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Firefighters’ Response To Three-Alarm Fire Slowed By Arcing Power Lines In South Sacramento

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Ian Schwartz Ian Schwartz
Ian Schwartz comes to the great state of California from Albuquerque,...
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SOUTH SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A three-alarm blaze devoured homes, buildings and cars in a South Sacramento community, and arcing power lines played a big role in slowing firefighters’ response.

The fire broke out on Stockton Boulevard and quickly spread to other buildings and abandoned cars. The area was filled with vacant homes and debris, creating a difficult situation for first responders.

The large fire sounded like a movie set at times as bursts of electricity from a downed powerline added bright flashes to the flames.

The wind pushed the fire closer to the home Pat Calloway has lived in since the 1940s. She ran and turned on the sprinklers, trying to keep the fire away from her yard.

“I had live embers on top of the garage,” she said. “I came in the house and my hair was full of ashes.”

The fire started around 6 p.m. and spread to two homes and the back of David Dao’s auto shop. He says luckily the burned cars were mostly junk cars.

“The main problem with this fire was access, even though we had a lot of personnel, getting the personnel in place was a big problem and also the power lines we have down are a problem,” said Roberto Padilla with the Sacramento Fire Department.

The power company eventually killed the juice to the popping power lines, letting crews get closer to put out the last few burning cars.

Calloway says she’s glad firefighters moved quickly and were ready to defend her home that she thought would be next.

“They may not work all the time, but when they work they really work hard,” she said.

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