BREAKING: Two firefighters injured battling Indio Wal-Mart 2-Alarm fire – all area businesses evacuated
INDIO — Two firefighters have been hospitalized while battling a huge rooftop blaze at an Indio Wal-Mart and evacuations are still under effect as fire personnel continue to work at the scene of the fire. A citizen also suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene, according to a fire official.
Firefighters contained the fire in just over 30 minutes and officials have said the store’s electrical and solar panels are suspected to be the cause of the destructive fire.
LEADING THE DESERT HEADLINES:
Firefighters, paramedics, Indio PD, AMR, and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the store earlier this morning, shortly before 10:30 a.m., according to officials.
Forty-two firefighters from eight engine companies, two truck companies, and two paramedic squads eventually responded to the blaze, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire spokesperson Jody Hagemann explained in an incident report. They were supported by a Breathing Support Unit.
When officials arrived at the scene they reported black smoke billowing from the Wal-Mart’s roof and that store evacuations were already underway. As firefighters set up to begin fighting the fire, officials at the scene immediately began assisting with the evacuation efforts, according to Hagemann.
Firefighters began an immediate and aggressive attack on the fire as flames and thick, black smoke billowed from the roof. Video and photographs of the fire posted on social media showed the smoke could be seen for miles.
Firefighters managed to knock down the blaze about 11 a.m., but resources were expected to remain at the scene for several hours, according to Hagemann.
Although the solar and electrical panels were believed to have been the source of the blaze, the full cause of the fire remains under investigation.
The two injured firefighters sustained non-life threatening injuries, according to Hagemann, who did not specify the full nature or extent of their injuries.
This is a developing story that will be updated as new information becomes available.
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Trevor Montgomery, 46, recently moved to Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations, including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook, as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and The Mountain Echo in Shasta 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, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s 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 27 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 14 – soon to be 15 – grandchildren.