BREAKING: HEMET: Popular restaurant, El Patron, destroyed by blaze

35 firefighters battled the blaze at popular Hemet eatery, El Patron. George Evans photo
35 firefighters battled the blaze at popular Hemet eatery, El Patron. George Evans photo

HEMET – A popular Hemet restaurant, El Patron, was destroyed by a blaze that burned out of control after it caught fire Thursday Dec. 22. The restaurant is located in the 41000 block of Highway 74 in the Little Lake community in the unincorporated area of Hemet.

Cal Fire/Riverside County firefighters responded to reports of the early-morning blaze at the restaurant at 1:35 a.m.

25 firefighters from seven engine companies were initially dispatched to the fire, according to Cal Fire Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer April Newman. They were assisted by a Breathing Support Unit and a Medic Squad.

Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Hemet and San Jacinto Police Stations responded to the location to assist with crowd and traffic control.

The first arriving engine company reported a large, 3,000 square foot commercial restaurant with heavy smoke and fire showing through the roof.

Firefighters immediately began to mount an aggressive attack against the fire. In spite of their efforts and the intermittent rain, the fire continued to grow.

At 2:30 a.m., Newman updated that the restaurant was fully engulfed in flames and was burning out of control.While firefighters battled the blaze, deputies diverted east and west bound traffic away from the scene of the fire, to ensure the safety of emergency first responders at the scene of the fire.

Two additional engine companies and a truck were were summoned to the scene of the fire as firefighters switched from attack to defensive mode.


“Firefighters are battling the fire from the exterior of the building,” Newman explained.

Newman provided another update at 2:55 a.m., stating that firefighters were continuing to battle the raging blaze and were expected to keep fighting the fire for three to four more hours.

Firefighters finally brought the blaze under control shortly after 6 a.m., but not until after the restaurant sustained ” significant fire damage throughout the structure,” according to Newman.

In all, more than 35 firefighters helped bring the fire under control.

Firefighters were expected to remain on scene for several more hours for extensive overhaul and mop up operations.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

This is a developing story. Updates will be provided as they become available.

2 Responses to "BREAKING: HEMET: Popular restaurant, El Patron, destroyed by blaze"

  1. Eliza Smith   December 22, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    I am in disbelief and shock of the El Patron Restaurant burning down. I was just there on Monday for lunch with Friend’s from Pico Rivera. They come down every so often for the great food. My heart goes out to the employees. Just shy of Christmas. I hope the owners plan on re-building. It’s a terrible loss to the Community. Praise God no one was hurt.

  2. Josie Kankelborg   December 27, 2016 at 8:57 am

    oh Wow! this is really tragic. El Patron was one of the best restaurants in Hemet. Thank God no one was injured. I pray that they will be able to rebuild.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.