HEMET – Firefighters quickly knock down residential blaze

A City of Hemet firefighter from Engine Company 2 – one of the first to arrive at the fire – is seen battling the residential blaze. Courtesy photo from Hemet Fire Department – by Joe Fanaselle

First arriving firefighters reported finding a fence, tree and two homes beginning to burn. Hemet Fire Department - Joe Fanaselle photo

First arriving firefighters reported finding a fence, tree and two homes beginning to burn. Hemet Fire Department – Joe Fanaselle photo

HEMET – City of Hemet firefighters and other emergency personnel responded to a residential fire in the area of West Whittier Avenue and South Santa Fe Street Thursday, Sept. 29.

Firefighters from several engine companies and a truck company along with a battalion commander and medic squad were dispatched to multiple reports of the fire at about 3:05 p.m.

Firefighters from Hemet Fire’s Engine Company 2 were the first to arrive on scene and they reported smoke and flames coming from a large tree, a fence, and the eaves of two residential homes on fire.

Firefighters began an aggressive fire attack keeping the fire from spreading into the homes, at which time they discovered that live power lines had caught at least one of several overgrown trees on fire.

Firefighters from City of Hemet Fire Engine Company 2 prepare to begin fighting the residential fire. Fire Department - Joe Fanaselle photo

Firefighters from City of Hemet Fire Engine Company 2 prepare to begin fighting the residential fire. Fire Department – Joe Fanaselle photo

On scene fire personnel requested SoCal Edison to the scene to turn off power to the high-voltage power lines causing the tree to ignite.

At one point while fighting the fire, firefighters reported they were quickly running out of water and they requested assistance from the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department.

While waiting for SCE and Cal Fire, Hemet firefighters were able to extinguish the fire without assistance and reportedly had the fire knocked down at about 3:15 p.m. Cal Fire’s response was cancelled; however, Hemet firefighters had to remain on scene for several hours due to the power lines.

While SCE was en route to the location firefighters sprayed fire-resistant foam across the roof of the home that was below the tree and the live power lines to make sure flames did not reignite the home’s roof.

Once SCE shut down power to the high-voltage lines firefighters used a truck company’s ladder to assist a tree cutting crew that trimmed the overgrown tree away from the power lines, to ensure against re-ignition of the tree.

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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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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.

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