By Douglas W. Motley
A fire, first reported at 8:57 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17, charred the exterior and an interior office of the Mountain Transit building in the 600 block of Forest Shade Road in Crestline.
Nearby residents reported hearing popping sounds shortly before 9 a.m., while others reported hearing an explosion, followed shortly afterward by a plume of black smoke rising skyward toward Goodwin and Son’s Market at the corner of Lake Drive and Lake Gregory Drive.
Several business owners in the Lake Drive business district reported a power outage shortly before the fire erupted on Forest Shade Road. According to scanner reports obtained by The Alpine Mountaineer, a power generator malfunction at Mountain Transit is believed responsible for igniting the blaze.
Fire agencies arriving at the scene of the blaze within minutes included units from San Bernardino County Fire Department, Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service. Firefighters, who reportedly prevented the blaze from spreading to nearby brush and other nearby structures, had the blaze under control shortly after 9 a.m.
An estimate of the cost of damages to Mountain Transit’s Crestline facility was not immediately available. Fire officials are investigating the cause of the fire.
In a statement issued Saturday, Aug. 17, Mountain Transit Community Outreach spokesperson Tiffany Milburn stated, “Due to a small fire in our Crestline facility this morning (8/17/19), which affected our main servers, dispatchers will temporarily be unable to book additional Dial-a-Ride reservations until the fire department clears the building and our IT team can access the damage. This will affect Dial-a-Ride service systemwide (Big Bear and Rim) as the main servers are hosted in our Crestline facility.
“The Crestline office is currently closed to staff and public,” Milburn added. “At this time, all other services are running as scheduled and the Big Bear office has taken over dispatch. We will keep the community posted as we have more information.”