Massive gas station fire, tire explosions rock Riverside

RIVERSIDE — A gas station and tire storage facility in an industrial section of Riverside were destroyed after an enormous blaze ripped through the building earlier this morning, Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Firefighters spent about two hours knocking down the fire, which erupted at a Flyers Energy CFN fuel station on the 3000 block of E. La Cadena Dr., near First St.


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About two dozen City of Riverside firefighters were dispatched to the scene around 2 a.m., after receiving multiple 911 calls reporting the massive blaze, City of Riverside Fire Department Battalion Chief Thomas Jay later reported from the scene.

When firefighters arrived they found a fully involved structure fire involving a large industrial building at the gas station that was being used to store tires. The burning building was mere feet away from numerous fuel pumps, causing a “big concern” for firefighters, according to Jay.

Firefighters spent about two hours knocking down a blaze that erupted overnight at a Riverside gas station. John Strangis/RMG News photo

The fire did not significantly affect area traffic due to being in an industrial section of the city; however, because the fire was so close to the nearby 91 Freeway, some delays in travel times were reported, as early morning commuters and other motorists slowed to watch the flames and thick black smoke, which billowed hundreds of feet into the air.

The fire did not cause any evacuations, but some area residents who live near the location were advised to shelter in place for their own safety.

The blaze caused power outages throughout the area, after firefighters had SoCal Edison shut off power to the area for safety reasons.

As firefighters continued battling the large fire, the building’s roof and three of its walls eventually collapsed, leaving only the front of the destroyed building standing by the time the blaze was fully contained.

The building and all its contents were completely destroyed and considered a total loss, according to Jay.

“No one was seen in or around the area at the time of the fire,” the Battalion Chief reported; saying firefighters had “no clue as to the cause or origin of the fire.”

Fire investigators were expected to respond to the scene later in the morning, after the fire’s hot spots had been brought fully under control.

No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported as a result of the blaze, and the cause remains under investigation.

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John Strangis/RMG News photos above

RVC News photos above

Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and 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 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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