At 1:46 a.m. on Aug. 18, San Bernardino County Fire crews were dispatched to a reported structure fire in the 29000 block of Mammoth Drive in Lake Arrowhead. Callers to 9-1-1 stated they heard an explosion and then saw the exterior of the house on fire.
Crews arrived to find one home well involved with multiple exposures nearby. Crews initiated a fire attack, working to keep the fire from spreading to additional homes and the surrounding vegetation. Arriving fire crews found a large ember cast, downed power lines and high radiant heat. Due to the amount of fire and threat potential, a second alarm was struck.
Due to the fire involvement, firefighters performed a defensive fire attack. Crews worked to limit the spread from the large two-story home fully involved to other nearby structures. Limited water supply, high radiant heat and downed power lines all complicated fire suppression efforts. Ultimately the fire destroyed two homes. Two additional homes received exterior damage but were saved by firefighters. Despite the losses, firefighters were able to save numerous homes. Numerous spot fires into the vegetation were also found and quickly addressed.
The fire was knocked down in approximately 90 minutes. Crews remained on scene for multiple hours working on salvage and overhaul. The fire remains under investigation by County Fire investigators. One firefighter sustained minor a burn injury.
San Bernardino County Fire responded with eight engines, three battalion chiefs, a medic ambulance, a safety officer and a fire investigator. Cal Fire assisted with three engines and a chief officer.
Posts on Facebook speculated that the initial fire broke out as the result of a gas leak at a rental property. The second home destroyed was the home of Mark Malone, the director of technology services for the Rim of the World Unified School District. He and his family were able to escape the blaze but lost all of their possessions.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to assist the Malone family: https://gofund.me/d18a99e6.