Man interrupts firefighters extinguishing fire; marijuana found in home

LAKE ELSINORE – A man who allegedly tried to prevent firefighters from getting inside a Lake Elsinore house to extinguish a fire was released from custody today.

Irbin Franco, 23, of Wildomar, was arrested Wednesday night on suspicion of obstructing a public safety official after he allegedly stymied Riverside County fire crews as they attempted to knock down a blaze in the 33200 block of Tetterington Street, near Hays Avenue, according to Riverside County sheriff’s and fire department officials.

The fire broke out around 7:50 p.m., with five engine crews and a truck company — numbering around 20 firefighters — arriving minutes later, a fire department spokeswoman said.

Sheriff’s Lt. David Knudson said deputies were called to the scene for crowd control and to close the street, but instead had to contend with Franco and a woman ”acting erratically” and trying to prevent firefighters from doing their job.

According to Knudson, the woman, whose identity was not released, was detained and transported to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, while Franco was arrested.

The lieutenant said firefighters located a small quantity of marijuana in the house and turned it over to deputies.

”It does not appear that the marijuana and the cause of the fire are related,” Knudson said.

The fire was contained within an hour. The cause remained under investigation.

Franco posted a $2,500 bond and was released from the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta this morning.

LAKE ELSINORE – On March 19, deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department responded to the 33000 block of Tetterington Street, Lakeland Village, to assist firefighters who were attempting to extinguish a residential fire.

Upon arrival, deputies provided crowd and traffic control for numerous fire vehicles that were used to suppress the fire. While deputies were on the street near the fire, two subjects began to interfere with their efforts. A female was detained who was acting erratically.

She was subsequently transported to a local hospital for a mental health examination. A male adult, identified as Irbin Franco, 23-years-old of Wildomar, was arrested for obstructing peace officers in the performance of their duties and later booked into jail.

Fire personnel located a small amount of marijuana while inside the residence that they turned over to law enforcement. It does not appear that the marijuana and the cause of the fire are related.

Anyone with information in this matter is encouraged to contact the Riverside County Sheriff’s Departments Lake Elsinore Station at 951-245-3300.

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