Rutty Roads, Zero Hydrants Challenge Fire Department on Arthur Road

From Arcata Fire

Snapshot 1 (5-29-2013 11-16 AM)
ARCATA, CA- (May 28, 2013)- Arcata Fire District personnel responded to 2264 Arthur Road in McKinleyville after receiving a report for a residential structure fire. Firefighters arrived and found the structure 25% involved with fire and flames showing through the roof. The location was in a rural area with no fire hydrants and difficult access because roads were not maintained. AFPD Firefighters began a defensive fire attack as they waited for additional personnel Snapshot 2 (5-29-2013 11-16 AM)Snapshot 3 (5-29-2013 11-16 AM)to arrive. The homeowner advised firefighters that the house was not occupied.

As additional firefighters arrived, the strategy was changed from a defensive fire attack to an offensive fire attack and crews working inside reported heavy fire burning in the attic space. It took firefighters approximately 40 minutes to contain the fire.

One firefighter sustained minor injuries after being hit in the face by a piece of equipment. He was treated at the scene and returned to work.

This incident posed a unique set of challenges because of the rural location of the residence. Battalion Chief Campbell stated, “These fires are difficult because we have a long response time, there are no hydrants, and the roads are overgrown and badly rutted”. Two 4-wheel drive engines were requested to the scene because the road conditions were so bad.

Battalion Chief Campbell reported, “This fire had a significant head start on us. Our firefighters did a great job being aggressive and working as a team to save the homeowners property”.

Battalion Chief Campbell reports, “This fire was accidental in nature. The fire started in the attic space above the kitchen and the only potential source is an electrical failure.”