April 16, 2012 (Dehesa) – San Miguel Fire District’s Engine 23 and its three person crew was the first on the scene of a chimney fire in a home on the 1200 block of Avenida Elisa on April 15 at 10:46 p.m. The fire, which began in the chimney box, quickly moved to the attic. Containing the blaze was problematic because the flames burning in the attic compromised the strength of the roof, according to Leonard Villarreal with the District. The blaze was knocked down in approximately 30 minutes.
According to Villarreal, the fire was discovered as the female occupant was watching television and enjoying the warmth from the fireplace. She told investigators, she first heard sounds from the roof that sounded like a small animal was moving across the surface. She then noticed sparks falling from the rooftop. She immediately woke her husband and child and they evacuated the home while calling 911.
The home was fitted with a sprinkler system, but because the fire started in the attic area above the system it did not slow the fire. During the course of the fire, a sprinkler pipe did rupture triggering the system throughout the home. The preliminary investigation sets the damage at $100,000, most of which was caused by water.