Swift fire response saves Hemet residence from blaze

A fence was burning out of control as flames threatened to extend to the residence. Michelle Leigh Leaverton photo

A fence was burning out of control as flames threatened to extend to the residence. Michelle Leigh Leaverton photo

HEMET – Multiple engine companies and officials from the Hemet Fire Department and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the report of a residential structure fire Saturday, Aug. 6. The fire was reported in the 4500 block of Brookside Drive near Harbor Court in Hemet.

Fire personnel were dispatched to the fire at 12:13 p.m. after nearby citizens began to flood the City of Hemet Communications Center with 911 calls reporting the rapidly growing fire.

There were no reported injuries; however, several residents from the home were reportedly displaced by the fire. The American Red Cross was later summoned to the scene of the fire to assist those displaced by the fire.

A battalion commander arrived on scene within minutes and reported a single family, single level residence was fully involved at the location. The battalion commander also advised the fire was quickly spreading from outside the residence and threatening the interior of the home.

3 Engine Companies responded to the blaze, which was brought under control about 20 minutes after their arrival. John Srangis photo

3 Engine Companies responded to the blaze, which was brought under control about 20 minutes after their arrival. John Srangis photo

Due to heavy vehicular and pedestrian traffic from curious onlookers, Hemet police officers were requested to the scene to assist with traffic control.

A California State Parks ranger who was in the area also responded to assist with crowd and traffic control.

The first three engine companies began arriving just seven minutes after the call was dispatched.

Firefighters immediately established a water source and began to fight the fire. Their fast response and swift actions contained the fire to the exterior of the residence and saved the house from becoming a total loss.

Firefighters had the fire knocked down and under control about 20 minutes after their arrival on the scene.

A fence, several trees and personal belongings on a side yard were destroyed and the exterior of one side of the house sustained slight damage. However, the aggressive fire attack by City of Hemet firefighters contained the fire to the exterior of the home and “kept the fire out of the living area and garage,” according to a social media posting by Hemet Firefighter’s Association Local 2342.

Before firefighters arrived, the fire was quickly spreading from a fence and trees to the residence. Will Whelan photo

Before firefighters arrived, the fire was quickly spreading from a fence and trees to the residence. Will Whelan photo

While firefighters were battling the blaze, citizens took to social media, posting photos and videos of the fire and the fire department’s quick actions that saved the home. (Click link for video of fire taken by Will Whelan)

After the fire was extinguished most of the engine companies cleared the scene to handle other emergency calls, while some fire resources remained on scene to conduct overhaul and mop up operations and ensure against any unexpected re-ignition.

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A Fire Incident Log shows the minute-by-minute updates, as provided by on-scene fire personnel. Trevor Montgomery – Riverside County News Source (RCNS)

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.

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