MEAD VALLEY: Two firefighters injured battling blaze that destroyed home
MEAD VALLEY — Two firefighters sustained minor injuries battling a blaze that destroyed a home, Wednesday evening, August 9. The residential blaze happened in the 18000 block of Decker Road in the unincorporated community of Mead Valley.
Cal Fire/Riverside County firefighters and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the fire about 8:30 p.m., after Riverside County emergency dispatchers received multiple 911 calls from nearby residents reporting the structure fire.
Twenty-one firefighters from six engine companies and one truck company responded to the blaze, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer April Newman explained in an incident report. They were assisted by a breathing support unit.
The first arriving engine company reported finding a manufactured home “well involved in fire (with) power lines down,” said Newman. Southern California Edison was requested to the scene to assist with the damaged and downed power lines.
As firefighters prepared to battle the blaze, they were advised by neighbors that a resident was believed to be inside the home, Battalion Chief Snyder explained from the scene. Believing a victim could be trapped inside the home, firefighters mounted an aggressive attack on the fire and immediately made entry into the burning home.
While battling the blaze and searching for any trapped occupants, two firefighters fell through the floor of the home, Snyder said. The firefighters managed to escape the inferno with only minor injuries. Officials did not specify the nature of the firefighters’ injuries and did not provide any further details or updates regarding their status.
Officials later determined neither of the occupants had been inside the home when the fire erupted.
As firefighters continued battling the blaze, hoarding and “pack rat-type conditions” hampered fire officials’ efforts to knock down the blaze. In spite of the conditions, firefighters had successfully extinguished the fire about thirty minutes after arriving at the scene.
The fire was contained to seventy-five percent of the structure, with no extension to other structures or outbuildings, according to Newman, who estimated the loss caused by the fire to be about $125,000. Despite the loss, firefighters’ efforts saved an estimated $25,000 in property and personal belongings.
After the fire was extinguished, fire resources remained on scene for several hours due to extensive overhaul.
The American Red Cross was requested to the scene to assist a couple who were displaced by the fire.
Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Prevention Officers were working to determine the cause of the fire, which they believe started in a rear corner area of the home. The investigation is active and ongoing.
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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 13 – soon to be 14 – grandchildren.