East County fires knocked down early
A pair of East County fires were quickly knocked down by Heartland Fire and Rescue before significant damage could from flames jumping to adjacent properties last Saturday.
A resident of Santee was displaced when a mobile home became a total loss following a late afternoon blaze. It took firefighters a half-hour to put out the flames at a park on East Bradley Avenue, just west of North Mollison Avenue.
A Heartland dispatcher said the fire was contained to a single unit.
Meanwhile, SWAT training between joint forces from the El Cajon Police Department and firefighters saw a smoke device accidentally spark a four-acre brush at the ECPD shooting range on Reuben Fleet Drive west of Cuyamaca Street. The fire raced up a hill aided by 10 mph winds and threatened homes along Hacienda Drive.
The nonexplosive smoke device ignited flames in dry grass around the range. Police warned residents about the blaze and closed streets in the area. Two county firefighting helicopters helped firefighters douse the flames.
A dispatcher said a Heartland strike team surrounded homes and kept them from being damaged. Most of the flames were knocked down by about 3:40 p.m., but firefighters continued dousing hot spots for at least another hour.
One firefighter injured his knee and was taken to a hospital. He was in stable condition, Heartland spokesperson Sonny Saghera reported.
“The El Cajon SWAT team is currently re-evaluating the safety procedures for the deploying of such devises to ensure that similar events do not occur,” said public information officer Lt. Mark Coit. “The El Cajon Police Department regrets any inconvenience to residents in the area.”