Firefighters knock out blaze in Gilroy garage

July 27 structure fire in Gilroy

GILROY—A family of three living inside a garage in a home along the 400 block of Fairview Drive was displaced Monday, after the building caught fire just before 11 a.m. Gilroy firefighters extinguished the structure fire within 15 minutes, according to Gilroy Fire Department Division Chief Chris Weber.
When GFD Engine 49 first arrived on-scene, the garage was fully engulfed in flames, Weber told the Dispatch. Authorities received a call about the fire at 10:48 a.m., he said.
“They (firefighters) managed to knock it down with tank water, using less than 600 gallons to extinguish the fire,” he said, adding a column of black smoke was visible clear across town.
Two adults and a child were living in the garage at the time the fire started. One adult, Weber added, was transported to Valley Medical Center to receive treatment for respiratory distress, possibly due to smoke inhalation.
The cause remains under investigation, but at this time firefighters do not suspect malicious activity or foul play, he said.
As firefighters hauled out loads of burnt belongings, from full-size speakers to a bicycle and smoldering wall panels, residents of the nearby homes stood in the alley to watch.
At around 11:20 a.m., firefighters walked through the garage and adjacent rooms looking for areas where the fire might have been hiding. One GFD firefighter used a hand tool to strip panels off the wall as smoke rose through openings in the roof.
“The objective (after the fire was put out) is to expose any hidden areas and ensure the fire is extinguished,” Weber said. “Sometimes, in order to do that, we have to pull walls and ceiling to make sure the fire hasn’t crept up between the stud bay or is smoldering in the attic. It’s the dirty, messy work that comes with firefighting.”
The American Red Cross will make arrangements with the displaced residents for temporary shelter, he added.