5-5-5 Transmitted for Warehouse Fire in Rochester
Photo by @JohnSpauldingTwo quints work on the 'C' side of the collapsed former warehouse.
Photo by @JohnSpauldingMultiple master streams and handlines work on the B side of the collapsed structure and try to protect the garages and homes that lined the street
Photo by @JohnSpaulding
Photo by @JohnSpauldingThe heat was extremely intense with a westerly prevailing wind.
ROCHESTER, NY - On March 13th just before 6:00 P.M., the Rochester Fire Department was dispatched to a warehouse fire in a mostly residential neighborhood at 301 Otis Street. The warehouse has had previous incidents, and a working fire was called by the first due engine company.
The Line Deputy Chief immediately called for an extra engine and then soon after a second-alarm assignment. The warehouse, now a type red vacant, was a former warehouse for the Wegmans Food Markets and still had old trailers in the driveway. 911 continuously fielded calls for a building on fire and smoke in the area. The last occupant of the property had stored pallets inside, and it was a known illegal shelter for the homeless. The third and fourth alarms of fire were quickly transmitted after a partial roof collapse.
The 'D' side of the structure was bordered by a spur line of railroad and was put out of service by command. The utility company was also expedited to the scene to secure any possible electrical or gas to the building.
Companies went to work on the 'B' side of the structure that stretched a block long to protect the garages and homes that bordered it.
All of the dwellings' occupants were evacuated to either neighbor's homes or a transit bus. There was a hose line stretched between nearly every structure and a fifth-alarm was transmitted. Five quints were being fed from various mains to supply the needed amount of water. After about five hours, almost all of the walls had collapsed inward and heavy equipment was brought in to assist in hot spots and overhaul.
The property had been in foreclosure since at least 2018 according to city records. The owner had not answered 15 code violations issued to him with fines of just over $11,000. It was purchased in 2004 for $325,000 and included 52,000-square-feet and encompassed over two acres.
The City of Rochester was also called to two other working fires during this incident. Mutual aid was already taking calls in the city from the departments in surrounding Monroe County, who also assisted at the other fires.
One firefighter was transported to the local trauma center for non-life-threatening injuries and was released the next day. The fire job was closed on the 14th at about 1:00 P.M.