Crime - Sacto 911

UPDATE: Grass fire damages outbuilding, threatens homes in south Sacramento

An outbuilding in South Sacramento suffered considerable damage during a grass fire Saturday afternoon.

A large field in the 2700 block of 18th Avenue caught fire and quickly spread toward a line of homes about 4:40 p.m. The Sacramento Fire Department contained the blaze about 25 minutes later, said Roberto Padilla, Sacramento Fire Department spokesman.

About four or five homes received minor damage, including burned fences, Padilla said.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Padilla said.

Fire crews are mopping up the area and are looking for hot spots.

Four-person fire truck crews and reopened fire stations made a considerable difference in the department’s ability to control the blaze, Padilla said.

“We were able to put a lot of resources on the first alarm alone,” Padilla said.

The flames could have had a more devastating effect without the additional fire stations and the four-person crews, he said.

“At one point, we could have had up to 10 homes affected,” Padilla said. “(Four-person crews) definitely made a difference for us.”

The Sacramento Fire Department traditionally uses four-person crews, but most other regional departments use three-person crews.

“We’re just happy and thankful that we have four-person companies,” Padilla said. “If you would have had three-person crews responding to this same exact alarm, that’s a total of (about) 10 fewer people.”

Ten fewer people means about five fewer hoses, Padilla said, and with the drought drying grass and homes, those numbers mean a lot.

“The drought is affecting not only grass fires, but structure fires,” Padilla said. “With time, we have noticed that a normal house fire or roof fire ... is spreading quicker.”