It was about 3:40 AM on a work night when dispatch said there was a trash fire behind Shop Rite. I almost rolled over on the call, but I'm currently running for Lieutenant so I figured it'd be good to show my face for a B.S. call so close to the time I'd have to wake for work. Sleep's overrated anyway right?
Anyway, as I'm driving down, dispatch came through and changed the story 3 times, finally saying it was a trailer fire in the local Junk Yard. No drivers showed for our engine so we jumped on the ladder truck and pulled into the lot to see a huge plume of dark smoke above a heavy fire load at the base of a building. The main problem was a huge metal gate w/ a chain and padlock. We tried jamming a halligan through the padlock and beating on that with the flathead axe, but I got fed up and got the circular saw and cut through the chain in a matter of seconds.
My crew and I ran forward and the truck followed us, sneaking past the fire to get better positioning to put the ladder up behind the building. We stretched lines off the ladder truck as no engines had arrived yet, and just as we're about to throw it into pump, the Chief yelled to us to forget the line and to put the ladder up, as the fire was now climbing the side of the building. I saw how close we were to putting a fire-attack team into play so I ran and argued with the Truck chauffeur until he quickly threw the ladder into pump before going back to the ladder operations.
I oversaw two of our guys as they alternated keeping a 50 gallon metal drum of god-knows-what cool and attacking the actual fire on the building and rooftop. When they had it under control, I ran and grabbed 2 other guys and some tools and began working on the door to gain entry into the building. As I'm putzing around getting a halligan, one of my guys gave a swift mule kick to the door and it flew open. Not too smart if there was built up pressure and heat behind that door, but he swears to me that he checked it first.
We masked up and went in, surprised the visibility was great and there was only a light haze of smoke, and no visible fire. I was pulling a chain to open the huge garage door to vent when a captain from another company came over and started screaming "NO DON'T SHUT IT, OPEN IT." He was obviously confused on which way I was pulling the chain, and I yelled back for him to "calm the fuck down." ...Let's just say he didn't like that very much. He began yelling "what do you mean calm down? I AM CALM!!!!" Whatever. It was a misunderstanding and we both apologized to eachother later and it was squashed.
It was a smooth fire, we got outta there around 7 AM, I ran home, showered and went to work.