Friday, August 26, 2011

On my way home yesterday northbound on I-35 service road, I saw a small plume of smoke. I looked over to the southbound service road (Pflugerville-Round Rock TX) and saw a brush fire growing with heavy fuel and light wind gusts propelling the fire. No PD of FD on scene yet. Given the amount of smoke and the fact a brush unit was putting out a fire on the other side of the highway, I assumed 911 had been called. I noticed it was close to involving a cabinet company showroom and manufacturing plant.

The staff of the cabinet store were trying to keep the fire back with garden hoses and fire extinguishers. I also saw a large propane tank. I quickly turned arouud to the southbound service road , parked my car in a safe spot, and told the PD that there was a propane tank involved and to relay to incoming units and keep . I shouted to the people to get away from the fire, their methods were futile, and come to the front of the building to safety. The owner let me know that there was another large propane tank in the back of the facility. Upon arrival of the first due engine, I let the officer know about this, and they made maneuvers to keep the fire away from the building as much as possible. They did not have a water supply besides the onboard tank, and later on in the incident mutual aid engines had to relay pump with 5 inch hoses for about half a mile, to the nearest hydrant south of the fire. Until then, most departments relied on their booster tankers. Round Rock FD, an urban department, has a tanker that responds with its brush truck. This water was used efficently enough to protect the building. Star Flight, our EMS-Fire-Rescue helicopter, provided aerial surveillance to the IC, and then initiated water drops. As of this writing, the fire is  100% contained and out. Numerous departments from Travis and Williamson County were on scene, and did an amazing job of keeping the fire contained despite the size and protecting numerous structures and civilians., and quickly containing the fire and extinguishing it.

I got some photos of these professionals in action, check out the link below to view my photos of the incident: