At approximately 4:44 p.m., on Monday, Sept. 9, a 3-alarm fire was called to a residence on Guthrie Street, in Highland, engaging a large contingency of firefighting resources to a fire that burned three residential structures.
Flames as high as 50 feet, or more, roared upward, as firefighters tried to get an upper hand on the blaze at 7426 Guthrie Street just north of 11th Street.
As the blaze was fought, large popping sounds could be heard, and the smell of burning plastic filled the air.
“It originally spread from one residence to another,” said Yucaipa Battalion Chief Malinoski.
“We have Highland Cal Fire resources, Cal Fire Yucaipa, Cal Fire San Bernardino, San Bernardino County Fire, San Manuel fire, Redlands Fire, Colton Fire and other agencies.”
According to Malinoski, the firefighting teams went on attack and rescue mode.
The firefighters did not find anyone in the three homes, after a primary and secondary search.
A natural gas leak was detected, and Southern California Gas was notified.
Although the cause was not known, the gas leak may have contributed to the fire.
After the blaze had been doused, and the external flames were extinguished, several teams of firefighters went on the roof to ventilate the home.
They used saws, rakes and other tools to remove tiles and other debris from the roof.
A firefighter would score a rectangular shape in the roof, allowing the fire to breathe.
Once a section of the roof was pried free, large flames leaped from the open space.
The ventilation of the smoke and flames would provide better visibility to the firefighters that went into the structures.
Each home required its own team to extinguish and manage the flames of that structure.
Captain Liz Brown of a Highland station was leading a divisional assignment, as part of a coordinated effort to address the fires of each of the dwellings.
There were no injuries reported at that time.
Local law enforcement was on hand to assist with the closure of Guthrie and investigation into the cause of the fire.
The collaborative effort of a multitude of fire-fighting agencies prevented the inferno from spreading to additional structures and possibly injuring residents on that street.
There was major fire damage to all three residences, according Malinoski.