At about 7:25 p.m. on Saturday, August 15, a large fleet of fire trucks began to encircle the 14-story Diamond Terrace condominium located on the 400 block of Ninth Avenue in the East Village. The large SDFD presence attracted quite a bit of attention from pedestrians, residents, and shopkeepers.
“When I first heard sirens, I just ignored it,” said a resident. “But then the fire trucks just kept coming and coming.” Various fire vehicles were seen along Ninth Avenue and nearby J Street and Island Avenue. An onlooker said that several firefighters emptied out of the trucks and darted into the building.
As firefighters began to sweep through the high-rise, some occupants started looking out of their balconies, trying to figure out what was going on. On the ground, locals were equally puzzled and staring up at the building.
“Someone thought they saw smoke coming out of the building,” said a fireman holding a handheld radio on the corner of Ninth and Island. A few more radio conversations later, the man acknowledged that it was a false alarm.
Although there was no fire, a local homeowner remarked that she was impressed with the fire department’s response time and professionalism. Another man chuckled and said, “I would certainly hope they get here fast, the nearest fire station is on Sixth Avenue, just three blocks away.”