April 13, 2013 (Lemon Grove) – A man with physical limitations was transported to UCSD Medical Center with mild injuries after escaping a fire at a duplex in the 7200 block of Central Avenue in Lemon Grove. Two dogs also escaped the fire, but two cats were found deceased, overcome by smoke.
Red Cross will be assisting five adults and two children displaced in the fire, as well as the two dogs.
April 12, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- The cause of today's spot fires along Interstate 8 was accidental, says Heartland Fire spoksman Sonny Saghera. Heartland responded to reports of several small fires along westbound I-8 from West Main Street in El Cajon to Severin Drive in La Meas around 1 p.m. today.
Heartland Fire & Rescue units from La Mesa and El Cajon, assisted by engines from Cal Fire and Santee, were dispatched to contain the four individual fires approximately 100 yards apart from each other. A structure on Murray Drive in La Mesa was briefly threatened, but fire crews aggressively attacked the flames to keep them along the freeway’s shoulder.
March 17, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- A join Chamber of Commerce mixer will be held at the Heartland Fire Training Facility in El Cajon on March 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Join Chambers from throughout East County to learn about the Facility that provides training for east county. There will be food & beverage, demonstrations, hands-on activities, a Mayor's challenge, and meet your firefighters.
March 7, 2013 (El Cajon )--A Heartland Fire & Rescue engine company in El Cajon was returning from a call at 5:30 this evening and came across a possible garage fire in the 100 block of West Douglas Avenue. The fire company, noticing heavy black smoke from the garage of the three-story town home, quickly called for a first alarm assignment to combat the fire.
PROPANE TANKS EXPLODE, CAUSING FIRE THAT DAMAGES EXTERIOR OF GINGHAM’S RESTAURANT IN LA MESA VILLAGE
Neighbor who reported fire says rooster crowing alerted him to the blaze
By Miriam Raftery
December 9, 2012 (La Mesa) – “It sounded like really big thunder,” ECM writer and La Mesa resident Ariele Brooks said of propane tank explosions that damaged the exterior of Gingham’s Restaurant on La Mesa Boulevard downtown. “First my back door rattled two times about 5 or 10 minutes apart…Nothing was out there, so I thought maybe it was an explosion. But then there was this very loud sound.”
Another neighbor, Bob James, told La Mesa Today that a rooster crowing awakened him. Spotting flames, he called 911. "The rooster is a hero!" he proclaimed. (No word on whether the plucky foul who saved the downtown village will sway councilmembers on the merits of owning roosters, which is currently prohibited in La Mesa.)
JPA is first in California involving a Native American tribe
By Miriam Raftery
October 18, 2012 (El Cajon ) – The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians and Heartland Fire Training Authority this week announced that they have entered into a historic Joint Powers Agreement (JPA).
“This JPA finally allows Viejas to have a seat at the table and have a full and meaningful partnership with other fire agencies that we’ve worked with for years in a very productive way,” said Viejas Fire Chief Don Butz. “Ultimately, this benefits the entire region, since wildfires and other natural disasters do not recognize geographic, political or other borders. We are all stronger and better protected when we work and train together.”
June 12, 2012 (El Cajon) – A brush fire this evening at Lavala Lane and Highway 8 Business loop in El Cajon charred at least two acares, forcing evacuations in the area briefly, Incident Page Network reported. Helicopters dropped water on the blaze, swiftly bringing it under control.
Heartland Fire Dispatch reports units are now being released from the scene.
Late night fire displaces 4 adults and 2 children
January 31, 2012 (El Cajon)—A Heartland Fire & Rescue crew from El Cajon responded to reports of a structure fire at a board and care facility at 1460 E. Lexington Avenue in El Cajon late last night. Fire crews arrived to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the facility, with reports of a trapped victim.
January 6, 2012 (El Cajon) -- Twenty-four recruits will begin a 16-week Firefighter 1 Academy starting this coming Saturday, January 7, at the Heartland Fire Training academy located at 1301 N. Marshall Avenue in El Cajon. The Academy Coordinator will be retired El Cajon Fire Chief Rich Henry.
Heartland Fire & Rescue, serving the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa, and Lemon Grove Fire Departments, now has a new website: www.heartlandfire.org. The website incorporates information on emergency preparedness, fire prevention, photos, and current fire department news.
Update: View a video of the goat-run.
July 29, 2011 (Lemon Grove) -- The City of Lemon Grove, along with its fire department, Heartland Fire & Rescue, will be taking steps to clear brush from eight and one-half acres of land near Lawton Drive and Camino De Las Palmas. Goats will be used as part of the process in clearing heavy brush and creating defensible space for homes in this area.
ELM will begin work Saturday morning, creating a staging area and paddock at the end of Lawton Drive. The public is welcome to come by between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. There will be a small nursery of baby goats for children to see, and ELM Operations Manager Johnny Gonzales will prepare his goats for the traditional “running of the goats” starting at 9:00 a.m.
By Miriam Raftery
July 18, 2011 (El Cajon) – A fire that began around 1:35 on a hill above the 2600 block of Windmill View Road in Fletcher Hills briefly threatened several homes this afternoon.
Heartland Fire & Rescue credits quick action by about 30 firefighters, along with "the fact this hillside was recently cleared of heavy brush by hired workers and goats, creating a defensible space" with limiting the fire to only half an acre. No structures were burned and there were no injuries.
June 27, 2011 (Lemon Grove) – A fire that started in a barbecue smoker at Coops West Texas Barbecue in Lemon Grove on June 23 spread to the roof. However Heartland Fire & Rescue firefighters quickly contained the blaze in about 15 minutes.
Photos by Monica Zech
June 8, 2011 (El Cajon)--A driver traveling eastbound on Rea Avenue shortly before 3 p.m. today hit the gas instead of the brake. Her vehicle plowed through a round center median, launched through a temporary ramp and fence, then over a deep trench before landing in a construction site near El Cajon’s City Hall.
By Miriam Raftery
Photos by Deputy Fire Chief Rick Sitta
June 3, 2011 (El Cajon) Updated 8 p.m. -- A 9 year-old boy was struck by a vehicle at Madison Avenue and East Main Street while riding his bike to school at 7:24 this morning. Trapped under an SUV, the boy was crying for help, Incident Page Network reported.
Firefighters attribute a bicycle helmet to saving the boy's life. Photos show abrasions on one side of the helmet and tire tread marks on the other side.
May 21, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – If you see smoke, don't panic! Heartland Fire is conducting controlled burns today in East County.
January 16, 2011 (Lemon Grove) – A 95-year-old woman smelled smoke and evacuated her home in the 6700 block of Hibiscus Drive at 7:40 this morning and asked a neighbor to call 911. Fire crews had to use tools to remove security bars and force entry into the home. Heartland Fire Rescue units from La Mesa and Lemon Grove, assisted by a Battalion Chief from San Diego Fire, were able to control the blaze within 10 minutes.
December 15, 2010 (La Mesa) – An early morning fire at 4:30 a.m. Monday resulted in the death of a cat and sent the owner to a hospital with respiratory problems sustained while trying to locate her pet in a smoke-filled apartment unit.
Are You Prepared For A Disaster? Earthquake, Fire? 2011 East County CERT Training Schedule Announced
December 13, 2010 (San Diego's East County)--Will you be prepared when a disaster happens, such as an earthquake, firestorm or house fire? To find out how to be prepared, attend one of the County's East County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) academies in 2011.
November 29, 2010 (La Mesa)—A Heartland Fire & Rescue engine from La Mesa was driving northbound on Bancroft Drive when crew members smelled a strong odor of natural gas yesterday morning. The fire crew stopped to investigate the smell and determined that there was gas coming from underground at 5033 Bancroft Drive.
November 26, 2010 (El Cajon)--Late Tuesday night, just before 11:00 p.m., Heartland Fire Dispatch received a 9-1-1 call of a fire at the Lexington East Apartments in the 200 block of Jamacha Road in El Cajon. Firefighters from Heartland Fire & Rescue arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the open front door of one of the apartment units.
October 7, 2010 (La Mesa) – A fire at 4651 Pomona Avenue in La Mesa caused an estimated $75,000 in damage to a garage and its contents. Heartland Fire & Rescue arrived on the scene at 12:10 p.m., three minutes after receiving a call, to find fire engulfing a detached garage behind a home. As fire crews stretched hose lines to attack the fire, flames began spreading to a neighbor’s fence and vegetation.
East County News Service
September 30, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – October marks the anniversaries of the deadly 2003 Cedar Fire and tragic 2007 wildfires. Fire season in San Diego County is year-round, but with the current hot, dry conditions, Heartland Fire & Rescue urges residents to be prepared now for wildfires. The agency has posted two important guides on our fire department website to help you and your family prepare.
September 12, 2010 (Spring Valley) – A brush fire reported around noon today charred approximately three acres at the junction of Highway 94 and Highway 125, Heartland Fire confirms.
By Miriam Raftery
June 13, 2010 (El Cajon ) – A 50 to 75-foot-high geyser of water spewed skyward in El Cajon on Friday morning, visible from as far away as Interstate 8. The gusher resulted from a hit-and-run driver whose truck backed into a fire hydrant on Taft Street, just south of East Main Street.
February 19, 2010 (El Cajon) -- A single engine Cessna made a crash landing on Johnson Avenue just north of Fletcher Parkway in El Cajon Friday evening shortly after 7 p.m. The two men onboard were able to crawl from the wreckage just before the plane burst into flames. Fire crews from Heartland Fire & Rescue in El Cajon quickly arrived on scene and had the fire out in less than five minutes.
February 6, 2010 (Lakeside) 9:25 a.m. -- Center lanes remain blocked on I-8 westbound at Lake Jennings Road in Lakeside due to a vehicle accident. Emergency workers have now freed all people trapped in a vehicle and transported three patients to a hospital, according to Heartland Fire dispatch.
January 4, 2009 (El Cajon) – Just before 9:00 a.m. this morning, Heartland Deputy Fire Chief Rick Sitta was first on scene of a collision between a Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) bus and a small car at the intersection of Douglas Avenue and Van Houten Avenue in El Cajon.
As Heartland Fire & Rescue crews from El Cajon responded, Chief Sitta broke open a side rear window to gain access to the driver, who was found not breathing, and initiated emergency aid.
December 14, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Residential fires have caused major damage to homes in Descanso, Lakeside, Valley Center and La Mesa this month. The latest blaze occurred this morning at 4:17 a.m. in a condominium complex at 9320 Earl Street #25 in La Mesa, where fire crews arrived in less than five minutes and ran hose lines inside through thick, dark smoke down to the floor. Firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to locate the fire in the kitchen.
November 16, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – A series of water main breaks in East County over the weekend have led some area residents to ask what’s caused so many infrastructure failures.
On Friday, November 13th, a water main break at the corner of La Mesa Blvd. and 4th Street sent large amounts of water flowing down La Mesa Blvd. and Allison Ave., causing damage to at least two businesses including the new Bella Mesa Art Gallery. Heartland Fire dispatched a response at 11:29 a.m. Fire crews closed roads and evacuated some businesses and restaurants. But damage could have been worse.