upon arrival and they were staffed with only two personnel due to minimum staffing.  The hydrant supply operation was difficult and complicated since the hydrant was located alongside the northbound lane of GSBN and the fire was located alongside the southbound lane with a divided median and that necessitated a U-turn while dropping hose.  So as a result, we were delayed in getting an attack line on the fire and an uninterrupted water supply established from the hydrant to the two trucks stretching attack hose lines on the north and south sides of the fire.

 The fire started in the southeast area of a carport located directly in front of the building.  When Tower Ladder Co. 2 arrived on the scene, fire was rapidly engulfing both the east and west sides of the carport and storage building and spreading to the north.  Fuel tanks were burning, exploding/rupturing and dispersing burning fuel that presented additional hazards and risks to our firefighters.  Firefighters resorted to foam operations to quell the burning fuel and tires.  It took three attack hose lines and approximately two-hours to extinguish all the pockets of fire.  Both the North Naples and East Naples Fire & Rescue Districts were requested to send engine companies to cover our two empty firehouses until we could free up our units from the fire scene.

 The carport provided cover for vehicles and also contained storage lockers/units.  Many of the storage units were engulfed in flames as well.  The fire destroyed at least seven vehicles including a scooter and there are at least four more vehicles with varying degrees of fire, heat and smoke damages.  The carport and unit storage structure is heavily damaged and threatening to collapse.  Heavy steel girders are twisted and the roof trusses for the carport roof are severely sagging.

 The State Fire Marshal’s Office was called in to assist with the investigation.  Since the building was structurally unsafe, the Police Department  preserved the scene overnight and until this morning.  Vehicles were moved from the building this morning so that the fire investigation could  commence.  There were no injuries to civilians and/or firefighters and as usual our personnel did the very best job that they could.  Damages are estimated to be in excess of $1 million dollars.  The fire investigation is continuing and we are looking at the possibility that the fire started with a car parked inside of the structure.  There were no sprinklers present.

 I have attached five photographs that depict our fire-rescue department operations and/or aftermath at the scene along with a video of the fire posted to Youtube and the Naples Daily News story on the fire.

 Here’s the Youtube link to video of the fire and turn up audio and you can hear the multitude of explosions that resulted from tires blowing and fuel tanks going.

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