Blaze destroys Calexico home, fire inspector rescues children

July 06, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Fire destroyed a home here Thursday but not before the city's fire inspector — who spotted the blaze — got two children out of the house.

The fire, described by fire officials as suspicious in nature, started on the fence that surrounds the house at 212 7th St.

Calexico Fire Inspector George Chavez, who was driving through the area, spotted the blaze and reported it. He checked to see if there was anyone inside the house and found two children, ages 8 and 12.

The parents of the children were at work not far from the house, said Calexico fire Capt. Peter Mercado

Chavez got the children out of the house before other firefighters arrived, Mercado said.

He said the department was called to the fire at 3 p.m. and got to the scene within three minutes.

What was originally reported as a fence fire became a house blaze when firefighters saw smoke coming from vents, indicating the fire had spread into the attic.


Mercado said the fire quickly spread and became too large for the seven available Calexico firefighters available.

He said the mutual-aid system was activated and firefighters from El Centro, Brawley and Imperial County responded.

"You needed more than seven people to fight this damn fire," Mercado said. "That's why we went to mutual aid."

Mercado said it took 45 minutes to control the blaze and about three hours to extinguish.

Mercado said the home was destroyed by smoke, fire and water damage.

No one was injured in the fire. Mercado estimated the loss at $70,000.

Mercado said the fire was under investigation. When asked if the blaze might be an arson, he said only that is was suspicious.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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