Electrical Fire / Carbon Monoxide Incident at Highpoint of Hartsdale
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By HFD Staff/ Member Alan Zale
October 7, 2017

At 2212 hrs, Hartsdale Fire Dispatch received multiple calls reporting an odor of smoke with lights flickering at 100 High Point Drive. Hartsdale dispatched Car 2172, Engines 169, 171 with Fairview Ladder 1, Rescue 3, and Engine 176 per the Automatic Mutual Aid Agreement for the High Point at Hartsdale Complex. Due to the fact that Hartsdale Units were clearing an appliance fire on East Hartsdale Ave, Fairview Ladder 1 arrived on location first and updated Car 2172 of the situation. Car 2172 requested Con Ed Electric to respond on a priority response. Hartsdale units investigated the Electric Meter Room on the first floor and observed an odor of burning, smoke condition, and the sounds of loud arching from the room. The Engine 171 chauffeur immediately secured a Positive Water source and placed a supply hose line into the standpipe system. HFD members established a safe area around the meter room. Fairview FD members were sent to the floors above to assure that there was no fire extension or hazardous Carbon Monoxide Readings (CO). The Operations Officer reported that the fire was contained to the main electrical panel and the room was not safe to enter until the power was de-energized. Once, it was determined that there was no fire extension, members began use multi gas meters to monitor the atmosphere. Once units reported that there were elevated CO readings in the structure, Car 2172 transmitted a 10-75 (First Alarm Assignment) for additional staffing to assist with mitigating the emergency. Hartsdale Car 2171, 2173, 2174, Greenville F.D. Squad 15, White Plains Car 2511, TL-6 Scarsdale Fire Department Ladder 28 (F.A.S.T.), and GPD EMS were assigned to augment the units already operating. Command immediately instructed all units to utilize Positive Pressure Ventilation (PPV) Fans at the front door and Second Floor Rear entrance door to ventilate any CO as well as, pressurize the upper floor to prevent the travel of the CO to the upper floors. HFD and FFD members completed the arduous 9 story climb in over 75 pounds of gear to the roof and opened the bulk head doors to augment the ventilation operation. CO levels were present on the first and second floors and these floors were subsequently evacuated. Due to the efficiency of the PPV operation, the CO levels were contained to floors one, two, and the B Stairwell that was being used for the ventilation operation. The residents on floors 3-9 were allowed to shelter in place, as their floors did not have hazardous levels of CO. The evacuated residents were sent to the Monte Carlo Room in 200 High Point Drive. Car 2511 was assigned as a liaison to assist the evacuated residents. Upon the arrival of Con Edison Electric Representatives it was determined that, due to the main shut off being effected, the power would need to be secured for entire complex before they would be able to isolate 100 High Point Drive. Command then had to assign members to buildings 200, 300, 400 and 500 to secure all elevators to ensure no one would become stuck in the other buildings when power was shut down. Con Edison secured the power to the entire complex and, after isolating 100 High Point, they restored power to the rest of the complex. Members operating were continuously monitoring CO levels throughout the building to ensure the efficiency of the PPV operation. Units operating had to assist multiple residents from the building and retrieved of medication for residents from the vacated floors. Once the incident was placed under control, Command released all fire department at 1:36 am and turned the building over to building management for repairs. This was a difficult operation, due to the size, height (9 Stories), and location of the emergency. The assistance of mutual aid units allowed for the needed staffing to operate (approximately 30 members) and for tasks to be completed rapidly, consistent with safety. All members operated diligently and professionally to ensure a safe outcome. During this operation, the Hartsdale Fire District was covered by the an Engine from the Elmsford Fire Department and a Tower Ladder from the Eastchester Fire Department. Incidents like this, reinforce the benefit of the extensive training that continuously occurs in the Hartsdale Fire District and with our Mutual Aid Partners. As of Sunday, Hartsdale units returned numerous times to 100 High Point Drive to assist residents who needed to exit and were unable to use the elevators. Photos by Alan Zale

Units: Car 2171, Car 2172, Car 2173 Engine 169, Engine 171
Mutual Aid: Operated at the scene: Fairview F.D.: Car 2122, Car 2123, Engine 176, Ladder 1, Rescue 3 Greenville F.D.: Squad 15 Scarsdale F.D.: Ladder 28 White Plains F.D.: Car 2511 and Tower Ladder 6 Westchester DES Battalion 14 Relocations: Elmsford F.D. Car 2111 and Engine 237 Eastchester F.D. Tower Ladder 17
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Comment Comment 1 Comment(s)

Bob Adler October 11, 2017 at 5:08 PM
The last line of this incident description doesn't give sufficient credit to the firemen and officers who made those multiple trips into 100 Highpoint Drive on Sunday to help residents out without elevators. Especially those firemen going to the 9th floor to bring down elderly residents. They were reassuring, communicative and responsive to those of us on the outside who were unable to communicate with top floor residents because cutting the electric power in building 100 also cut off the landline phones and cellphone batteries had died by Sunday afternoon. They were also extremely communicative and patient with the frail residents they brought down with their possessions for an evacuation of unknown duration. One crew was headed by Chip Nanko on truck 169. I regret I didn't get the name of the officer/crew that relieved the 169 team. But they were superb and have our heartfelt thanks.

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