MARSHALL FIRE: ‘We used garden hoses as much as hoses to our engines’: West Metro details heroic efforts in Marshall fire

BOVERER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – Recovery efforts resume in Boulder County less than a month later Marshall Fire destroyed more than 1,000 homes and structures.

As time goes on, we continue to hear startling details about what happened in Marshall Fire, and heroic rescue efforts to save lives and property.

West Metro Fire was one of the fire agencies that helped provide assistance Marshall Fire.

They just released a video of what happens on the front lines to three West Metro firefighters in a Louisville neighborhood. You can watch the entire video in the player above.

Video recording

Send: Emergency traffic, we have many houses on fire

Radio traffic: I need someone to deal with an elderly woman who can’t be evacuated and her yard is on fire.

Captain Brendan Finnegan (Western Subway Fire): The Marshall Fire is approaching… you know it’s going to be a devastating day. Know that the wind is howling in the 100 mph range.

Captain Dan Wenger (West Metro Fire): The first thing I noticed was the number of houses on fire. It seemed that everywhere we went there were fully engaged houses.

Send: 5337 Marshall a structure about to be surpassed.

Mike Worcester (Western Subway Fire): We entered a neighborhood and there were burning houses on the street.

Send: The flame will move east.

Mike Worcester (Western Subway Fire): And this is a situation where a house is on fire and the whole thing is on fire, and because the whole thing is on fire and the wind is blowing and then the parts are on fire. its embers and smoke and fire, and everything burned around the neighborhood. And then the next house burned down. The Marshall Flame moved too fast. We had to determine if we could do anything for the house with the time we had, a few minutes.

Send: Cherry Vale Command, I have five resources for you at the moment. Do you need more help out there?

Captain Brendan Finnegan (West Metro Fire): We were certainly faced with the most challenging fire environment any of us had ever seen. The worst part, we call it the trio. There were houses that were beyond savings, but we were able to basically find that line in the sand and find a place where we could safely engage, we had the resources. The water supply is good and we have enough resources to stand on many houses, many with active fire suppression and structural protection.


“Nothing but background right here.”

“Yes, three houses in a row.”

“I think we stopped that. I think we’ll make a good stop at this house. “

“That house will definitely be captured.”

“Yes, we completely saved that house.”

Captain Dan Wenger (West Metro Fire): My initial thought when we dropped in and saw the terrible devastation, was where do we fit in? Where do we even start? That was my first thought. Where can we start participating in this fire, but in the safest way possible?

So we have to take a step back, assess the whole situation, see what we’re going through, what we expect the fire to do. And under the kinds of wind conditions we encountered, that was a bit of a mystery, as we saw the fire spread from house to house very quickly. And so we have to be careful about where we set up, where we decide to light a fire. But once we did, we had to make sure we could get our people out quickly if the fire spread as quickly as we’ve seen it spread.

Send: We want all units to operate in a safe area.

Captain Brendan Finnegan (West Metro Fire): We’re covering an area of ​​about 105 acres. But in that area, there are 21 streets that we’re patrolling, and about 384 structures, and a school. The resources assigned to me are Brush Engine 9 and Brush 17 from West Metro and Brush 21 from Golden, and Arvada Engine 56.

Radio traffic: Command Marshall I copied that message. Thanks.

Captain Brendan Finnegan (West Metro Fire): Starting with just four engines is already an astronomical mission. But as headquarters and divisions started taking in more machines, at one point we had 11 engines in total that we could send around that community and find any opportunity. to join to draw that boundary in the sand on that next street.

Tai Chiraffic: Go ahead.

Mike Worcester (West Metro Fire): That was on the first street we came across, where we parked our 9th brush and Arvada first class motor and had a water supply, so we decided to give it a try. on the sidewalk went between these two houses, and at this house there. So Arvada has this side of the street and West Metro has this side of the street. And we succeeded there.

We decided that this was where we were going to try and stop, that we were going to try to save this house, knowing that this house would probably burn down. And we succeeded in that. It took a long time because we had to wait, you know, that house was still going to burn down. And we did what we could to try and get it under control, but there was no way to save it.

So we were able to save the rest of the neighborhood with only one end of the street burning, which is tragic. There are still 16, 18 houses burned down, but we’re in a position, with the necessary resources, to be able to say, “we’re going to try and stay here.”

Captain Dan Wenger (West Metro Fire): In these situations, sometimes we can attach a faucet and sometimes we can’t. And so our water supply can be quite limited. We have determined that many homes have garden hoses in the area and that has been an unlimited supply of water for us for quite some time. It was actually quite effective, especially during the big ember storm then around 8pm, 9pm at night, we got a lot of embers falling on the house. We used the garden hose as much as our motor-outside hose.

Captain Brendan Finnegan (West Metro Fire): We have resources from across the state to show off on this. I think every organ works smoothly together, engaged in the battle of our lives.

Captain Dan Wenger (West Metro Fire): The common goal is to make change, to get involved and to try to save and protect as much property and lives as possible.

Radio traffic: 416. I will begin evacuating the area.

Captain Brendan Finnegan (West Metro Fire): Unfortunately, we lost some of the structures. But in the grand scheme of things, we saved more than we lost.

Radio traffic: I understand that we have the fire moving in that direction, we’re just trying to get people ahead of it.

Mike Worcester (West Metro Fire): I think that’s the hard part, it’s the easy thing when you’re in that situation, focus on what you’ve lost. But what I think we have to do is step back and remember the victories we’ve had, the saves we’ve been able to make, and focus on the fact that the devastation to those These families and businesses are almost incomprehensible. But we also had a lot of wins and we were able to contain the fire, not just in our department, but I know there are a lot of homes and businesses that haven’t been lost.

West Metro Fire says there are 384 homes in the neighborhood. Of those houses, 322 were saved and 62 were lost.

https://kdvr.com/news/boulder-wildfire-marshall-fire/we-used-garden-hoses-as-much-as-the-hoses-off-our-engine-west-metro-details-heroic-efforts-during-marshall-fire/ MARSHALL FIRE: ‘We used garden hoses as much as hoses to our engines’: West Metro details heroic efforts in Marshall fire

Tom Vazquez

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