Tons of Fire Trucks on Spring Rd, NW


Dear PoPville,

There are at least 4 full-sized fire trucks, 2 EMTs and 2 emergency SUVs all on Spring Rd NW between 13th and 14th Streets NW. I live on Holmead and heard the first 3 trucks pull through and have been poking my head out the door to see if I can tell what’s going on. Within the last 10 minutes or so the 2 SUVs came and are blocking the traffic moving between 13th and 14th. I can only see people coming in and out of a house on Spring (directly across from Holmead), but it doesn’t seem to be a hectic situation. I’m not sure what’s going on. The only thing I can think of is if someone called in a Carbon Monoxide issue or other type of gas leak, but I would think they’d bring a PepCo person out…Any ideas?”

7 Comment

  • My guess is a 911 call for a medical emergency. I often see them send out the full-sized firetrucks first, because firetrucks carry a more-highly-certified medic than ambulances do.
    But this is a peeve of mine: I often see massive public safety response to… ?? And of course, if it was someone having an asthma attack, it’s not going to end up on the twitter feed. I don’t like being uninformed when there’s that level of response. I think if they scramble that many vehicles and personnel, they should tell us why.

  • Could be someone reported a natural gas leak. This happened once in my building and 7 firetrucks came and blocked off two streets and the alley.

  • Ok, some facts first: fire trucks do not carry higher trained EMS provider. They are however sent because more often than not they can arrive sooner than an ambulance as they have more downtime between calls than ambulances do.

    DC is a dense city and in such places a standard fire response is aggressive should they’re actually be a fire. Fire departments do not send a small response first to see if there is a fire and then call for more. This means if someone callas reporting a fire the typical response is 4 engine companies, 2 ladder truck companies, and a rescue squad. Usually an ambulance and a chief officer (the SUVs) as well. To the layperson this seems like a lot. But each unit has a specify task should there me an actual fire and again there is no way they can know it isn’t until they arrive.

    So in conclusion, “tons” of fire trucks may ultimately be no fire. Or it can be a small fire quickly prevented from becoming a larger one due to a quick, aggressive response.

  • More info…Actually, Gary, in DC the fire truck may carry a higher-trained EMS provider. 20 of the DCFD’s engines (water carrier) are Paramedic Engine Companies and have at least 1 firefighter trained to the paramedic level. You are correct about the aggressive, front-end loaded response of the DCFD to fire calls.

  • There were quite a few (at least 4) fire trucks on Spring Road this morning from about 4:30 am to 6 am…couldn’t tell what they were doing. This was at Spring and 10th right off New Hampshire Avenue

  • I put together a website that records the DC Fire’s radio and lets you go back and listen to it later. Looks like it was a Carbon Monoxide alarm that went off, with the report of people sick:

    Sounds like 5 people were potentially inside:

  • This was a carbon monoxide issue. The fire department showed first to assess the situation after we called 911 when our detector went off. DCFD checked neighboring homes and confirmed the source from one home on the street related to their furnace. They will be addressing the fix promptly. Out of an abundance of caution and safety and considering the high levels of carbon monoxide, the ambulances were called to check on the residents. Thankfully everyone is ok and safe. Kudos to the DCFD for a fabulous response and help with what could have been a deadly situation! Make sure you have your own detectors/alarms installed!!

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