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October 27, 2020

Tag: disaster_accident

Fire badly damages west MH home

A house fire in an east Morgan Hill neighborhood caused about $50,000 worth of structure damage Wednesday night, according to authorities.About 6:18 p.m. the 911 dispatch center received a call reporting the fire on Darnis Circle, according to CalFire Fire Prevention Specialist Pam Temmermand. The blaze started in the garage of the home, and spread to the attic, Temmermand said. Crews estimate about $50,000 worth of damage was inflicted by the blaze.The fire started accidentally, but authorities did not elaborate on the cause.No injuries were reported.  

UPDATED: Traffic accident ignites grass fire

A big-rig truck burst into flames after colliding with a Mitsubishi, igniting a grass fire that forced a 3.5-hour closure of U.S. 101 in San Benito County Tuesday morning, authorities said. The accident happened on Highway 129, just west of U.S. 101 about 12:10 p.m. Tuesday, according to a press release from California Highway Patrol Officer Tran. The 2003 Mitsubishi was traveling eastbound on Highway 129 at an unknown speed, and the 2007 Freightliner big-rig was traveling westbound, police said. The driver of the big-rig told officers he was traveling about 45 mph. As the two vehicles approached each other, one of them crossed the double yellow line resulting in a head-on collision, police said. The Mitsubishi came to rest on the right shoulder of the highway, partially blocking the eastbound lane, police said. The 21-year-old driver, an Aromas resident, was trapped inside the vehicle and was extricated by personnel from the Hollister Fire Department and the San Benito County Fire Department. He was airlifted to San Jose Regional Hospital with major injuries. The 2007 Freightliner careered out of control after the collision, and hit the metal guardrail and fell down a 41-foot dirt embankment off the right shoulder of westbound Highway 129, police said. The 37-year-old driver from Hanford was able to exit the vehicle “just seconds” before it became fully engulfed in flames. The driver reported minor injuries to paramedics. The resulting fire spread to surrounding vegetation, and area fire departments responded to extinguish the flames, authorities said. The aftermath of the collision, grass fire and cleanup of diesel fuel on the roadway closed U.S. 101 to traffic for about 3.5 hours, police said. The cause of the accident is still under investigation, and alcohol was not a factor, police said. 

San Martin garbage fire burns about 100 tons of material

Crews from five area fire departments were up all night extinguishing a giant garbage fire at the San Martin Transfer Station Friday, according to authorities. The cause of the fire at the garbage and recycling facility at 14070 Llagas Ave. is undetermined, but investigators do not think it was intentional, according to CalFire Battalion Chief Brandon Leitzke. The blaze burned in a pit of garbage and recyclable materials inside a roughly 5,000-square-foot metal building that is open on two sides to allow heavy equipment to sort through the discarded items for processing, Leitzke said. About 100 tons of garbage burned, but the fire only caused “minimal” damage to the building itself. Crews from CalFire, the South Santa Clara County Fire District and the Morgan Hill, Gilroy and San Jose fire departments worked through the night Friday and into Saturday morning to extinguish the fire, Leitzke said. The fire started just after 7 p.m. Friday. A firefighter injured his wrist while fighting the fire, Leitzke said. That was the only injury resulting from the incident. The San Martin Transfer Station is owned and operated by Recology South Valley. That company’s general manager, Phil Couchee, said they had to close the site to drop-offs from the public for a couple days, but they expect to reopen by Monday afternoon. “The firefighters did an outstanding job to contain (the fire) and manage it,” Couchee said. 

MHPD offers free disaster response training

Following a major disaster, fire, law enforcement and emergency services might not be able to meet the demand for services, according to Morgan Hill’s Emergency Services Office. Individuals and families will need to be self-sufficient for at least three days. That’s where training as a volunteer for the Community Emergency Response Team can be helpful, improving your understanding of how to be prepared and respond to a major disaster, according to Morgan Hill Emergency Services Director Jennifer Ponce. The FEMA-developed CERT curriculum delivers emergency preparedness skills and trains students in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. CERT basic training classes are free to South Santa Clara County residents. High school students are welcome, and will receive community service hours for this training, Ponce said. To register for CERT training, go to www.mhcert.com. Courses are on Tuesday evenings, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in the Morgan Hill Police Department’s Emergency Operations training room. On the last day of training, students will test their skills in a disaster simulation Saturday, Oct. 26. For more information about CERT training, contact the Morgan Hill Office of Emergency Services at (408) 776-7310, or [email protected]

Apartment patio fire extinguished in MH

Fire crews quickly extinguished a residential structure fire on the patio of an apartment complex Wednesday afternoon, authorities said. Fire trucks responded to the fire at 215 Del Monte Avenue about 4:30 p.m. CalFire Battalion Chief Brandon Leitzke called the blaze a “small fire,” and did not result in any injuries or significant damage. The initial investigation determined the fire was caused by a lit cigarette discarded “too close to combustible” materials, Leitzke said. 

UPDATED: Fire consumes more than 50 acres west of MH

After spending Friday afternoon extinguishing a fire that consumed about 50 acres of vegetation in west Morgan Hill, crews will spend the night “mopping up” the area and making sure all remaining hotspots are out, according to authorities.

Crews rush to burning jewelry case at T.J. Maxx

Fire crews responded to a report of smoke at T.J. Maxx Friday morning when an electrical box inside a jewelry case caught on fire, authorities said. No injuries and no major property damage were reported, according to the Morgan Hill Fire Department and the store manager. Crews from MHFD, CalFire and South County Fire District responded to the store at 401 Vineyard Town Center about 10 a.m.There was no visible fire when crews arrived, but firefighters located the source of the smoke inside a jewelry box, where a metal light and ballast case had caught on fire, MHFD Battalion Chief Tim Main said. “We were able to quickly isolate the fire under the jewelry case,” Main said. The responding emergency crews were “concerned,” however, to find that store employees had not evacuated the building of customers as soon as they noticed the fire, Main said. “Whenever there’s any smoke, folks need to evacuate,” Main said. The store remained busy with a steady stream of customers entering and exiting after the fire was extinguished, and while firefighters were leaving the area. “The fire department’s response was excellent,” T.J. Maxx manager Leticia Esnaurrizar said. 

Police to conduct DUI checkpoint July 19

Morgan Hill police will conduct a DUI and drivers license checkpoint Friday, July 19 at an undisclosed location inside the city limits.

Crews respond to two July 4 grass fires, likely caused by...

South County fire and EMS personnel responded to at least two vegetation fires July 4 that were likely ignited by unauthorized celebratory fireworks, but for the most part the Independence Day holiday didn't see any significant local fire or medical emergencies, according to authorities. CalFire responded to two grass fires near Morgan Hill Thursday night, according to CalFire Battalion Chief Brandon Leitzke. One of the fires was just off the U.S. 101 north of Morgan Hill, near the Coyote Creek Golf Course, Leitzke said. That fire burned less than an acre of grass and vegetation. Crews also responded to a grass fire on Murphy Springs Drive in northwest Morgan Hill, which burned about an acre of vegetation before it was extinguished, Leitzke said. Both fires were caused by residents setting off “illegal fireworks,” but neither blaze resulted in significant damage or any injuries, Leitzke said. The City of Morgan Hill prohibits the display of fireworks, except in public displays that are authorized, permitted, and supervised by the fire chief, according to the City's municipal code. In Gilroy, where quieter so-called “safe and sane” fireworks are permitted for sale and display only during the Independence Day holiday, crews did not respond to any calls related to fireworks, according to Gilroy Fire Division Chief Colin Martin. That's not to say there was any shortage of celebration - “You could hear (fireworks) everywhere,” Martin said, but the revelry incited no unusual need for emergency services. “It was uneventful, which is good,” Martin said.

Two-car collision reported on outskirts of downtown Morgan Hill

olice and paramedics responded to a head-on collision involving two vehicles that resulted in minor injuries near the intersection of East Dunne Avenue and Depot Street Thursday afternoon, authorities said.