By Angela Musallam

RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) — A Rancho Cordova neighborhood banded together trying to save their homes from a grass fire.

The fire was started by illegal fireworks, according to Sac Metro firefighters. It happened in the area of Douglas and Sunrise boulevards on Sunday afternoon.

None of the homes were damaged, but neighbors panicked and tried to hose the fire down until help arrived.

“He was in the backyard trying to get the hose over the fence, and we were trying to get another hose to reach some of the neighbors,” said Kathy Brand.

Brand’s husband was one of many who rolled out his garden hose to protect his neighborhood. Cellphone video from Sunday showed the fire which was caused by illegal fireworks.

“You can just see, the flames were really high, and they were moving super fast. It was really scary.”

Brand says everything happened so fast. She saw neighbors run out of their homes with fire extinguishers, rakes and shovels. They were racing to keep the fire back while help was on its way.

Sac Metro Fire Capt. Chris Vestal says the disc line is what saved the neighborhood from burning down.

“It’s breaking the continuity of the grasses. If the grasses were full, there’s no way we could have protected it.”

Although neighbors’ efforts didn’t go unnoticed, Vestal recommends they instead remove anything that could catch fire in their yards.

“We could have been victims of the fire,” said Apurva Pandey, a neighbor.

While having neighbors step in to fight the fire isn’t advised by the fire department, Pandey and her mother say it helped save their lives.

“Not a single person, not a single house was affected all because of one single person’s act of kindness,” said Pandey.

She says her next door neighbor knocked on her door and told her family they needed to leave. And for that, Pandey says she’s extremely grateful.

“He’s our hero, yeah. We all think he’s our hero.”

The Fireworks Task Force overseen by Sac Metro Fire will be out in full force starting Wednesday, to try and prevent fires and the injuries associated with illegal fireworks.


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