Oceanside CA— Numerous callers dialed 9-1-1, on Thursday evening, to report a fire in a two-story residence in the Oceanside community of Rancho Del Oro.
The first fire units were dispatched at 9:21 and arrived on scene, in the 4300 block of Milano Way, just shy of seven minutes later at 9:28. The first arriving units found heavy fire and smoke emanating from a second floor bedroom window and pulled lines through the garage and into the structure to begin extinguishing the fire.
Firefighters encountered very high heat and thick black smoke as they climbed the stairs to the second story. Because the homeowner had closed the door to the bedroom when they first saw the fire, the initial crews could not see the main body of fire until the door burned through as they approached the end of the hall. With back-up crews supporting them, the firefighters were able to quickly knock the fire down and complete a thorough search of the fire area.
Additional crews accessed the roof and cut ventilation holes to release the smoke and heat trapped inside the house.
The fire was declared under control 23 minutes after arrival.
The house was occupied at the time of the fire by a husband and wife and an adult son. They were watching TV downstairs when they heard the smoke detector activate upstairs. When they went upstairs to investigate, they saw smoke and fire coming from a corner bedroom. “Fortunately the family was alerted to the fire by the smoke detectors. Otherwise the fire would have continued to burn unchecked for quite some time.” said Oceanside Fire Department Battalion Chief Peter Lawrence.
Quick thinking by the husband allowed him to remember to shut the bedroom door, keeping the fire primarily contained to the one room. “When firefighters touched the bedroom door to check for heat, the door failed. At that point, fire came out the doorway, at firefighters, but they were able make access and knock the fire down pretty quickly.” continued the Battalion Chief. “The family also was very astute to evacuate the house and not try and fight the rapidly growing fire. Combined with having working smoke detectors and shutting the door to contain the fire, this incident was a perfect example of doing everything correctly when confronted by a fire in your house.”
Damage has been estimated at $150,000, including $100,000 to the structure and $50,000 to contents. The involved bedroom was completely destroyed by fire while the entire upstairs suffered heavy smoke and heat damage. The downstairs suffered only limited water damage. Since the house was unable to be re-occupied, the American Red Cross responded to assist the homeowners.
An investigator from the Oceanside Fire Department responded to the scene in order to determine the cause of the fire. The investigator was able to determine the fire was accidental in nature and originated in a light fixture in the corner of the bedroom.
There were no injuries to firefighters or residents.
A total of 23 firefighters including 2 Chiefs on 4 Engines, 2 Trucks, 1 Ambulance, 1 Investigator responded with assistance of the Vista Fire Department.