RIVERSIDE: Citizens armed with shovels & extinguishers help control blaze started by fireworks

Firefighters managed to quickly knock down the vegetation fire, thanks in part due to the efforts of citizens who helped contain the blaze. Loudlabs News photo
Firefighters managed to quickly knock down the vegetation fire, thanks in part due to the efforts of citizens who helped contain the blaze. Loudlabs News photo

RIVERSIDE — Fast acting citizens sprung into action when a heavily vegetated area behind several homes caught fire Friday night, July 7. The fire, which was reportedly started by juveniles playing with illegal fireworks in a wash area, broke out in the 1400 block of Highridge, east of Washington and south of Bradley Streets, in Riverside.

The fire was first reported shortly after 9:30 p.m., by several concerned area residents who told City of Riverside emergency dispatchers that several citizens were using shovels and fire extinguishers trying to extinguish the quickly growing blaze.

City of Riverside Fire Department responded with several engine companies and at least one brush rig.

Once set up, firefighters were able to quickly contain the fire to less then one-quarter acre. Firefighters managed a fast knock down of the blaze and no homes or property was reported as damaged from the fire.

Area residents who had helped to put out the fire and other witnesses told investigating officials that just before the fire started, three unidentified juveniles were setting off fireworks in the wash area, where the fire originated. After the fire erupted, witnesses saw the three juveniles running from the area.

Officials did not provide descriptions of the three suspects; however their investigation into the fire’s cause is under investigation.

Several empty, recently discharged fireworks packages were found at the scene of the fire and were collected as evidence for the ongoing investigation.

There were no reported civilian or firefighter injuries related to the vegetation fire.

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