(2)12:50 a.m. Lee discovers the fire when he steps outside, onto the deck. Returning inside, he accidentally leaves the sliding door to the deck open, allowing the wind to push the fire, burning inside the walls, toward the front of the house. His wife, Yvonne, puts their two sons in the car and backs out of the garage, leaving the door open, and creating a perfect tunnel for the raging winds.
(3)12:59 a.m. The crew from the Diamond Heights fire station -- Lt. Louis Mambretti, pump operator Gilbert Jacobs, firefighter Keith Onishi, and firefighter Melanie Stapper -- arrive at the scene. As pump operator, it is Jacobs' job to link a hose to a hydrant, but he makes a crucial, complicated mistake that renders the hose temporarily useless. The crew is left inside the house with only the 500 gallons of water in the tank of the fire engine, enough for about three minutes of spraying. Jacobs has insisted that he quickly fixed the hose problem; evidence and testimony from other firefighters strongly suggest the error deprived the crew of water.
(4)12:59 a.m. Battalion Chief Bob Boudoures, the official ultimately responsible for the safety of those fighting the fire, arrives. Although he apparently noticed firefighters in the garage when he arrived, he has admitted, in a sworn deposition, that he did not realize his firefighters were in the house later during the attempt to extinguish the fire, until someone heard a pounding on the garage door. The pounding came after Boudoures had called headquarters and declared the house to be "totally involved" with flames.
(5)1 a.m. Firefighter Jeffrey Barden arrives with another fire engine. He hears Jacobs yelling from his post by the hydrant, "We need water!"
(6)1:01 a.m. From the garage, Mambretti shoots water into the house through an interior doorway; within a minute, however, wind blowing from the back of the house slams that door closed. Onishi wedges a shoe rack into the door to keep it open. But the heat quickly becomes unbearable, and Mambretti calls for a retreat. Onishi discovers the main garage door has closed behind them. He begins kicking the door and yelling for help as he feels the first of three blasts of heat.
(7)1:02 a.m. Rescue crews arriving on the scene might have known that firefighters were inside the garage -- if the firefighters had activated their personal alarm devices. These alarms automatically emit a screeching sound if a firefighter lies on the ground for 20 seconds or more. But the three firefighters had not turned on their personal alarms upon arriving at the fire scene, even though such activation is required by law.
(8)1:05 a.m. Rescue efforts begin when a firefighter hears someone screaming, "Get me out of here!" from inside the garage. Firefighters outside hack at the door with axes, only to have them bounce off the door's plywood panels. Then firefighters attack the door with a chain saw and a circular saw; the machines conk out. The unsuccessful rescue attempts waste precious time.
(9)1:10 a.m. Five firefighters finally wrench open the door by hand. The men find Mambretti and Stapper lying face down on the floor. Onishi escapes with serious burns on his ears, neck, and hands. Mambretti is pronounced dead at the hospital. Stapper remains in a coma for weeks.
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