Malfunctioning AC unit causes fire scare at Murrieta school

Correction: An earlier version of this report listed this school as being in Winchester. It is actually in Murrieta.

MURRIETA — A malfunctioning air conditioning unit caused a fire scare this morning after firefighters received reports of a possible structure fire at a Murrieta elementary school. The incident happened at Lisa J. Mails Elementary on the 35000 block of Briggs Rd.


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Emergency first responders were dispatched to the school just after 11:30 a.m., after receiving reports of a possible structure fire at the school.

When Cal Fire/Riverside County firefighters arrived they reported a strong smell of smoke. Firefighters quickly made access to the school’s roof and soon discovered the smell was being caused by a malfunctioning air conditioning unit.

The school was unoccupied at the time and there were no reported injuries related to the incident.

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Robert Carter/Public Safety Incidents video


Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 47, recently moved to the Intermountain area of 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 his “fluid family” boasts 13 children and 14 – soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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