San Bernardino County Fire Department grappled with a series of alarming fires on November 25, 2023, prompting a significant response and sparking an arson investigation.
The first incident was reported at 5:40 PM at 340 West Fourth Street, a vacant building in San Bernardino. Callers to 911 alerted the authorities to visible fire. Upon arrival, fire crews encountered smoke and flames from the first floor. Despite the rapid spread, the fire was subdued within 10 minutes, and thorough searches confirmed no victims. The initial response included five engines, two truck companies, and several chief officers and investigators.
Later in the evening, at 8:55 PM, crews were called back to the exact location. This time, the fire was on the second floor. The blaze was more challenging, necessitating a second alarm and a 25-minute effort to extinguish. Again, no victims were found, and the fire’s cause remained under investigation, distinct from the earlier incident.
While battling the second fire, at 9:31 PM, smoke was spotted at an adjacent building at 398 West Fourth Street. Firefighters rescued an individual hanging from a window and quickly contained the fire, which had started on the first floor.
In a concerning turn of events, a fourth fire was reported at 10:11 PM at West 2nd Street and South “D” Street, only two blocks from the original site. The responding units rapidly controlled this fire, centered on a dumpster with the potential to spread to a nearby commercial building.
“The back-to-back nature and locations of these fires are alarming. While we successfully managed the situations with no civilian or firefighter injuries, we are treating these as suspicious. Our investigation unit actively seeks information and urges the public to come forward with any relevant details.”Battalion Chief Mike McClintock
San Bernardino County Fire Department, assisted by Colton and Rialto units, demonstrated commendable efficiency and bravery in handling these incidents. However, the suspicious pattern has led to an active investigation, with the community urged to report any information related to these fires to the authorities or anonymously via We-Tip.
As the investigation continues, the San Bernardino community remains alert, and fire services remain vigilant for further incidents.
For any information regarding potential arson, contact the Fire Investigation Unit at 909-347-1771 or the 24-hour dispatch center at 909-356-3805. Anonymous tips can be directed to We-Tip at 800-47-ARSON (800-472-7766) or 800-78-CRIME (800-782-7463), or online at Wetip.com.
Contact: Mike McClintock, battalion chief/PIO, at firstname.lastname@example.org