We were standing outside the station talking to a couple of the local PD officers when one of them said that we were getting a call. He gave us a location and said there was a mattress on fire. We jogged back into the station and jumped on the rig passing a very confused battalion chief on the way.
The air brakes released and we started rolling. Then the tones went off. Then the battalion chief stood there wondering how we knew of the call instead of where we were going.
On scene we found several people outside of a wood fence. On the other side of the fence there was a decent size fire going. My captain went over the the fence to clear the people out of the way and to open the gate. Fortunately there wasn't a lock or he would have had to break the fence.
I grabbed the bumper line and chose a path between all of the parked cars. I was careful to lay out my line in such a way that it wouldn't get kinked when there was water in it. The fire was consuming what was left of a queen size mattress. The wood fence and the house were both smoldering as well. Within second the fire was out. I then completely flooded the entire area to make sure there wouldn't be a rekindle.
After my engineer and I drained the hose and stowed it we joined my captain who was talking to the renter of the house. He said that he had found the mattress out in front of his house. The man had left it at the curb next to his trash bins for the garbageman but when he returned from work the mattress was still there.
That's when genius struck and the guy decided to torch the bed. It was obvious he never anticipated how big the fire would get. He had the mattress on the side of his house where it was touching a wood fence on two sides and the house on another. We got the call because a police officer had been driving by on the way to another call and saw flames licking the eves.