NORCO: 2,500 hay bales, building, vehicle destroyed in suspected arson fire

NORCO – Firefighters spent several hours containing an early-morning structure fire at a feed store Monday, Jan. 30. The fire broke out at Tony’s Hay and Grain in the 1300 block of 6th street in Norco. The business employs about 25 people.

Firefighters spent over two hours bringing the stubborn blaze under control.

One hay barn, 2,500 hay bales, and one vehicle were destroyed by the fire, according to Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer Tawny Castro.

Firefighters and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the business about 1:51 a.m., after a person called 911 to report the fire to Riverside County emergency dispatchers.

Thirty-five firefighters from ten engine companies battled the blaze, according to Castro. They were assisted by a breathing support unit.

Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Norco station responded to the scene of the fire to assist with traffic and crowd control while firefighters battled the blaze.

Officials called for the temporary closure of Valley View and Sierra Avenues in both directions to ensure the safety of firefighters and other emergency first responders at the scene of the fire. City of Norco Public Works employees responded to the location to assist deputies with the closure of 6th street while firefighters worked to contain the fire.

Firefighters successfully knocked the fire down about 4:07 a.m.

Castro estimated the fire loss to be about $250,000; however, she explained firefighters efforts saved about $1 million in other property at the business.

NBC4 reported authorities arrested a man later Monday morning on suspicion of arson. According to the NBC4 report, CCTV security cameras captured the arsonist using what appeared to be gasoline to set the fire.

Sheriff’s officials have not yet identified or confirmed if any arrests were made in connection to the fire and there were no details regarding the investigation, which is active and ongoing.

There were no reported civilian or firefighter injuries reported.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery 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 in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including the Robert Presley Detention Center, the Southwest Station in Temecula, the Hemet Station, and the Lake Elsinore Station, along with many 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, Personnel and Background Investigations and he finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator.

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.

RIVERSIDE: Man who brought stolen vehicle to garage arrested by officer getting patrol car serviced

RIVERSIDE – A man driving a stolen vehicle was arrested Monday, Jan. 30, after he brought a stolen vehicle he was driving into a Riverside automotive business where a City of Riverside police officer was having his patrol vehicle serviced.

Frank Tornel was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle and several outstanding warrants.

The officer was at the business having his vehicle inspected and serviced about 11:20 a.m., “when he was alerted by a technician that the License Plate Reader alarm activated while being worked on,” according to Riverside police officials.

After the mechanic at the business notified the officer that his LPR had been activated the officer returned to his vehicle and discovered that another customer had just pulled into the service area driving a stolen vehicle.

The officer quickly identified and and safely detained the driver of the vehicle, who was identified as Frank Miguel Tornel, 31, of Riverside. The vehicle he had been driving had recently been reported stolen in Rancho Cucamonga.

The officer conducted a records check that revealed Tornel had several outstanding warrants for his arrest, including failure to appear on charges of brandishing a firearm, trespassing, and theft.

Tornel was arrested for his warrants and for possession of the stolen vehicle and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center.

An online jail records search revealed Tornell is being held in lieu of $25,000 bail and he is scheduled to be arraigned at the Riverside Hall of Justice Feb. 1.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery 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 in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including the Robert Presley Detention Center, the Southwest Station in Temecula, the Hemet Station, and the Lake Elsinore Station, along with many 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, Personnel and Background Investigations and he finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator.

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.

VALLE VISTA: “Young child” in serious condition after near-drowning

VALLE VISTA – A child suffered major injuries when they were pulled from a residential pool Tuesday morning, Jan. 31, according to a Cal Fire official. The near-drowning incident happened in the 25000 block of Bellview Street in the unincorporated community of Valle Vista.

The neighborhood where the incident happened is south of Charlton Avenue and west of Ramona Expressway.

Firefighters and other emergency first responders rushed to the home about 10:57 a.m., after Riverside County emergency dispatchers received a 911 call from a person reporting that a “young child” was found in a pool at the home, according to Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer Tawny Castro.

The child’s exact age was not released.

“The child was transported by ground ambulance in serious condition,” Castro explained.

There were no updates or any other information immediately available about the incident.

This is a developing story. Additional information will be updated as it becomes available.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery 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 in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including the Robert Presley Detention Center, the Southwest Station in Temecula, the Hemet Station, and the Lake Elsinore Station, along with many 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, Personnel and Background Investigations and he finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator.

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.

HEMET: Firefighters quickly extinguish fire at Applebee’s restaurant

Hemet Fire’s Truck One responded to the fire, which caused minor damage to the restaurant. J.P. Kemp/Epicenter News photo

HEMET – A fire at Applebee’s Grill and Bar prompted a city-wide response by City of Hemet firefighters Monday, Jan. 30. The popular local restaurant is in the 2500 block of W. Florida Avenue at the southwest intersection of Kirby Street in Hemet.

The fire was reported to City of Hemet emergency dispatchers shortly after 3:30 p.m., by employees and customers who called 911 to report heavy smoke filling the inside of the restaurant.

Firefighters from all five City of Hemet fire stations – including five engine companies, one truck company, and a paramedic squad – responded to reports of the restaurant fire. Hemet Fire Chief Scott Brown also responded to the fire.

The first arriving fire personnel arrived within minutes and reported observing moderate smoke and flames visible from vents in the side of the building and roof on the northeast corner of the building.

Firefighters immediately began searching the restaurant for the source of the fire, which was determined to have begun inside the wall of the restaurant’s chemical room near the kitchen and a side door.

A firefighter exits the restaurant near where the fire was located. J.P. Kemp/Epicenter News photo

After discovering the origin of the fire, firefighters mounted an aggressive fire attack. They quickly cut through the wall from both inside and outside the business, allowing them to extinguish the flames and keep the fire from advancing further into the business’s attic or into other parts of the restaurant.

While firefighters battled the fire, Applebee’s employees could be seen standing in the parking lot of the restaurant. Many used their cell phones to videotape and photograph the firefighters battling the fire, which one employee described as an “electrical fire” in a posting to social media.

Neither fire nor restaurant officials have released the actual cause of the fire, which is still under investigation.

While firefighters worked at bringing the fire under control, officials summoned Southern California Gas Company and Southern California Edison employees to the location to turn off utilities to the restaurant to ensure the safety of citizens, firefighters, and other emergency first responders at the business. 

City of Hemet fire officials and Chief Brown discuss the incident with Applebee’s manager Mansour Meschi. J.P. Kemp/Epicenter News photo

Firefighters had the fire knocked down in less than thirty minutes.

By 4:30 p.m., fire personnel had begun overhaul and mop-up operations. Resources were expected to remain at the scene of the fire for at least one hour after the fire was extinguished.

There were no citizen or firefighter injuries related to the fire.

After the fire was knocked down, Applebee’s employee J.T. Earhart – who credited the restaurant’s good escape plan and emergency policies and procedures with the employee’s quick actions – described what happened in the moments after the fire was first discovered.

In an interview with Hemet News’ Eddie George, Earhart said his first thought after the fire was discovered was, “Just get everyone out. That was my first instinct, just get everyone out.”

“Luckily (the fire happened) during the slow time,” Earhart explained. “We had an hour until our next rush came in so we didn’t have too many people (in the restaurant).”

Earhart, who said, “We just pretty much got everyone out as fast as possible,” estimated employees “were able to get everyone out within three minutes.”

While firefighters were beginning to clean up the scene of the fire, restaurant manager Mansour Meschi explained that employees first became aware of the fire after they noticed smoke pouring into the dining area from within the kitchen.

Hemet Fire Chief Scott Brown discusses the fire damage with Applebee’s manager Mansour Meschi. Eddie George/Hemet News photo

Meschi said employees called for the immediate evacuation of restaurant guests. While guests were being evacuated from the building, employees then called 911 to report the fire.

The restaurant sustained minor damage that will require repairs according to Earhart, who said on social media a fire chief estimated it would take at least one week to repair the building, which suffered minor to moderate interior and exterior damage.

It was not immediately known if the restaurant will remain open while the fire and smoke damage to the building is repaired; however Meschi speculated, “Most likely we will not be able to open tonight, but we might be able to open up tomorrow.”

Employees expressed on social media that they were hopeful the restaurant would be repaired and opened in time for next Sunday’s Super Bowl LI, between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.

Earhart was one of those employees expressing his hope that the restaurant would be able to reopen quickly.

“It’s pretty crazy. I wasn’t expecting a fire at work today,” Earhart explained. “I’m kind of bummed. I just wanted to make money, you know.”

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery 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 in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including the Robert Presley Detention Center, the Southwest Station in Temecula, the Hemet Station, and the Lake Elsinore Station, along with many 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, Personnel and Background Investigations and he finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator.

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.

UPDATED: MORENO VALLEY: Two, including 17-year-old, arrested after officer-involved shooting

UPDATE: Jan. 31, 1:30 p.m.

MORENO VALLEY – Riverside County Sheriff’s officials have released more details and information about Monday’s officer involved shooting. The shooting happened Jan. 30, at a private residence in the 23400 block of Challis Court in Moreno Valley.

Sheriff’s officials arrested Mona Sanders for charges related to a search warrant that resulted in an officer-involved shooting.

Two people, including a 17-year-old juvenile, were arrested after the shooting incident.

The shooting happened about 9:30 a.m., when members of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Moreno Valley PD’s Special Enforcement Team was serving a search warrant at the home.

“As officers made entry inside of the residence they encountered a suspect armed with a firearm and an officer involved shooting occurred,” Riverside Sheriff’s Public Information Officer Sergeant Chris Durham explained. “After the officer involved shooting, the suspect surrendered and was taken into custody.”

Nobody was struck by gunfire or injured during the shooting.

After the shooting, deputies arrested Mona Sanders, 38, of Moreno Valley, for fraud related charges.

The juvenile, who officials did not name due to his age, was arrested and booked into the Riverside County Juvenile Hall in Riverside.

The minor was arrested “for assault with a deadly weapon upon a peace officer, felon in possession of a firearm, and felon in possession of ammunition,” according to Durham.

“The officer involved in the shooting was placed on administrative leave per Department policy,” Durham said. “The involved officer’s name will not be released at this time.”

Based on the circumstances, investigators from the Riverside Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit responded and assumed the investigation. The Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit investigates all officer-involved shootings involving Riverside County Sheriff’s personnel.

An online jail records search revealed Sanders was booked into jail on suspicion of perjury, grand theft, and receiving benefits by false pretenses. She remains in jail in lieu of $32,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned at the Riverside Hall of Justice Feb. 1.

The investigation is active and ongoing, according to Durham.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact Central Homicide Investigator Bishop at (951) 955-2777 or Moreno Valley Police Detective Horn at (951) 486-6700. Callers can refer to incident file number MV170300123 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.

 

ORIGINAL STORY

MORENO VALLEY – Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies were involved in an officer-involved shooting Monday morning, Jan. 30. The shooting, which happened during the service of a search warrant, occurred at a private residence in the 23400 block of Challis Court in Moreno Valley. Challis Court, a small cul-de-sac, is located south of Cottonwood Avenue and west of Graham Street.

There were no reported injuries as a result of the shooting.

Moreno Valley High School, which is located directly across the street from the neighborhood where the shooting happened, was briefly locked down as a precaution after the shooting.

Riverside County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Chris Durham discusses an officer-involved shooting that happened Monday, Jan 30. Twitter

The incident began about 9:30 a.m., when deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Moreno Valley Special Enforcement Team served a search warrant at the residence, Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Durham said in a Twitter release. (See release below) 

While Durham discussed the shooting, a Moreno Valley Police Department Mobile Command Center could be seen arriving at the location.

“When the officers made entry into the home and began searching it they encountered a suspect armed with a firearm and an officer involved shooting occurred,” Durham said in the release.

Durham did not specify how many deputies discharged their firearms or how many rounds were fired during the shooting incident. He also did not immediately disclose if the suspect armed with the handgun fired his weapon at deputies who were serving the warrant.

Although Durham explained all suspects were accounted for, officials have not yet specified if there were any arrests related to the service of the search warrant or the shooting incident.

As with all Riverside County Sheriff related officer-involved shootings, investigators from the department’s Central Homicide Unit, members from the department’s Forensics Services Bureau, and other sheriff’s officials responded to the residence to investigate the shooting.

Challis Court remained blocked by yellow crime-scene tape several hours after the shooting, while sheriff’s officials collected evidence and photographed and documented the scene.

More information is expected to be released in a later press release.

The investigation is ongoing.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery 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 in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including the Robert Presley Detention Center, the Southwest Station in Temecula, the Hemet Station, and the Lake Elsinore Station, along with many 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, Personnel and Background Investigations and he finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator.

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.