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Attic Fire Displaces 5 in Murrieta

The fire, which may have started in the chimney, was reported at 2:44 p.m. on Birchtree Drive in Murrieta, according to authorities.

Five people were displaced from their Murrieta home Saturday when a fire that possibly started in their chimney spread to their attic.

Fire engines from all five Murrieta stations were dispatched at 2:44 p.m. Saturday to the 25000 block of Birchtree Drive, according to on-duty Battalion Chief Mario Monroy.

Fire victim Sergio Alvarez told Patch he and his family were unaware of the fire until a passer-by knocked on their front door.

"Somebody was driving by and came over and said your house is on fire," Alvarez said. "We didn't know, we were watching TV."

He noted their fireplace is gas-operated.

The first arriving engine crew found smoke emitting from the second-story attic, according to Monroy.

"As it turns out, they were using their fireplace so it wold appear—preliminarily—that the attic fire was a result of their chimney," Monroy said.

Crews knocked the fire out within 15 minutes, the battalion chief said.

As of the time of publication, there was no damage estimate, according to Monroy, who confirmed the residents would not be able to stay in the home.

"We do have damage due to overhaul at the point to the upstairs and downstairs—water damage—and most likely some structural damage to the attic space."

Alvarez said this is the first time he and his family have experienced a fire, but said they have relatives whom live nearby whom they planned to stay with temporarily.

Monroy said the residents were offered the assistance of American Red Cross, but that they did not immediately accept the offer.

Alek J Hidell December 30, 2012 at 02:07 AM
No matter that these property owners have paid their property taxes, its not enough. the Murrieta Fire Dept wants more, therefore this lame-brained illegal "subscription program"... function within your budget or replace management and lay off personnel...instead of gouging us further
woodysroundup December 30, 2012 at 02:30 AM
As far as I'm concerned, we get one heck of a deal for our $45.00 a year. This is a number that was established in the early '80's. I can't think of anything doesn't cost more now than it did then. $4.00 a month for paramedic service? Sign me up.
Mr. Logical December 30, 2012 at 02:46 AM
What are the present taxes for? I'm happy to pay my taxes to pay for public services such as the Fire Department. But, I am not happy about this additional tax. Was this voted in or is it just being mandated? If so, by who? What's next, should I start charging my students $45.00 per year? I don't agree with this at all. Have the Fire Department expenses covered in the present taxes we are already paying.
Capt fire December 30, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Alec, you've obviously never needed the emergency aid that the fire dept offers! I tell you what, put a sign in your front yard stating your feelings and then sit in your shell and pray that they are never needed by you. But if they are they will still give you the absolute care you need.
EQ December 30, 2012 at 02:51 AM
woodysroundup do you not understand that your tax dollars fund the fire department already??? Why do we need to pay the $45 and why is that a "deal." Its absurd it what it is. Is called a fee instead of a tax because they know darn well at they could not pass this as a tax. But that's what it is make no mistake, a TAX. Its ridicules and all officials that supported this should be voted out.
Capt fire December 30, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Paramedic services. Advanced medical care. Growth.
EQ December 30, 2012 at 03:06 AM
The ambulance company charges you or your insurance for the "advanced care" what does that have to do with the fire department that all my taxes cant pay for? possibly excessive wages and pensions? No one wants to talk about that...
rme December 30, 2012 at 03:19 AM
You voters voted down a bill for fire so they have to do something to make budget or we may have to farm out fire and while we are at it why not farm out Police as well and save the city a bunch of money. Just farming out the Police would save the city 6 to 9 million per year. If you don't like the community support and commitment that our Fire and PD provide to Murrieta then tell your city council members at the next meeting and get involved.
rme December 30, 2012 at 03:21 AM
The 48.00 per year is for medical aid and not for fire response.
Theotis December 30, 2012 at 04:38 AM
Nice spelling by the Patch
TSManning December 30, 2012 at 07:07 AM
The $48. ? Can anyone tell me is this per person in each household cuz I received a notice for each voting resident in our household.
woodysroundup December 30, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Per household is how I understand it. And EQ, I want to find out exactly how much of our property tax dollar goes to the FD. Then we can figure out if we are getting ripped off like you feel. All I know at the moment is that my family who live in Rancho Cucamonga pay over $200.00 a year on their tax bill for fire protection, that's why I feel we are getting a deal at $45.00.
popeye December 30, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Theotis must be a gay butt pirate...ha ha ha
Theotis December 31, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Arrrggg me matey popeye.Thats what yer Mom calls me after I be plowing her mud hole,Arrrggg
James Q. January 04, 2013 at 04:52 AM
You all are complaining about fees and taxes and whatever, but no one has mentioned the obvious question?? How do they not know their own house is on fire, while inside it??? Do they not hear the crackling? Do they not smell it? Do they not feel the unusual heat created from it?? What is wrong with these people? If their TV seriously distracted them that much from noticing their house was on fire, maybe it's time they get rid of the TV and start using their God-given senses and own imagination to create enjoyment. SMDH.

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