DELANO, Calif., At 3:21 a.m. on November 8th, the Kern County Fire Department received reports of smoke coming from a residential structure. The first-in engine was informed by the Emergency Communications Center while en route that they were receiving multiple reports of heavy smoke coming from the dispatch address. The call was then upgraded to a "Reinforced Structure Fire" response to increase equipment and personnel responding.
The first-in engine arrived on scene and stated that they had a two-story single-family structure, approximately 2,000 square foot in size, with heavy fire and smoke coming from the back of the house. They also stated that there was a "high victim profile", or high likelihood of persons inside needing to be rescued. KCFD Captain 34 assumed Incident Command and performed a "360" of the structure, a survey around all sides of the involved structure to create an accurate size up. While the Incident Commander completed his 360, Engineer 34 established a water supply, by connecting to a nearby fire hydrant, and Firefighter 34 pulled a hoseline to the front of the structure for fire attack. KCFD Engine 37 arrived on scene and was assigned to pull a second hoseline to assist with fire attack from the back part of the structure. Due to the involvement of the structure, Engineer 37 established his own water supply from a different hydrant down the street from the dispatch address. KCFD Engine 33 arrived on scene and was assigned to complete a primary search for victims inside and to fire attack. Firefighters made an aggressive attack on the fire on the first floor and proceeded to the second floor to knockdown the fire. KCFD Battalion 3 arrived on scene and made a face to face with the Incident Commander, and after a pass down was performed, Battalion 3 assumed command of the Casa Incident. ECC was informed of the transfer and was advised that crews were still operating with a high victim profile. The primary search of both the first and second floors were completed. KCFD Engine 31 from Wasco arrived and was tasked with performing a secondary search of both the first and second floor of the structure. The secondary search was completed and was all clear. ECC was informed that a knockdown of the fire was achieved by on scene crews. A request was made through ECC to respond Engine 937 from Kern Vally State Prison to assist with overhaul and equipment rehab. Kern County Fire Investigators were also requested to respond to assist with fire investigations.
The occupant stated that they were awaken by the sound of smoke alarms. They awoke to a room filled with smoke and immediately grabbed two children, carrying them safely out of the house to a neighbor across the street. Attempts were made to retrieve the family's dogs, but the extreme fire intensity made this impossible. Sadly, two dogs perished in the fire.
Crews remained on scene for approximately 6 hours checking for fire extension and extinguishing pockets of fire. The Red Cross was notified; however, their assistance was not needed. Due to the amount of damage to the house, a SAVE Card was given to the occupants. A SAVE Card is given to individuals whose home has sustained 25% or greater damage from a disaster. The SAVE Card program is provided to homeowners through the California Fire Foundation. This program is financed entirely through private and corporate donations made through the California Fire Foundation.