HEMET: Couple and dog displaced after attic blaze leaves home uninhabitable

HEMET — A couple and their dog safely made it out of their burning home but was displaced after their Hemet residence went up in flames last night. Although firefighters managed to knock down the blaze within minutes of their arrival, the roof of the couple’s home, which was in the process of being repaired – was destroyed by the blaze.

City of Hemet firefighters and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the home at 1081 Lucerne Drive, between S. San Jacinto St. and S. Santa Fe Ave., about 8:12 p.m., after receiving multiple 911 calls reporting flames and smoke billowing from the single story residence.


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Three engine companies, one truck company and a paramedic squad responded to the home along with a battalion chief and other emergency first responders. When officials arrived they found flames and dark smoke shooting skyward from the home’s roof.

When firefighters arrived at the scene they found flames shooting from the home’s roof. Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photo

Area residents, who came out of their homes to watch the scene unfold in front of them, while firefighters set up to begin an aggressive and coordinated fire attack.

While firefighters began putting water on the fire from the ground, Truck 1 firefighters quickly made access to the roof to begin fighting the fire from above.

However, as they were ventilating the roof and cutting holes to better access the fire, flames began shooting through the holes and thick, choking smoke billowed from the ventilated access; forcing firefighters to evacuate from the roof.

As firefighter’s efforts continued, the concerned homeowners and area residents stood nearby watching the ongoing suppression efforts and some were seen helping comfort the couple who made it out of the home.

Firefighters spent about 15 to 20 minutes knocking down the blaze, which was believed to have begun in the home’s attic.

After the blaze was extinguished, firefighters remained at the scene  for over an hour performing overhaul and mop up operations.

Because the roof of the residence suffered significant damage and the home was rendered uninhabitable, American Red Cross representatives were summoned to the scene to assist the displaced – but safe and unharmed – couple and their dog.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents video


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Trevor Montgomery, 46, recently moved to Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations, including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook, as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and The Mountain Echo in Shasta 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. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s 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 – soon to be 15 – grandchildren.

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