HEMET: Three adults, seven dogs rescued from blaze that destroyed home

HEMET — Firefighters successfully knocked down a fast-moving blaze that swept through a home, early Thursday morning, Dec. 28. The destructive fire broke out on the 41000 block of Nona Court, between Stetson and Thornton Avenues, in the unincorporated community of Little Lake. Little Lake is located southeast of the city of Hemet.

Firefighters battle a blaze that destroyed much of a home in Little Lake and displaced three adults and seven dogs. Robert Carter/Public Safety Incidents photo

Firefighters and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the fire about 4:35 a.m., after Riverside County emergency dispatchers received numerous 911 calls from area residents reporting the growing blaze.

Callers also advised dispatchers there were people and numerous animals possibly trapped inside the fire that had not yet made it out of the burning home.

Thirty firefighters from eight engine companies responded to the fire, Cal Fire/Riverside County County Fire Public Information Officer April Newman explained in an incident report. They were assisted by Soboba Fire Department and a breathing support unit.

When firefighters arrived in the area, they found a home fully engulfed in flames. The burning residence was located on the northeast corner of a “T” intersection of a small cul-de-sac with only seven residences.

The first arriving fire officials reported finding the home three-quarters involved in fire and firefighters immediately began rescue efforts for any potentially trapped victims.

Firefighters ensured all occupants made it safely from the burning home before going back into the burning residence and rescuing seven dogs.

About one hour later, Newman updated that firefighters were making good progress on knocking down the fire and all three occupants and their pets made it safely from the home and had been accounted for.

Firefighters spent around twelve hours at the scene of a fire that destroyed a home last Thursday. Robert Carter/Public Safety Incidents photo

While firefighters continued battling the blaze, paramedics evaluated and treated the victims of the fire. All three were found to be uninjured and all were medically cleared at the scene

At 7 a.m., Newman updated that a gas leak was hindering firefighter’s efforts and Southern California Gas Company personnel were requested to shut off gas to the residence. Gas company employees successfully mitigated the leak around 9 a.m.

Southern California Edison employees were also summoned to the scene to shut off electricity to the destroyed home.

After extinguishing the blaze, firefighters remained at the scene conducting overhaul and mop up operations for several more hours.

Officials at the scene requested American Red Cross personnel to the scene to assist with three adults displaced by the fire. Animal Control officers were also summoned to the scene to assist with the dogs rescued from the burning home.

Fire officials later estimated the fire damage to be about $350,000; however, their efforts saved an additional; $250,000 in property and personal belongings, according to Newman.

There were no reported injuries related to the fire and officials are working to determine the cause of the blaze.

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Robert Carter/Public Safety Incidents video

Robert Carter/Public Safety Incidents video


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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Trevor Montgomery, who recently moved from Riverside County to Shasta County, runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor 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, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with 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 and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 27 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 14 grandchildren.