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Fire at Loma Alta - 2.0
updated: Jan 23, 2013, 12:17 PM

By The Urban Hikers

At approximately 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening, as reported by a very busy Roger the Scanner Guy, another fire on Loma Alta was reported to SBFD. This was the second fire in that immediate vicinity in as many days. While Monday night's fire started above Loma Alta, Tuesday night's fire appears to have started on the hillside below the roadway.

Quick-acting residents in the neighborhood on Marilla Ave. outened the flames with a nearby garden hose. They used a ladder to access the flames, by way of a retaining wall on the hillside. At that time, the flames were reported to be approximately 10 feet high.

Shortly after the initial report, when crews from Engine 1arrived on scene, the flames had already been extinguished. Firefighters remained on scene, however, to make certain there were no flare-ups, and to secure the area for the investigator's work.

It was noted that the low winds were advantageous to the firefighting effort. While overall humidity was somewhat low, the quick response of nearby residents, as well as their willingness to ascend the steep hillside with a garden hose, aided in the speedy suppression of this potentially dangerous vegetation fire.

A fire investigator arrived immediately on scene to inspect, as well as to interview several witnesses who mentioned seeing a homeless encampment at the location of Tuesday night's fire. The encampment has reportedly been a neighborhood fixture for many years.

This was the fourth suspicious fire on the lower Westside in five days. On Friday, a fire broke out in Bohnett Park; on Saturday, there was a fire near Shoreline Community Church on San Andreas Street; on Monday there was a vegetation fire on the hillside above Loma Alta, and on Tuesday, this fire broke out below and north of Monday's fire on Loma Alta. While there is no definitive cause for this fire, investigators and fire personnel will be working to determine whether it is coincidence, or whether there is a relationship with any or all of these fires.

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