NORCO: 2,500 hay bales, building, vehicle destroyed in suspected arson fire

NORCO – Firefighters spent several hours containing an early-morning structure fire at a feed store Monday, Jan. 30. The fire broke out at Tony’s Hay and Grain in the 1300 block of 6th street in Norco. The business employs about 25 people.

Firefighters spent over two hours bringing the stubborn blaze under control.

One hay barn, 2,500 hay bales, and one vehicle were destroyed by the fire, according to Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer Tawny Castro.

Firefighters and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the business about 1:51 a.m., after a person called 911 to report the fire to Riverside County emergency dispatchers.

Thirty-five firefighters from ten engine companies battled the blaze, according to Castro. They were assisted by a breathing support unit.

Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Norco station responded to the scene of the fire to assist with traffic and crowd control while firefighters battled the blaze.

Officials called for the temporary closure of Valley View and Sierra Avenues in both directions to ensure the safety of firefighters and other emergency first responders at the scene of the fire. City of Norco Public Works employees responded to the location to assist deputies with the closure of 6th street while firefighters worked to contain the fire.

Firefighters successfully knocked the fire down about 4:07 a.m.

Castro estimated the fire loss to be about $250,000; however, she explained firefighters efforts saved about $1 million in other property at the business.

NBC4 reported authorities arrested a man later Monday morning on suspicion of arson. According to the NBC4 report, CCTV security cameras captured the arsonist using what appeared to be gasoline to set the fire.

Sheriff’s officials have not yet identified or confirmed if any arrests were made in connection to the fire and there were no details regarding the investigation, which is active and ongoing.

There were no reported civilian or firefighter injuries reported.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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Trevor Montgomery spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including the Robert Presley Detention Center, the Southwest Station in Temecula, the Hemet Station, and the Lake Elsinore Station, along with many other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, Personnel and Background Investigations and he finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.