A firefighter monitors hotspots and makes sure an early-morning haystack fire outside Heber doesn’t spread any further on Monday morning, June 21, as a small flock of birds pass overhead. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO
IMPERIAL COUNTY — These are a few of the photo highlights of the Imperial Valley Law & Fire Photos site for the week of Thursday, June 17, through Monday, June 21.
THURSDAY, JUNE 17
12:18 a.m. CALEXICO — The Calexico Fire Department responded to the border fence near East First Street and Blair Avenue on an assistance call from the U.S. Border Patrol for a person stuck inside the barbed wire atop the border fence.
The subject, a suspected undocumented immigrant who was tangled in the barbed wire, looked to have wrapped up in a thick blanket to try to protect himself from the wire in an attempt to scale the fence, but instead became ensnared.
Station No. 2’s Truck 91 and Engine 22 arrived and was able to rescue the subject around 12:39 a.m. using bolt cutters to help cut away the wires.
Engine 22’s Capt. Eduardo Ainza called for additional personnel in the department’s new ambulance, Unit 2675, to check on the subject but also to aid with setting up a second ladder to make it a safe environment for firefighters to climb up and help the suspect down.
After the subject was brought down and evaluated, he was released to Border Patrol custody. Several other immigrants were seen in a rear of a nearby Border Patrol transport van.
10:40 p.m. CALEXICO — The Calexico Fire Department responded to reports of a structure fire at 310 Beach St. Upon arrival, the first crews found two Dumpsters on fire and a burning mattress, and arson was suspected, according to fire officials.
“Mr. Jesse (no last name) starts fires. Tonight, he set ablaze the area where he sleeps,” the Calexico Fire Department posted on its Facebook page. “The property owner allowed him to sleep there. This was a mattress fire, which came in initially as a structure fire. It extended to nearby dumpsters belonging to a neighboring apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex notified 911 and each other. They mostly all exited the complex and did so safely. No injuries sustained by any tenant and no damage was sustained to the complex. #NeighborsHelpingNeighbors.”
Assistance from the city’s Station No. 2 was canceled but personnel in ambulance Unit 2675 remained to provide additional backup.
While on scene, a description of “Mr. Jesse” went out from Calexico police, who stated they are well-acquainted with the subject. He was said to wearing all black with a chain around his neck.
The fire was knocked down quickly.
SATURDAY, JUNE 19
1:35 p.m. CALEXICO — With temperatures at the time reaching 117 degrees, the Calexico fire and police departments responded to the area of West Second Street for reports of a vehicle on fire.
Engine 22 was dispatched and reported heavy smoke showing while enroute and upon arrival found a late model Chrysler Aspen sport-utility vehicle parked on the westbound side of the roadway on fire.
Engine 22 requested for an ambulance to respond for assistance, and U.S. Border Patrol responded first and provided traffic control and helped with shutting down the street in front of the Gran Plaza Outlets at 888 W. Second St.
An unidentified witness stated they saw a male walk away from the SUV and into the ampm convenience store in the area. That individual was seen speaking with police and firefighters. He returned to his car and found it burned.
MONDAY, JUNE 21
4:40 a.m. HEBER — Imperial County Fire Department Station 1 and Holtville Fire Department responded to a haystack fire at East Fawcett Road and Bowker Road.
Stacks are mostly allowed to burn themselves out, and crews were brought on to monitor hot spots and ensure the fire did not spread.
Imperial Irrigation District was called to assess whether powerlines in the vicinity were in any imminent danger. The IID tech responded there was no immediate threat.
California Highway Patrol assisted with road closures at Bowker and Heber roads and Bowker and Jasper roads.
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