The fast-moving burn tore through walls at the storage facility in just seconds. "We had power lines down preventing our entrance. We had explosions of unknown origin, bullets and a lot of compressed cylinders. Actually I was hearing some of the shrapnel hit buildings around me," said battalion chief Tony Escobedo.
The flames destroyed family heirlooms and expensive equipment stored in the buildings. Mike Medina said, "They said it started in the unit before us and then it jumped over to ours, but we lost pretty much everything."
While 80 firefighters worked to contain the explosions, others were sent to calls around the city including a mobile home fire. For three hours, the department was stretched thin. "The firefighters are drawn to emergency events. We don't have any more resources to handle 911 medical requests," added Escobedo.
American Ambulance took charge of the emergencies during that period. Firefighters believe this extremely dry year may result in more grass fires and hectic days like this one. "We are worried because not only is summer coming, the conditions of the growth out there all the vegetation out there is very, very dry. With the wind it's like the perfect storm," said Escobedo.