Oceanside CA— Just after 7:30pm, New Years Eve, firefighters from Oceanside and Carlsbad were dispatched to multiple reports of a home on fire in the 600 block of South Brooks Street in Oceanside.
The first unit arrived in approximately 5 minutes, reporting heavy fire and smoke coming from the front of the residence. Crews advanced interior attack lines to complete a primary search for occupants and locate the fire.
Additional crews arrived to support the first arriving crews and the fire was located and confined to the front bedroom and hallway bathroom inside the residence. A search of the residence was completed at the same time, the owner of the home was located to verify no one else was inside the home.
A CHP Officer for 32 years and now retired, Robert Wallin lives across from the home that burned and described what he saw “I was watching a CSI rerun for the hundredth time when I saw a reflection of a flame in the shape of a tiki torch. Well I thought to myself, that didn’t look right, so I peeked through the window and saw large flames coming from the front room of the house so I dialed 9-1-1.” continued Robert “I’ve seen a lot of house fires, car fires and oil well fires and if you don’t catch them right away, they are gone.” Robert added “They got this one pretty fast.”
“The owner was home alone watching TV in his garage at the time of the fire.” explained Oceanside Fire Department Battalion Chief, Greg De Avila, “The power went out while he was watching TV and as he got up to see what happened with the power, he started smelling smoke. At the same time, he heard neighbors start knocking on his door and yelling that his house was on fire.” continued the Chief, “When he got into the house, he saw a lot of heavy smoke and just exited out the front door.”
Power was out to several neighboring homes and a wire dropped onto the lone Carlsbad Engine at the scene. The wire wasn’t live but in an abundance of caution, was treated as a live wire. SDG&E was on scene to restore power to all the affected homes except for the one damaged in the blaze.
As the fire spread, it traveled down a hallway, then communicated to the joining bedroom and bathroom. The fire was extinguished and under control fifteen minutes after the first units arrived at the scene.
Additional crews immediately began salvage operations of the occupant’s property and overhaul of the fire area was completed. Personnel belongings were salvaged and removed as well as an expensive family piano.
Total damage has been estimated at $150,000, including $120,000 to the structure and $30,000 in contents affected by fire extension and smoke damage throughout the house.
Along with Oceanside and Carlsbad Fire Departments, a Battalion Chief from Vista assisted at the scene. No injuries were reported.