The headline grabbing, JFRD associated topic in the early days of this month was found on Ramona Boulevard in the form of the 'Diamond Inn,' a hotel that was forced to cease operations courtesy of an order from the Fire Marshal's Office on Wednesday, the 6th of March. Unfortunately, the aforementioned action resulted in the displacement of several families residing in the various 'rooms' who were now forced to seek residential shelter elsewhere. Among the multitude of transgressions and violations, far too numerous to list here, the violation of City Ordinance 518 stipulating that running, potable water for all dwellings must be provided for on a 24/7 basis represented an obvious and egregious infraction: property managment had posted signs for residents declaring that 'water would be unavailable from 8 PM until 8 AM' for several days during ongoing renovations and construction work, the irony being that the aforementioned was being performed without any permits.
An early morning residential fire in the 9500 block of West Spotswood Drive provided the "A" - Shift first responders of the JFRD with yet another opportunity to both excel and demonstrate their exceptional skillset. As the first arriving units approached the single story residence just before 5 AM on Tuesday, March 26, thick clouds of black smoke were already visible along the roof eaves and the front door of the house. The conspicuous figure of an adult male wielding a garden hose in a futile attempt to put out fire directly above his head added another dramatic visual to the scene presenting itself to the firefighters, the aforementioned drama further accentuated by the audible screams from a female emanating from inside the home. As the crews raced toward the burning structure the man faced the rescuers and proclaimed that two people remained trapped inside of the residence; equipped with that information, the crew of Engine 24 made their way to the back of the house and upon entering, in no time at all, located one of the individuals in question and successfully extricated the potential victim from the life-threatening environment. Meanwhile Fire 7 entered into the immediate front of the house and, in spite of minimum levels of visibility, located an adult female and subsequently managed to successfully bring that individual outside to safety. With all primary search objectives completed and occupants now being examined by on scene Rescue Units, the logical operational initiative of extinguishing the fire was easily attained after approximately 20 minutes of concerted, deliberate and focused effort. All three adults were transported to area hospitals with varying degrees of severity affixed to their injuries: the preliminary investigation into the cause revealed that a refilling of a kerosene heater on the front porch lead to this accidental fire.