El Cajon fire
Photos by Leslie O'Brien and Nancy Hauer
Update: Forward spread is halted; firefighters are expected to remain on scene through this evening.
May 12, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- A brush fire that began near the river bed at 13425 Old Highway 80 near Las Coches Road could reach 20 acres or more and is now burning mobile homes. A female burn patient from a homeless camp that burned has been transported to a hospital.
Two strike teams and a helicopter have been ordered. CHP is shutting down traffic on Las Coches.
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.
December 21, 2012 (El Cajon) – A fire last night at 1281 North Second Street in El Cajon has displaced two residents, also resulting in smoke and water damage to a vacant commercial business downstairs.
Heartland Fire and Rescue crews responded to the blaze at 10:30 p.m. Upon finding three apartment units in flames, the fire was upgraded to a second alarm. Heartland Fire & Rescue from El Cajon and La Mesa received assistance from the Santee and Lakeside Fire Departments, and the San Miguel Fire Protection District. Firefighters contained the fire in about 35 minutes.
November 25, 2012 (El Cajon ) - A brush fire is burning along Interstate 8 west at East Main Street in El Cajon. The fire is burning uphill in medium fuel. CHP shut down the freeway briefly but one lane is now reopened.
Further east, a car fire on I-8 east near Jacumba is also impacting traffic.
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Update: ECM news partner 10 News reports that this fire was started by El Cajon Police SWAT team conducting training exercises at a shooting range near Gillespie Field.
Homes on Hacienda were threatened but did not burn, however one firefighter was transported to Grossmont Hospital in stable condition with a knee injury.
Lt. M. Coit with El Cajon Police offered this statement. "The smoke canister was deployed as part of an El Cajon Police Department SWAT Team training exercise. The SWAT Team followed all safety precautions, however underestimated the weather conditions. The El Cajon SWAT Team is currently re-evaluating the safety procedures for the deploying of such devises. The Heartland Fire Department will provide additional training to ensure that similar events do not occur. The El Cajon Police Department regrets any inconvenience to residents in the area."
August 25, 2012 (El Cajon)-- Heartland Fire & Rescue crews responded to reports of a structure fire in El Cajon at 11:13 a.m.. Firefighters found the home engulfed with flames and heavy smoke coming from the windows of the house, located at 612 Alderson Street.
Quick action by fire crews had the fire knocked down in less than 15 minutes, keeping the fire from reaching nearby homes. An elderly man, 87, the lone occupant, was able to escape and is being assisted by the American Red Cross.
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.
Photos by Monica Zech
January 4, 2012 (El Cajon) – A homeowner escaped her burning mobile home this morning, but her chihuahua dog, Mojo, was found unconscious and near death. Thanks to dedicated efforts by local firefighters, however, Mojo's live has been saved.
Photos and video by Jon Nevin, firefighter/paramedic, Heartland Fire & Rescue (video edited by Paul Kruze, ECM)
December 29, 2011 (El Cajon) – Patrons of a restaurant helped three women passengers, including an elderly woman in a wheelchair, escape from a burning van in downtown El Cajon today.
View a video of firefighters battling the fire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cmu0RRPH2Fg&feature=youtu.be
Firefighter who saved kitten will adopt it, if owner not found
Story by Miriam Raftery
Photos by El Cajon Police Captain Jim Redman
November 24, 2011 (El Cajon )—A Thanksgiving day rescue tale--or should we say "tail", has a happy ending. El Cajon Firefighters have saved a kitten that became trapped several feet down an old electrical plastic pipe at the corner of Washington and Avocado Avenues in El Cajon.
By Miriam Raftery
November 18, 2011 (El Cajon)--Investigators have determined that an early morning house fire in El Cajon was caused by arson, according to Heartland Fire and Rescue.
October 25 fundraiser at Outback Steakhouse to benefit ill child in need of service dog
By Jym Bridger
October 20, 2011 (El Cajon)--You have probably seen them, all those guys riding around in the fire engines with moustaches. Has anybody told them moustaches have been out of fashion since the final episode of Magnum P.I. in 1988?
Yes these guys realize how ridiculous they look, but are doing it all for charity. Every October the El Cajon Firefighters Union sponsors "OctoberStash"--a charity event to help raise money for those in need.
By Miriam Raftery
March 7, 2011 (El Cajon) – A fire at a home located at 154 N. Westwind Drive in El Cajon last night caused $75,000 to $100,000 in damage, displacing three men and causing minor injury to one.
“Upon investigation, it was found that the tenants of the home had been using propane gas inside the home for lighting and heat since the electrical power had been turned off to the house,” a press release from Heartland Fire & Rescue stated. “One of the tenants, while attempting to transfer propane to smaller containers, accidentally set off the blaze.”
One spends more than twice as much on employee health insurance--almost one million dollars more
By R. Perry
March 5, 2011 (San Diego's East County) -- The San Miguel Fire Protection District spends more than twice as much on health benefits for its 96 employees than does the neighboring fire department in El Cajon.
In 2009 San Miguel Fire asked voters for a 1.5 million dollar benefit fee. The voters turned them down. The result was the closure of an entire engine company reducing response capability by eleven percent.
February 6, 2011 (El Cajon) – A parolee accused of stealing a car has been arrested after crashing the vehicle into the bedroom of a home at 627 Verdin Street in El Cajon shortly before dawn this morning. Thankfully the home's occupants were spared a rude awakening, since no one was sleeping in the bedroom that was struck.
February 6, 2011 (El Cajon)--For the past four years, El Cajon Fire Department has been involved in studies for cardiac arrest patients. According to medical officials over-seeing this study, survival rates for these patients increased 1.6% to 9%--a survival rate rivaling some of the top performers in the nation, despite a high rate of elderly persons in the population with multiple health problems.
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.
Dogs and their trainers saved lives during 911, hurricanes, and other disasters
East County News Service
October 13, 2010 (El Cajon)--At yesterday’s City Council meeting, October 12th, Mayor Mark Lewis and the City Council paid posthumous recognition to two canines, both former members of the El Cajon Fire Department’s Search & Rescue canine team, Billy and Icon.
By Miriam Raftery
Photos by Dennis Richardson
Update 7:30 p.m. -- Cause of the fire has been determined to be accidental, due to workers installing a fence.
August 27, 2010 (El Cajon) updated 1:30 p.m. -- Heartland Fire dispatch confirms that a fire that forced evacuation of homes near Grossmont College is now fully contained. No buildings were lost or damaged.
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July 12, 2010 (El Cajon) -- Shortly after 7:00 this morning, Heartland Fire Dispatch received calls of a structure fire in the 1000 block of Mollison Avenue in El Cajon. As crews arrived on scene, they found the attached garage of the home fully involved in flames and spreading into the home.
December 28, 2009 (El Cajon) -- A few months ago, El Cajon Fire Captain Dave Rickards sent a group of Army Rangers based in Iraq the department’s Breast Cancer Awareness shirts. Through a mutual friend, Captain Rickards was able to send this care package of shirts along with some other items in a gesture to show support for our troops fighting in the Middle East.
According to Captain Rickards, “Members of the El Cajon Fire Department are proud to wear their department logos with the pink lettering, showing their support in the fight against breast cancer. Sharing that pride with our troops is an honor.”
October 20, 2009 (El Cajon)—Just before 9:00 p.m. this evening, El Cajon firefighters responded to reports of an apartment fire at 1077 E. Lexington Avenue. When the first crews arrived, flames and heavy smoke were seen coming from a second floor apartment of the 12-unit complex. About twenty firefighters fought the blaze, knocking it down in 15 minutes. Two occupants of a neighboring apartment were trapped on their second floor balcony and were rescued by crews. Three families displaced by the fire are being assisted by the American Red Cross.
October 9, 2009 (El Cajon ) --The annual El Cajon Fire Safety & Career Expo takes place Saturday, October 10th, at 100 E. Lexington Avenue from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This free family event offers valuable safety, health and career information--plus plenty of fun! Meet Captain Jack Sparrow, an amazing tribute artist of the popular Johnny Depp character from Pirates of the Caribbean, K-C the Safety Robot, Coasty the talking Coast Guard Boat, Sparky the fire dog, Callahan the Firefighter and Mother Goose. You’ll also have a chance to meet Miss El Cajon and Miss Teen El Cajon--plus teen stars from TV and Disney movies.
By Miriam Raftery
Photos by Leonard Villareal
October 6, 2009 (El Cajon) -- Dale Wojczynski, owner of a home destroyed by fire on September 30, had been fined $10,000 by the County for ignoring numerous orders to clean up the property. A criminal case has been filed and will be heard on October 29.
San Miguel Fire District firefighters battled the two-story house fire in the Granite Hills area of unincorporated El Cajon. Firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading to neighboring homes, but could not save the home due to a large amount of flammable debris. A 9-1-1 call was made by a resident at 6:07 a.m. Two people inside the home, located on the 2100 block of Valley View Blvd, both got out safely. Residents told fire investigators there were no smoke alarms in the home, but fortunately a resident was awakened by the alarm clock function of her cell phone.
September 13, 2009 (El Cajon) – Learn about becoming a firefighter, police officer or 9-1-1 dispatcher at the El Cajon Fire Safety & Career Expo on Saturday, October 10th. The event will also feature a new Kids’ Fun & Safety Zone with a variety of family-friendly activities.
Kids can enjoy visits with KC the Safety Robot and pirate Captain Jack Sparrow, viewing fire trucks and other emergency vehicles, plus playtime in an inflatable house. The kids’ zone also includes safety car seat information, child IDs, a fire safety trailer, Home Depot Kids’ Workshop, free kids’ safety helmets (while supplies last) , injury prevention and safety displays. East County Magazine will be on hand signing people up for our free Viejas wildfire/emergency alerts.
September 28, 2009 (El Cajon) – Karen Hunter was found dead following a fire in her mobile home that began shortly before 7 p.m. last night, the County Coroner’s office has confirmed. Heartland Dispatch received numerous calls about the fire at El Capitan Mobile Home Park, 1425 E. Madison Avenue.
El Cajon firefighters were cooking their dinner on the patio of Fire Station 8 when they also spotted smoke.
September 9, 2009 (El Cajon)--One of El Cajon’s original disaster search dogs “Sherman”, has died due to health issues related to his age. Sherman became a part of the El Cajon Fire Department in 1997 through a partnership with the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. Sherman was partnered with his handler, El Cajon Fire Captain Steve Swaney.
After becoming certified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for disaster search work, Sherman, along with his handler, was available to serve anywhere in the United States at a moments notice. The call for service was never more important than on September 11, 2001.
July 9, 2009 (El Cajon)--At 5:15 p.m. this evening El Cajon Fire crews responded to reports of a trailer home fire at the Chieftain Trailer Park, located at 187 Ballard, space number 48-B in El Cajon. Upon arrival firefighters found the trailer home engulfed.
FIRE SPARKED BY WEEDING TOOL DOUSED IN EL CAJON; KEEP FIRE EXTINGUISHER HANDY WHEN CLEARING BRUSH, OFFICIALS CAUTION
July 4, 2009 (El Caj on)--At 11:05 a.m. this morning, El Cajon Fire crews were dispatched to a report of a brush fire near 1103 Gorsline Dr. in El Cajon. When firefighters arrived on scene, they encountered a 3/4-acre brush fire burning uphill threatening residential structures. Approximately ten firefighters on three engines and a Battalion Chief were able to contain the blaze in approximately 30 minutes, but remained on scene for over an hour and a half putting out hot spots.