County Fire sees sudden increase in fire reports

By From page A13 | December 28, 2012

El Dorado County Fire has had a busy week. The fire district responded to nine calls between Dec. 20 and 27, with five calls being fires that did damage.

Dec. 20 saw four calls, including the previously covered M&M Auto Body in Camino.

The day started off with a fire at 2801 Hidden Springs Circle in Placerville, Battalion Chief Mike Pott said. A mobile/modular home had heavy smoke coming from it on arrival. The family, Pott said, was out to breakfast and was called back by neighbors.

“The fire was traced to the kitchen, to a battery charger,” Pott said. “It did a lot of damage, but didn’t burn through the roof.”

The kitchen and den areas sustained damage, with heavy smoke damage throughout the residence. El Dorado County Fire, Diamond Springs Fire and Cal Fire responded to the call.

At 3 p.m. a report came in regarding an outbuilding on fire on Davis Court in Placerville. However, upon arrival, fire crews found no fire.

The next incident took place on the 3100 block of Goldner Street in Placerville. A “flash fire” resulted in two burn victims, with one refusing treatment and one being taken to the UC Davis Burn Unit.

“The expanding fireball knocked out windows,” Pott said, and did damage to drywall.

On Dec. 21, a structure fire was reported at 5899 Pony Express Trail at 7:30 p.m. “It was a bedroom fire,” Pott said. Two people were inside with a moderate amount of smoke. They were assisted outside by crews. The fire originated from the mattress, Pott said, and it is believed to be a smoking material-related fire. El Dorado County Fire and Diamond Springs Fire responded.

The next day, Dec. 22, at 12:30 p.m. El Dorado County Fire and Diamond Springs Fire responded to a false alarm at Pacific Street and Cedar Ravine Road, a dentist’s office, where smoke was reported. However, it was simply a malfunctioning pellet stove.

At 10:30 p.m., a fire was reported at 1383 Silver Fork Road. It was reported that power lines were down and possibly causing a residence fire. Due to heavy traffic from the snow, crews were delayed. Upon arrival, a deck with a small fire from the power lines was found. PG&E cut the power to the lines and the fire was put out. There was no other damage done to the residence.

On Dec. 25, a fire was reported at 2833 Bryan Way, but it was found the fire was actually at 2831. See the A-1 story for more details.

Another false alarm was found in the 3900 block of Donner Trail the morning of Dec. 27, with no source found for the smoke and the smoke dissipating.

Amidst the rash of fire calls, Pott said it is important to have working smoke alarms. He also said that keeping chimneys cleaned and having chimneys inspected is very important. Cracks in masonry can lead to super-heated gases, which then burn dry wood. It is also important to not leave candles unattended, as they are a popular holiday decoration, he said.

Wood stoves should also be watched, with combustibles kept well away from the stoves. Drying firewood near wood stoves is also not advised.

Although Christmas is over, Christmas trees could still be a concern, especially as they are likely dry now, Pott said. The trees are likely no longer taking on water, making them a fire hazard. Electronic decorations are also a concern, as they may overload circuits. Also beware of splices or splits in power cords.

Cole Mayer

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