Posted: Aug 11, 2012 9:05 PM by Mitch Bryan
Updated: Aug 11, 2012 10:50 PM
PETRONILA - Fire crews were called out County Road 22 in Petronila around 4pm Saturday evening. When they arrived, they found a massive brush blaze that had set two trailer homes on fire.
Next door neighbor Matt Olivares was watching TV when his friend barged in and told him they had to get out now.
As the fire tore through the home and continued to burn it's way towards Matt's house, he found himself frozen for a moment.
"I was about to bust out in tears because I thought it was about to catch fire to our house and I didn't know what to do," said Olivares.
That's when Matt ran to his neighbor's trailer and helped a woman out, then he turned his attention toward the flames licking at his backyard.
"It covered our house. You couldn't even see our house because it was covered in smoke," Matt said.
By the time Matt got his own water hose out, fire crews were on scene to take over. They battled the blaze for nearly an hour before putting it out, 20 acres in all, torched by the flames.
But it was not easy going.
"When you have your gear on it's automatically 10 or 15 more degrees already. You look at the flames and as you get close it's about 700 degrees more," said one of the firefighters.
With temperatures hovering in the low 100s as is, fire fighters found themselves at serious risk of heat exhaustion as they fought the flames.
I'm told they emptied about 4 coolers full of water. Two fire fighters were actually called away from the scene as they began to show symptoms of overheating.
Fire officials say they still don't know what caused the blaze, but one family has contacted us, the Rodriguez family says they have five children and lost everything in the fire, clothes, house and all. They said they can use all the help they can get. If you would like to donate in any way, call the family at 960-8944 and ask for Crystaline Rodriguez.
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