Published: Jul 14, 2010 10:25 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 14, 2010 7:30 PM EDT

Carl L. Schwing, City Manager
Bill Van Heiden, Fire
Tom Tomich, Division Chief of Operations
July 14, 2010
Structure Fire at 220 N.W. 10th Terrace
On Tuesday, July 13, 2010, the City of Cape Coral Fire Department responded to a
working structure fire at 220 N.W. 10th Terrace. The fire appears to have started inside
the garage of the structure. The fire spread to the roof of the structure and began
burning in the attic spaces of the home. The exact cause of the fire is still under
A normal fire response was dispatched after the 911 call was received; this response
consisted of three Engines, a Rescue, a Ladder truck, and a Water Tender (due to the
locations lack of hydrants in the area). Also responding, was the Battalion Chief for that
sector of the City, the Chief-on-Call, and the central sector Battalion Chief to serve as
Safety Officer. Lee County EMS was also dispatched to the scene. The Matlacha-Pine
Island Fire Department was also requested for their water tanker by the Battalion Chief.
Upon arrival with three Engines, the fire conditions presented a heavy fire load in the
garage and living room of the house with vertical extension to the roof above the
garage. There was also an SUV in the driveway close to the garage that was on fire.
Units immediately advanced a hose line to the garage to knock down the fire as the
second Engine advanced a line to the front door for interior fire attack. The third Engine
was detailed to interior search and rescue duties. There was a fire victim who had
serious injuries.
A rescue unit, a ladder truck, and a water-tender arrived at the scene after the initial
Engines had begun their fire operation. A sustained water supply was ordered by the
Carl L. Schwing - Structure Fire at 220 N.W. 10th Terrace
July 14, 2010
Page 2 of 2
Battalion Chief which was acted upon by Truck 7 and the Water Tender, which was
labor intensive. There was never a statement made that the Fire Department did not
have sufficient personnel for the fire attack. There was a normal first alarm assignment
dispatched to the fire scene.
The fire engulfed the roof of the structure. Immediately after the primary search had
been conducted and with no additional victims found inside, the tactical decision was
made to fight the fire defensively from outside the structure. The roof had weakened
considerably by that time, and it was no longer safe to have personnel inside.
Due to the extreme heat of the day our personnel required rehab services due to
fatigue, some of whom had to go into awaiting ambulances for cooling and medical
observation. This is a necessary stage of the operation to make sure that heat stress or
heat stroke is not a threat to the health and safety of the firefighting personnel. It was
initially stated that firefighters may have received I.V. treatment during the rehab
process, but that was not factual in this case. This is the stage of the Fire Operation
where the additional staffing becomes important for replacing fatigued personnel for the
remaining duties.
With three Rescue units in delayed or browned-out status, as well as additional calls for
service normally occurring in the City, the immediate reduction in staffing did have an
effect on the ability to rotate fresh crews into the scene to continue the overhaul period
of the operation.
The effect of reduced staffing can diminish the department's ability to respond to
multiple calls for service, conduct necessary training, or respond to back-to-back fires
depending on the immediate volume of calls for service.
TT/BVH: bb