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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.

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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