Christmas eve motorhome blaze, explosions, rock Hemet neighborhood

HEMET — A motorhome was destroyed and a man was hospitalized overnight when a destructive blaze ripped through the recreational vehicle Tuesday, Dec. 24. The Christmas eve fire, which happened on the 1300 block of Slate Ave. just south of W. Thornton Ave, destroyed the RV and caused at least two explosions, according to witnesses at the scene.

Last night’s blaze was the second major fire to happen in Hemet on Tuesday, after another blaze tore through a mobile home. A woman who lived at the residence was hospitalized after the fire, which destroyed her home.


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Nearly two dozen City of Hemet firefighters from four engine companies and a truck company were dispatched to the neighborhood around 11:50 p.m., after receiving reports of a motorhome that was on fire.

The first arriving engine company reported finding a small RV parked in the residential neighborhood that was fully engulfed in flames.

Firefighters made quick work extinguishing a blaze that ripped through a motorhome Christmas eve. Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photo

Firefighters immediately set up for an aggressive attack on the blaze and reportedly had the fire extinguished within minutes of their arrival.

While firefighters continued to work at the scene of the blaze paramedics evaluated and treated a man who had been inside the RV when it caught fire. The victim was eventually transported to an area hospital for treatment of unspecified, but non-life threatening injuries.

It was not immediately known if anyone else was in the motorhome when it caught fire, but no other injuries were reported.

After the blaze was knocked down, firefighters remained at the scene for several hours, conducting mop up and overhaul operations.

Although several witnesses at the scene who reside in the neighborhood later reported hearing one or two loud explosions rip through the RV as it burned, officials later said the explosions were most likely caused by the motorhome’s propane tanks.

The cause of last night’s blaze is still under investigation.

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Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photos

Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents video

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Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 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 16 grandchildren.