Posted by runner, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2010 at 6:59 am
Confirming the last posters comments - I was out for a run and the fire department wasn't there when the flames were shooting 20+ feet in the air...the neighbor with the hose (and the shed burning down to almost nothing) put the fire out. Thankfully the recent rain had everything damp and probably kept the fire from spreading to the beautiful house while we stood there waiting for the fire department.
Posted by Call 911 from a land line!, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2010 at 9:14 am
A reminder to us all--this ended well, but the delay in response could be because the neighbor who initially saw the smoke called 911 from a cell phone, not a land line. Those calls don't go to local dispatch and have to be rerouted to the appropriate emergency service area.
Bravo to the neighbor who saved the day (and the house!) with the hose!
Posted by Amory Gutierrez, Danville Express, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2010 at 10:17 am
Remember to program your local police department's phone number in your cell phone, rather than calling 911. Like the above commenter said, the calls don't go to the local dispatch and are rerouted and the response time is longer.
Danville Police Department's phone number is (925) 314-3700.
Posted by Chris, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2010 at 10:21 am
I am the homeowner. I'd like to thank all the neighbors who picked up hoses to spray, and phones to call the Fire dept. We are very lucky indeed! The fire was mostly confined to the chicken coop, which was a total loss. The wall of the house was singed, two widows melted/broke, and a bit of smoke damage.
I work in Oakland, and by the time I got home the fire was out. My wife got here sooner. She reports that while the efforts of the neighbors were helpful, the fire department did quench the blaze. It turns out that while the neighborhood crew was squirting fro the front, she ran around the back and squirted from that side until the fire department came.
As for the commentary above - calling 911 from a cell is a last resort. Always use a land line if you can. Even better, program the actual fire department and/or police department numbers into your phone. They are much faster than 911.
Posted by the neighbor, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2010 at 8:04 pm
I am the neighbor who was DRIVING by and saw the fire first. My apologies for not using a land line - don't have one in my car. I beat on the door, found no one home, went around back, saw the chickens grouped in corner as far from the fire as they could be, which unfortunately was about 24 inches from the coop door, which was towards the fire. As the flames were hot enough to burn my face (which they did), I managed to open the door to the coop and scared out the rooster and one chicken, which both escaped. I'm sorry the other two didn't make it out, it was extremely hot - I tried my best.
And I will say the delay was 15 minutes, then it took another 4-5 to hook up the hoses to the hydrant and get pressure. By that time, for all intents and purposes, the fire was out (I was spraying it with the hose from the front yard over the fence, so I should know). It was hot enough to melt the vinyl windows, and I can honestly say the fire would've spread into the house had that not been wet down with the garden hose.
Incidentally, there was also a Siamese cat in the front yard in a racoon trap which I released - it was in a state of sheer panic being that close to the fire; so whoever owns the freaked-out Siamese, you know why.
Like I said, apologies to all for not using a land line. Next time I'll just drive on by. Will save me a sunburn.
Posted by Sandra, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2010 at 11:49 am
neighbor, no one is implying you did the wrong thing. The suggestions are to all of us as a KIND reminder to program emergency numbers into our cell phones as a way to quicken emergency response teams in these situations. You can take those suggestions in the spirit intended or brood about being singled out and not properly idolized for responding to the fire - your choice.