On Saturday, December 24, 2016 at 1309 hours, the Southern Manatee Fire Rescue District Engine 312, Engine 311, Engine 321, Medic 13 and Battalion 3 responded to a report of a commercial structure fire at 5715 15th Street East, AKA the Mexicana Flea Market.
When Station 1 units pulled out onto 15th Street they reported to ECC that they had heavy black smoke showing. Within 3 minutes Engine 312 arrived on scene and reported a “Working Fire – Heavy Fire Conditions” in the middle of this 16,000 plus square feet commercial building with exposures.
As soon as Battalion 3 arrived on scene he took command and requested a 2 Alarm which brought Engine 331 and Truck 343. While waiting for the arrival of these apparatus, Engine 311, 321 and 321 were busy in securing a water source, search & rescue, protecting nearby exposures and applying water and Class A on the main body of the fire.
As soon as the 2nd alarm units arrived, Command established Safety and Operations. Additional water sources were established and 2.5″ hose lines were put into operation to back up the many 1.75″ hose lines. Truck 343 was instructed to use their elevated master stream to assist in fire control.
Command then requested a 3rd alarm and received Engine 351 and Cedar Hammock Engine 211 to assist in fire suppression. EMS was on scene and established the Rehab section for our personnel. Command also requested the assistance of the Division of Forestry for their assistance with their heavy tractors not only to assist in the few brush fires that occurred but also they were utilized for their heavy tractors to pull / push walls down to get to the seat of the fire.
Command declared the fire under control at 1500 hours. Fire Marshal Adent and Inspector Reed assisted the State Fire Marshal in trying to determine the cause of this fire. At this time the fire is still under investigation.
Because of new technology on our fire apparatus, it was determined that we flowed an estimated 420,000 gallons of water to put this fire out. “B-Shift” did an outstanding job in preventing this fire from spreading to the many adjacent buildings.