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Holiday Week at the Chili Fire Department

posted Jan 7, 2018, 4:27 PM by Chili Fire   [ updated Jan 7, 2018, 4:32 PM ]

Recap of December Fires - Chili Fire Department

During the week immediately following Christmas the Chili Fire Department experienced four major fires within a 48-hour period. This kind of resource utilization in a single period was historic. For reference; we typically expend an average of 425 man-hours monthly in responding to the emergency needs of the community. In this five days we provided more than double the average monthly manpower requirements, delivering over 850 hours of “on the job” time responding to incidents within the District. This time has also been supplemented with additional manpower (estimated at another 200 hours) restoring equipment and apparatus to service after these major events. These support activities include picking up, cleaning and reloading several thousand feet of hose, restoring all equipment (saws, hand tools, air packs, fans, etc.) to operating condition and maintaining the apparatus. To further complicate the in-service tasks, activities were considerably more difficult and magnified by the sub-zero weather conditions we encountered!


Monday’s first call, at 7:00 a.m. (on Christmas Day) was a motor vehicle accident. The driver, after experiencing a medical event, had driven his car off the road and into the basement of First Baptist Church on Chili Avenue causing significant structural damage to the facility. He was quickly extricated from the vehicle and transported to the hospital. The vehicle was carefully removed, and the building was secured. This initial call turned out to be the start. On Tuesday, we began a 48-hour period that was extraordinary.

At approximately 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, we received the report of a building fire (a shed with exposures and a reported injury) on Ballantyne Road. Upon arrival, the units encountered a fully involved two-story shed located within 20 feet of the residence. In addition, the homeowner, who had been injured from a propane explosion, needed immediate medical attention. The Chili response consisted of a ladder, 3 engines and 3 rescue vehicles. Our response was also supplemented by an automatic mutual aid response from the Henrietta Fire Department (one engine) to the scene. The fire was confined to the shed with no extension to the home. The units remained on scene until approximately 4:00 p.m.

That same evening, at approximately 7:50 p.m., while most of our stations were holding their monthly meetings, we received an alarm for a structure fire with the occupants yelling “the house is on fire” on Chili Avenue. The location of this incident is immediately to the east of our Company #3. Upon arrival to the three- story, balloon construction residence, the first units encountered fire in the basement and smoke conditions throughout the entire house. With the residents already out of the building, an interior attack was begun, however, conditions quickly deteriorated, and crews were forced to evacuate the structure and transitioned to an exterior attack. Chili had two ladders, four pumpers and two rescues on the scene. Additional scene resources were provided by Clifton, Churchville, and Gates Fire Departments with which we owe a great thanks. Crews from Mumford, Scottsville and Spencerport staffed Chili stations during this event, who we are also thankful for. The last units left the scene at approximately 1:20 a.m. early on Wednesday morning although cleaning and in-service activities continued after 2AM.

Within an hour and a half of clearing the Chili Avenue job, we were called out again with flames coming from a twelve-unit apartment building and people jumping from the windows at the Parklands of Chili. Even before any apparatus went “en route”, additional resources were being requested based on the initial reports, weather conditions and manpower considerations. Upon arrival, first due unit (Chief) 4C13 and Ladder 4320 observed several units fully involved with flames extending from the ground floor through the second floor and into the attic space. With all residents accounted for, a defensive, exterior attack was initiated. The six apartment units located in the middle of the building sustained heavy fire damage, while the other apartments sustained smoke and water damage. Chili had both of their ladders, two pumpers and two rescues on the scene. Additional resources were provided at the scene by Bergen, Clifton, Churchville, Gates, Mumford, Scottsville and Spencerport Fire Departments. Crews from Henrietta, North Greece, the City of Rochester and Gates covered at Chili stations during this time. Again, we are incredible thankful for the mutual assistance provided by neighboring agencies.

Although units cleared Parklands and returned equipment and apparatus to service our work for the week was not complete yet. At approximately 5:00 a.m. on Thursday morning we were dispatched again, for our fourth structure fire within 48 hours to another working fire on Ballantyne Road. At the time of dispatch, multiple calls were received for flames coming from the basement windows. A full assignment from Chili was deployed as well as supplemental resources automatically from Henrietta. As the call unfolded the house was determined to be unoccupied. Given the damage the house sustained, it was declared to be a total loss and demolition was completed by the Town Highway Department.

Although we have experienced an unprecedented workload over that week, we remain committed and ready to enthusiastically respond to any call for service.

The Monroe County Mutual Aid Response Plan provides coordinated assistance to local departments in the event of major incidents. Over the last several days the following agencies were called upon for assistance at the scene or to provide fill ins to stations in Chili and/or surrounding fire companies who were assisting the Chili Fire Department.

Bergen            Brighton                Churchville

Clifton             Gates                    Henrietta

Mumford         North Greece        City of Rochester

Scottsville       Spencerport          Monroe County Fire Bureau

A special note of thanks goes out to the Brighton Fire Department who responded to Chili on Thursday 28-December, providing an overnight crew to supplement our resources giving our staff a well-deserved break from the action.

In addition, the Department would like to acknowledge assistance received from the following agencies:

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office         Town of Chili – Highway, Buildings, Fire Marshall

Monroe County Water Authority        Regional Transit System

CFD Ladies Auxiliary

Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the citizens of Chili for their support during this time. Our crews were provided hot beverages, from neighbors, at the scene of several incidents. Other Town residents stopped by the firehouses to deliver coffee and food. Several business owners also stopped to drop off food and inquired of any “special requests” we might have.

We are humbled by this support and offer our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all who were so thoughtful.


Members of the Chili Fire Department