Fire scorches Irwindale auto shop

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IRWINDALE >> A fire tore through an Irwindale auto shop Saturday, sending a thick cloud of black smoke over the San Gabriel Valley but resulting in no injuries, authorities said.
The fire was first reported about 6:30 p.m. at Irwindale Auto and Truck Repair, at the corner of Arrow Highway and Vincent Avenue, according to Irwindale police and Los Angeles County fire officials.
Firefighters arrived to find flames burning through the roof of the auto shop, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Phil Ulloa said.
Firefighters battled the flames for more than an hour before declaring the fire extinguished at 7:50 p.m., Ulloa said.
In addition to being an auto repair shop, the business also warehouses tires and vehicle batteries.
A fire department hazardous materials crew was summoned to the scene due to damaged batteries, officials said.
The auto shop was closed when the fire broke out, Irwindale police Sgt. Rudy Gatto said. No evacuations were ordered.
One employee who was inside the business when the fire broke out managed to exit safely before firefighters arrived, officials said.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation, and the full extent of the damage was not immediately clear.
The intersection of Arrow Highway and Vincent Avenue was shut down as a result of the blaze and remained closed through Sunday morning, Gatto said.

PHOTO courtesy of the Irwindale Police Department

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UPDATED: Firefighters douse smoking train brakes in Pomona

POMONA >> Firefighter doused smoking and overheating brakes on a freight train Thursday after it came to a stop in Pomona, authorities said.
The incident, initially reported about 1:05 p.m. as a fire in the locomotive of the train at the 71 Freeway and Pomona Boulevard, was ultimately determined not to be an active fire, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Larry Jordan said.
Firefighters found smoke rising from the superheated brakes and axle of the BNSF locomotive, which was hauling a full load of cargo containers, the captain said.
Officials used water to carefully cool the overheated components, he said.
Firefighters declared the incident under control at 1:40 p.m., officials said. No injuries were reported.
The operators of the train had stopped after a warning light on board the train indicated something was wrong with an axle, Jordan said. “Something malfunctioned,” he added.
Upon stopping the train, they found a great deal of smoke emanating from the axle and called for help.

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Fire scorches home in Pasadena

PASADENA >> Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire that ignited on the front porch of a home before it could cause major damage to the structure, officials said.
The fire was reported about 2:30 p.m. at a house in the 2000 block of North Raymond Avenue, near Montana Street, Pasadena fire and police officials said.
The flames first broke out on the porch of the home before working their way into the home’s siding, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
“But quickly extinguished before it spread into the attic,” she said.
One woman was taken to a hospital after reporting that she felt faint, officials said.
Four residents were evacuated from the home and a back house on the same property were not able to re-occupy their homes pending repairs to the electrical system caused by the fire, Derderian said.
Derderian said the fire caused an estimated $26,000 worth of damage to the home and its contents. The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

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Small fire reported at Fox Studios in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES >> Firefighters made quick work of a small fire that broke out late Friday at Fox Studios in Los Angeles, authorities said.
The fire was first reported about 7 p.m. at the studio, 10201 W. Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main said.
“It was a small fire in a wooden storage locker in a sound studio,” Main said. “It was held in check by fire sprinklers.”
Firefighters declared the fire extinguished after 17 minutes, she said. No injuries were reported.
Firefighters remained at the scene clearing water from the building, Main said. Because the affected area has a concrete floor, the damage was believed to be “minimal.”
The cause was not available Friday evening.

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UPDATED: 10-acre fire scorches brush, cars at Monrovia auto salvage yard

MONROVIA — Firefighters quickly doused the flames of a 10-acre brush fire that scorched several junked cars parked at an auto salvage yard Saturday, officials said.
The fire was first reported at 3:38 p.m. at the Peck Road Water Conservation Park, next to LKQ Pick-A-Part along Peck Road just south of Live Oak Avenue, Los Angeles County and Arcadia fire officials said.
Los Angeles County firefighters helped their counterparts in the Arcadia, Monrovia, Pasadena and San Gabriel fire departments with the blaze.
Water-dropping helicopters were initially summoned but quickly cancelled as firefighters got the upper hand on the fire, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Art Marrujo said.
The flames were extinguished at 4:25 p.m., but not before the fire scorched about 10 acres of brush and crossed into the salvage yard, scorching several cars, Arcadia Fire Department spokeswoman Beth Stogner said in a written statement.
“Although the exact cause of the fire remains under investigation, fire investigators are on scene and have identified the origin of the fire in a homeless encampment in the gravel pit,” Stogner said.
No injuries were reported.

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Fire at Pasadena nursing home prompts evacuation of more than 100 residents

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PASADENA >> A car fire spread to a Pasadena nursing home Sunday afternoon, leaving more than 100 residents temporarily displaced, authorities said.
The fire was reported about 2 p.m. at the Pasadena Meadows Nursing Center, 150 Bellefontaine Street, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
A Dodge Avenger parked next to the Pasadena Meadows Nursing Home nursing home caught fire, spreading to the building, she said. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
The fire burned its way into a resident’s room and forced officials to evacuate the 127 primarily bed-ridden patients living at the nursing home, Derderian said.
“Firefighters were assisted by 55 staff members in moving the residents outside the structure, providing shade and hydration as paramedics carefully monitored their status,” Derderian said.
One firefighter suffered a knee injury while battling the blaze, she said.
Once the flames were extinguished, one room had been damaged by the fire, and two additional rooms had sustained smoke damage, she said.
All residents were allowed back into the building Sunday afternoon, and the facility made space elsewhere for the residents whose rooms were affected by the fire, Derderian said.

PHOTO courtesy of the Pasadena Fire Department

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UPDATED: Brush fire reported again in San Dimas Canyon, arson suspected

SAN DIMAS — Officials suspected arson Thursday after firefighters quickly doused a small but suspicious brush fire in the San Dimas Canyon Thursday afternoon, for the fourth time this week, authorities said.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies first reported spotting the fire at 3:47 p.m. along San Dimas Canyon Road, near Golden Hills Road, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Cheryl Sims said.
Firefighters had extinguished the flames at 6:02 p.m., before they consumed more than a 50-foot by 50-foot portion of brush at the base of the canyon.
The cause was under investigation, however Sgt. Louie Serrano of the sheriff’s San Dimas Station said investigated suspected Thursday’s fire was “most likely arson.”
Deputies, who first reported the fire after spotting it while performing extra patrols in the area due to the recent fires, saw several vehicles leaving the area but could not determine if any of them had been involved in the fire.
“We’re not detaining anybody. We don’t have anybody that saw anybody light this,” Serrano said.
Thursday’s fire was the fourth time since Sunday that firefighters have responded to brush fires in the same area.
Another fire reported shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday nearby along Horsethief Canyon Road was ruled arson, Serrano said.
Wednesday’s fire scorched about half an acre of brush before being extinguished, authorities said.
Two other fires broke out Sunday afternoon, officials said. An update on the cause of those fires was not available late Thursday.
None of the fires have resulted in property damage, officials said.

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UPDATED: Two brush fires reported in same area near San Dimas

SAN DIMAS — Firefighters made quick work of a spot fire along San Dimas Canyon Road near San Dimas Sunday afternoon, hours before a second blaze ignited in the same area, officials said.
The initial grass fire was reported at 3:27 p.m. along San Dimas Canyon Road, north of Golden Hills Drive, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Cheryl Sims said.
Los Angeles County firefighters, aided by La Verne firefighters, extinguished the flames in just over 15 minutes, Sims said.
Firefighters returned to the area about 5:30 p.m. after smoke was again spotted emanating from the same area, Sims said.
It was not immediately clear if the second fire was a separate incident, or a flare-up related to the earlier blaze, Sims said.
Water-dropping helicopters were quickly brought to bear on the fire as it remained less than an acre in size, officials said.
No structures were threatened by the flames, Sims said. The fire had initially been burning uphill through brush, but appeared to be, “backing down on itself.”
Some of the assisting firefighters were cancelled as their counterparts were getting the upper hand on the second blaze, which was declared “under control” about 6:15 p.m.
An arson investigator was summoned to the scene to look into the cause of the fires, she said.

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UPDATED: Brush fire erupts near Brand Library Park in Glendale

GLENDALE — Firefighters responded from both ground an air after a brush fire ignited in the hills above Brand Library Park in Glendale and grew to 50-acres in size, officials said.
The fire was reported just before 12:30 p.m., according to a dispatcher at the Verdugo Fire Communications Center.
A third-alarm was called as firefighters from various area agencies, with the aid of fire-fighting aircraft, attacked the flames.
By 3 p.m., the fire had grown to 50 acres in size, according to Glendale city spokesman Dan Bell.
No evacuations were ordered or expected, however firefighters were taking positions to protect structures, officials said.
No home’s were considered “directly threatened” by the fire, however Glendale Fire Department Battalion Chief Thomas Propst said homes along Allen Avenue and Thurber Place were potentially in the path of the fire’s travel.
Two hikers called for help to report they were stranded by the fire, Glendale Fire Department Battalion Chief Thomas Propst said. Firefighters ended up finding and rescuing a total of five hikers in two separate groups from the area and assessed them for possible dehydration, Bell said. No additional hikers were believed stranded in the area.
About 100 firefighters on the ground and five airships continued fighting the flames Sunday afternoon.

- Brian Day and Brenda Gazzar

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Dugout at La Serna High School destroyed in apparent arson fire

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A dugout alongside the baseball diamond at La Serna High School was destroyed early Thursday in a suspected arson fire, police said.
Firefighters first responded to the fire at the campus, 15301 Youngwood Drive, about 5:30 a.m., Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
“We’re suspecting it’s an arson,” Whittier police Sgt. Jim Uhl said.
The dugout also included a locker room and a coaches office, he said.
Officials estimate that the fire caused $50,000 worth of damage.
When school officials arrived at the campus about 7 a.m. and encountered the damage, as well as firefighters, they notified Whittier police, officials said. They became suspicious, as it was the second fire reported at the school this week.
“Apparently, some trash cans were set on fire near the tennis courts Monday night June 9th, however the Whittier Police were not called and no structures were involved,” according to the police statement.
“This morning La Serna High School staff felt that the fires on Monday night and the fires this morning were not isolated events and asked for the Whittier Police Department’s involvement.”
No information regarding a suspect or motive was available, and no further details were released.
Detectives spent about six hours at the scene collecting evidence and searching for clues, officials said. Whittier police detectives are working in conjunction with investigators from the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
“Other than the fires occurring on this specific campus, there appears to be no specific threats to staff or students and no other fires have been reported to the Whittier Police Department by area schools over the last few months,” according to the police statement.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Detective Dineen at the Whittier Police Department, which can be reached at 562-567-9241.

PHOTO by Leo Jarzomb

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