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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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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 366589 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 12:35 PM

It's great to see neighbors springing into action to help out. I know the FD doesn't think you should do that, but if you can stomp it out when it's small, why not?
Good job SB!
Bring back the "neighborhood watch," take back SB.


 COMMENT 366599 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 12:52 PM

Another reason to keep clearing out homeless camps since they're a hazard.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 12:59 PM

Since you reported the other fires just might as well put it out there might be a torch on the loose, I don't think they are all warming fires.


 COMMENT 366666 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 02:53 PM

I am glad the residents "outened the flames" in time! ;) As a frequent user of Loma Alta, those homeless camps and the related hillside degradation and refuse have always bothered me. Now, it seems like they are a life safety issue, too. Thanks for the report!


 COMMENT 366701 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 04:19 PM

There have been too many small fires in too short a period of time for them to be coincidental. Someone is having a good time.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 06:19 PM

Yea didn't think it was warming fires..I had heard things that indicated there might be an arsonist involved. I did not want to say anything because I wanted them to catch him.. We have a good fire department here they are more concerned with saving lives..Maybe the person will stop maybe not seems like whomever they are they want to get the homeless in trouble. Although the arsonist could be homeless..The arsonist could be anyone.


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 07:14 AM

Urban Hikers, You take wonderful pictures and keep us well informed, thanks. I think the Fire Dept would really appreciate some of your photos for their scrapebooks or files.


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