Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Fire Destroys McKinleyville Home, Battalion Chief Says Station Closure Hampered Response

Posted By on Wed, Mar 10, 2021 at 7:21 AM

click to enlarge The fire on Babler Road in McKinleyville. - ARCATA FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT
  • Arcata Fire Protection District
  • The fire on Babler Road in McKinleyville.
A Mckinleyville home was destroyed in a house fire last night, with the Arcata Fire Protection District reporting that its firefighting efforts were hampered by rotating station closures necessitated by budget cuts after a tax measure failed last year.

A fire crew and chief officer dispatched from the McKinleyville station to the 1700 block of Babler Road at 6:45 p.m. and arrived within four minutes to find a single-family home 50 percent engulfed in fire. They quickly confirmed the occupants made it out of the house safely and began a defensive attack on the fire but ran out of water and had to wait for an engine from the Arcata station to arrive "a few minutes later" to establish a line to a nearby hydrant and resume firefighting efforts.

Ultimately, additional resources from Fieldbrook, Westhaven, CalFire and Blue Lake all responded and the fire was brought under control.

The home sustained an estimated $492,403 in damage, according to a press release, and the family's dog perished in the blaze.

Battalion Chief Sean Campbell said in the release that the rotation closures of the district's stations necessitated by the failure of Measure R at the polls last year delayed the fire response. While Measure F — an identical tax measure — passed in November, the district won't begin receiving funding from it until 2022.

"Our second engine came from the Arcata station, which is 10 minutes away," Campbell said in the release. "This is a result of our temporary rotating station closures. The 10-minute delay is one reason we were not able to secure a water supply quickly. We are looking forward to getting our third station opened in 2022 when we receive our Measure F funding."

See the Arcata Fire press release here and additional photos below:

click to enlarge The fire on Babler Road in McKinleyville. - ARCATA FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT
  • Arcata Fire Protection District
  • The fire on Babler Road in McKinleyville.
click to enlarge The fire on Babler Road in McKinleyville. - ARCATA FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT
  • Arcata Fire Protection District
  • The fire on Babler Road in McKinleyville.

click to enlarge The fire on Babler Road in McKinleyville. - ARCATA FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT
  • Arcata Fire Protection District
  • The fire on Babler Road in McKinleyville.
click to enlarge The fire on Babler Road in McKinleyville. - ARCATA FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT
  • Arcata Fire Protection District
  • The fire on Babler Road in McKinleyville.
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Thadeus Greenson

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Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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