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December 4, 2011 (El Cajon ) – A home and barn used for storage at 5237 Dehesa Road in the unincorporated area of El Cajon were destroyed by fire this morning.

Leonard Villareal, spokesman for San Miguel Fire Department, said the November 1st elimination of the fire engine at the Department’s Dehesa station was “not a factor in this case."

Engine 14 was the first to arrive and the went up quickly, he added, noting that the “barn, as they called it, was packed full of storage material and welding gear that forced firefighters into a defensive mode to protect other structures.”

But he added, “This doesn’t mean that the loss of Engine 15 and the changes at 23’s would not make a difference in other situations. The District would very much like the funds to return to pre-economic crisis staffing levels.”

Cal-Fire Battalion Chief Captain Nick Schuler confirmed that “The first engine came from Dehesa and Sycuan and the home was fully involved.” Approximately 40 firefighters from Sycuan and Cal-Fire battled the blaze for about 90 minutes.

No one was home at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. The Sheriff’s bomb-arson squad has been called to investigate the blaze to determine why the structures went up so quickly, however there is no indication of suspicious origin.

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