On February 22, 2013, firefighters responded to an early morning report of a residential structure fire in the 10000 block of River Street in Lakeside. Lakeside Engine 2, which was the closest unit to the fire, reported smoke showing from their station as they were responding to the incident. Firefighters immediately knew there would be a substantial fire given that smoke was visible from this far away. When E2 arrived a few minutes later they reported they were on scene at a single family occupancy with heavy smoke and fire showing from the front of the building.
|The structure after the main fire had been contained|
Lakeside E1 and M2 arrived just behind E2 and assisted pulling off hoselines to begin a rapid attack on the fire. Additional resources begin arriving at the scene to assist in the fire attack, including El Cajon Battalion 3, Santee Engine 4, Santee Truck 4 and Lakeside Engine 3 and Lakeside Battalion 1. This incident, like all other incidents in east county, received the closest units to the address at the time of the fire.
|Hoselines entering through the window|
When a fire is dispatched at this time of the morning fire crews primary concern is that there maybe occupants in in the home. Overnight fires tend to catch residents asleep in their beds so their reaction is slower to the fire, especially if there are no smoke detectors in the home. When crews arrived at this fire the first priority was rescuing any occupation that may be home. At this fire, however, there was so much fire coming from the building that it had to be knocked down before crews could make entry. Once inside the structure teams were able to conduct a primary search for people in the building. The SDSO was on scene by this point and had tied-in with the Incident commander to confirm that the family had been accounted for and was out of the structure. Unfortunately, a family pet did succumb to the fire.
The progress of the fire was stopped quickly after the engine companies arrived on scene but there was extensive damage done to the structure. Due to the lath and plaster construction of this occupancy there was expensive overhaul involved in making sure that all of the hidden fires within the structure were put out.
The cause of the fire, as reported by several media outlets, was a space heater in one of the front bedroom of the home. This fire displaced one family and a family pet died in the blaze. One of the residents of the home was transported to an area hospital for assessment.
|The structure after all overhaul was completed|
Photos and Story By: Captain Bernie Molloy
Media coverage of the incident with fire footage: