All posts by Verenice

SBCo Firefighters Rescue Woman from House Fire

Just before 03:00 A.M. this morning, San Bernardino County Fire Department responded to a structure fire in Phelan, California. The reporting party was an adult female who was the sole occupant of the residence. She told 911 dispatchers that she was trapped in her bedroom and unable to evacuate to safety. First arriving units from County Fire quickly located a female clinging to her bedroom window and were able to rescue her from the smoke filled residence. Personnel assigned to fire attack were unable to access the doublewide trailer through the front door due to what were described as hoarding conditions. Changing tactics and finding and entrance from the backside of the structure, firefighters located a fire in the kitchen and were able to extinguish the blaze confining the fire to the kitchen with minor extension into the living room. The resident was treated on scene for smoke inhalation but refused transport. Continue reading SBCo Firefighters Rescue Woman from House Fire

Hesperia City Proposing Reduction of 9 SBCo Firefighter / Paramedics in its 2011/2012 Budget

HESPERIA • The Hesperia city council will discuss a proposed budgetary cut that would eliminate nine full-time San Bernardino County firefighters and five sheriff’s deputies’ positions Tuesday night before they vote on June 21. As part of the city’s 2011-12 budget, officials have proposed eliminating nine firefighter-paramedics and five vacant deputy positions. The 14 first-responder positions make up the bulk of the 20 city staff jobs the city is looking to do away with as part of the next fiscal year. Victorville is proposing to lay off 10 full-time employees but no cuts to deputies or fire personnel. Apple Valley hasn’t proposed any layoffs for this year. There are currently 45 full-time firefighter positions assigned to Hesperia which includes captains, engineers and firefighter-paramedics, fire officials stated. According to authorities, the proposed cuts to personnel will take staffing from the current three-man crews to two-man crews at certain stations. The cuts will be discussed city’s budget workshop starting at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Hesperia City Hall located at 9700 Seventh Avenue.

Story: VV Daily Press

Mark Hartwig Appointed Chief of San Bernardino County Fire, Dan Odom to Become Deputy Chief of Operations

Rancho Cucamonga Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Mark Hartwig is returning to the San Bernardino County Fire Department to serve as County Fire Chief effective May 2, and will team up with Dan Odom, who has served as interim chief, to lead the department into the future. Odom, a division chief who had made clear his desire to return to the field, will become Deputy Chief and oversee operations. Hartwig has been with the Rancho Cucamonga Fire Protection District since 2005. Prior to that, he served with County Fire, starting as an extra-help firefighter in 1992 and working his way to the rank of Captain, serving as the department’s Emergency Medical Services supervisor and training officer . “I look forward to the chance to provide leadership to a well-respected County Fire Department team that will move forward and thrive in times of unprecedented economic challenge,” Hartwig said. “I put a high value in ‘team’ through motivation and taking advantage of the enthusiasm and energy of younger members of the department while employing the wisdom and leadership of our veteran workforce.” Hartwig and Odom worked closely together when Hartwig served with County Fire, and they were also active together in the San Bernardino County Professional Firefighters Association Local 935. “Having Mark and Dan at the helm of County Fire is good news for the people of San Bernardino County and good news for the men and women of the department,” said Local 935 President Bret Henry. “Both are skilled and dedicated firefighting professionals who will lead a department trained and equipped to protect our residents, and both are closely in tune with the needs of the brave people who have chosen a career in public safety.” Continue reading Mark Hartwig Appointed Chief of San Bernardino County Fire, Dan Odom to Become Deputy Chief of Operations

50+ violations found at burned San Bernardino apartment

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) — There were more than 50 code violations at the San Bernardino apartment complex where a fire destroyed 26 units, according to a report. The fire broke out Sunday in the 400 block of South Mount Vernon. Seven people suffered minor injuries and about 125 residents were displaced. Code enforcement officials said violations included exposed electrical wires and electric stoves not working properly, which possibly caused sparks, according to the San Bernardino Sun. Investigators are still looking into what started the fire that caused more than $1 million in damage.
Story by: ABC.COM

Training day for SBCo FD swiftwater rescue team

Deep Creek, Calif. (KABC) — Fire officials in San Bernardino County spent the day training for a potential swiftwater emergency as another storm heads our way. There isn’t much water in Lytle Creek at the moment, but that’s expect to change dramatically as a big storm comes in this weekend. Lytle Creek is a trouble spot for swiftwater rescue teams. They are often called out during big storms. Thursday, team members in San Bernardino County spent the day training for a potential swiftwater emergency. The water coming out of a spillway is swift moving and extremely cold. If a real person was caught in it, it would be considered a life or death situation. The San Bernardino County Swiftwater Rescue Team trains for those situations. “This is one of the most dangerous things fire departments across the nation do, swiftwater rescue,” said Donnie Viloria from the San Bernardino County Fire Department. “I take a great deal of pride in this, there’s not a lot of fire departments to this day that are well versed in these techniques.” And they’re techniques that come into play quite often. Just a couple months ago, a driver tried to pass through swift moving water on Lytle Creek Road, and was swept away. But she made it out alive, thanks mostly to well-trained rescue personnel. “Saving lives is what we do,” said Viloria. “That’s the business that we’re in, we’re all very compassionate individuals, that’s what we do is save lives.”
Continue reading Training day for SBCo FD swiftwater rescue team

Fire destroys Old Town Victorville thrift store

VICTORVILLE • A thrift store in Old Town Victorville was destroyed Tuesday night when a fire broke, San Bernardino County Fire officials said. “When firefighters got on-scene heavy smoke was coming from the building,” Tracey Martinez, spokeswoman for the fire department, said of the second-alarm fire. “Firefighters had to go on defensive mode on that fire. We had to pull out because the attic was well involved and the roof could’ve collapsed.” Firefighters were called out at about 8:45 p.m. to the New Beginnings Thrift Store in the 15500 block of Sixth Street near B Street. As authorities battled the blaze, the surrounding streets had to be shut down. “We don’t know if it was an active business since part of the building toward the back and the side was boarded up but the front was fine,” Martinez said. The entire building and its contents were destroyed but an estimate for the loss was not immediately available, she said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Story by: Victorville Daily Press
Photos by: Dan Elliot

Mother of three killed in Pinon Hills fire

PINON HILLS • A 35-year-old mother was killed in an early-morning fire as she and her husband rescued their three children from their burning home on Wednesday, according to San Bernardino County Fire officials. “The dad was able to get the children out of the home and he thought his wife was behind him,” Tracey Martinez, spokeswoman for the fire department, said. “He did try to go back in after her but unfortunately, due to the heat and smoke, he was unable to find her.” Firefighters were called out to a home in the 8200 block of Skyline Drive at about 6:30 a.m. and found the residence engulfed in flames and smoke. Rescuers were informed there may still be five people in the home and firefighters entered the burning building twice trying to find them, Martinez said. “The second time they went in, the roof collapsed and it did strike two firefighters,” she said. “They received minor to moderate injuries and were taken to local hospitals.” After pulling out of the burning structure, officials learned the man and his children had taken refuge at a neighboring home, she stated. Due to the freezing temperatures, firefighters found the closest hydrant to the home had been frozen over. “All fire engines carry water. We also called out a water tender and they were able to connect with a hydrant further down the road,” Martinez said. Officials were able to rescue a Chihuahua from the home. The fire started at the rear of the 2,000-square-foot newer home in the master bedroom where the husband and wife and one of the children were staying, Martinez stated. The structure is a complete loss and the damage is estimated at about $300,000. Fire and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Arson and Bomb officials are investigating the exact cause of the fire. Arson and Bomb routinely assist in fire investigations and their assistance in this case does not mean authorities suspect foul play or an explosion, Martinez stated.

Story by: Victorville daily Press
Photos by SBCo FD

Fire breaks out in Victorville home

VICTORVILLE • A zero-clearance fireplace may have sparked a fire in a Victorville home Monday morning, forcing the evacuation of the family inside, according to San Bernardino County Fire officials. The exact cause of the blaze at the 13900 block of Smoke Tree Road near Green Tree Boulevard is still under investigation, but according to Battalion Chief Tracy Carleton the fire started in the attic adjacent to the gas-fueled fireplace. San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the home at about 9:30 a.m. and evacuated the family, officials said. When firefighters arrived smoke filled the home.
Story By: Daily Press
Photos: SBCo FD

Fire breaks out at Victorville restaurant

VICTORVILLE • Firefighters worked for about an hour Wednesday morning to put out a stubborn attic fire at a Mexican restaurant that caused the closure of Seventh Street, officials said. “This initially came through as a 911 hang-up,” San Bernardino County Fire Division Chief Sid Hultquist said. “Someone called 911, said ‘Fire!’ and hung up. They were probably really panicked.” Maribel Uribe and one other employee were inside Los Alazanes on Seventh Street south of Mojave Drive when they smelled smoke. “It must’ve been at about 7:30 a.m. when we first smelled it but couldn’t see anything,” Uribe said.

Story by: Daily Press
Photos: SBCo FD

Carlos the fire dog vanishes from SBCo Station

VICTORVILLE • Six months ago, Carlos wiggled his way into the hearts of several burly firefighters, but a few days ago, the black Chihuahua went missing from the San Bernardino County Fire station. “He’s become a part of our family and we’d like to find him,” said Firefighter Ryan Beckers. Carlos was able to get out of the station at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds Wednesday morning and hasn’t been seen since. When the firefighters first found Carlos back in June, he was cowering near the drill tower. “He was pretty tattered,” Beckers said. “You could tell he had been in a few scraps.” Everyone at the fire station worked together to help nurse Carlos back to health with the help of the veterinarians at the Hesperia Animal Hospital. They even put up the cost of the little dog’s eye surgery. “We shopped him around for a while to some of the guys who worked here, but he began to grow on us,” Beckers stated. “So we decided to keep him.” While many do not immediately think of a Chihuahua as a fire station dog, Carlos became quite at home among the firefighters. “When we would have a call, he would run out to the engines,” Beckers chuckled. “He knew when we’d have a call.” Carlos is a small, black Chihuahua who does have tags, but was not chipped.