Firefighter injured, dog saved, after Valle Vista mobile homes burn

VALLE VISTA, Calif. — Two homes, along with at least one pickup truck and several outbuildings were destroyed after a blaze tore through a Valle Vista residential neighborhood early Saturday morning, Jan. 9. Although both homes were left uninhabitable, it was later learned that two young bystanders rescued a dog that was tied to a tree within a few feet of one of the burning homes.

One firefighter was hospitalized with minor injuries after the fire, which happened in the area of 4th and C streets.


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Cal Fire-Riverside and Riverside County sheriff’s deputies were initially alerted to the blaze around 12:15 a.m., after receiving multiple reports of a residential structure fire involving a mobile home.

While firefighters were still headed to the scene, updates began pouring in that the fire had spread to an adjacent home and that both residences were burning.

Two mobile homes and a pickup truck were destroyed after a blaze ripped through one residence before jumping to the other. John Strangis/EN Media Productions photo

At that point, Cal Fire requested mutual aid and additional resources to the scene, at which time Hemet Fire and Soboba Fire departments were dispatched to the blaze.

Once firefighters arrived they found one mobile home fully engulfed in flames, with fire quickly spreading to a neighboring residence and vehicle. The blaze also caused several overhead power lines to catch fire and begin melting.

Firefighters began preparing for an aggressive attack, but were eventually forced to focus on fire suppression efforts to keep the blaze from moving onto other nearby homes.

Firefighters had the blaze under control within an hour, according to Cal Fire and firefighters remained on scene for several hours for overhaul and mop-up operations.


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Once the fire was suppressed and officials determined nobody had been inside the residences that burned however both were left uninhabitable. Red Cross representatives were summoned for two victims who were displaced by the early morning fire.

According to a fire official at the scene, one firefighter was transported to an area hospital for treatment of heat exhaustion. His condition and injury was considered minor and he is expected to fully recover.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

A dog and its owner are reunited after Saturday’s early morning fire. The dog was rescued from nearly burning to death due to being tied to a tree within close proximity to the blaze that ultimately burned one residence to the ground and destroyed an adjacent home and vehicle. John Strangis/EN Media Productions photo

A bystander later told local community reporters that he and his friend had spotted a German Shepard tied to a tree mere feet from the burning home. He said he raced to the dog’s rescue, cut the rope holding it within the fire’s reach and led it to safety. The dog was later returned to it’s grateful owner (See videos and interviews below.)

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

John Strangis/EN Media Productions photos above, video below.

Eddie George/Hemet News video below.

Timothy Franzese/Public Safety Incidents photos above, video below.

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Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 49, 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 KRCR News Channel 7 and Mountain Echo in Shasta County, Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; 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. (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 30 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 18 grandchildren.

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