Idled Sacramento fire station blamed in garage fire's spread

Published: Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 2B
Last Modified: Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 - 8:05 am

An Oak Park fire spread to adjacent structures Wednesday in part because of scheduled fire station brownouts, said Niko King, Sacramento Fire Department assistant chief.

At 8:21 a.m., firefighters received a call about a fire in the 4600 block of 14th Avenue, King said.

"The fire started in a detached garage that had been converted into a living space and then spread from there," he said.

The fire reached a nearby shed and, because of radiant heat, ignited a back porch, then scorched the side of an adjacent house, King said.

Two houses were affected and one person suffered moderate burn injuries, he said..

Fire station brownouts are a result of budget cuts, King explained.

A station will be temporarily put out of service, leaving other fire stations to rotate jobs depending on the equipment available and the proximity to the fire.

"The fire station closest to the fire was on a brownout effectively at 8 (Wednesday) morning," King said. That station had the fire engine with a hose and water.

A medic unit and firetruck arrived on scene at 8:24 a.m., with a response time of 3 1/2 minutes, King said, but the engine with a hose and water didn't show up until 8:27 a.m. because it was farther away.

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