tom aurnhammer's

Fire Photography

Albuquerque, NM - 4801 Gibson Boulevard, SE

February 4th, 2011 at 1500 hours

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buffaloheadfire.org

A third alarm assignment was needed to control a fire in an Albuquerque apartment building on February 4th, 2011. The initial assignment was dispatched to 4801 Gibson Boulevard, SE at approximately 1500 hours. First arriving units reported heavy smoke and fire showing from the north side of the building. The fire generated a massive smoke plume visible from most of the Metro Area.

While there were no reports of injuries to the occupants, some firefighters were hurt. The injured firefighters were among four who fell through the floor from the second story to the first while conducting search operations at the Royal Crown Apartments, according to the Albuquerque Fire Department. Both suffered leg injuries, one had minor burn, and they were treated and released from University of New Mexico Hospital a few hours later, an AFD spokesperson said.

At approximately 1540 hours the incident commander decided to go to a defensive fire attack. The third alarm was struck because of the heavy fuel load in the large complex. Residents in the 47-unit complex were able to evacuate safely. The fire is believed to have started behind a washing machine in the first-floor laundry room. An electric cause is suspected, but AFD said the exact cause will be determined by a later investigation.