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Fire Destroys Vacant Commercial Convalescent Hospital

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February 15, 2024 | CALIFORNIA Mike McClintock, Correspondent
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

On the morning of February 15th, San Bernardino County Fire crews were dispatched to a reported structure fire in the area of Grace & San Bernardino Ave. 911 callers stated smoke and fire from a vacant commercial occupancy.
Firefighters arrived to find a large vacant structure approximately 25% involved in fire. Arriving crews deployed to the building, working to suppress the fire & search for any potential victims. Firefighters initiated an offensive fire attack, coordinating with truck crews on the roof to limit the spread through the 13,000 square foot building. The building prior to being vacant, was a 49 room convalescent hospital. Due to the fire involvement & size of the building a second alarm was quickly struck. Firefighters did locate two people inside the building & assisted them to safety. Both parties were uninjured and delcined transport.

The fire quickly grew in size, spreading to a common attic space of the building. Crews worked to complete a primary search of survivable portions of the building, as transients were known to frequent the building. Despite suppression efforts, the fire continued to grow in size and intensity, pushing crews to switch from an offensive to a defensive posture.
Once outside, firefighters utilized ladder trucks & handlines to flow large volumes of water on the building. Firefighters shifted their priority to limiting spread nearby adjacent buildings. Within 90 minutes of arrival the bulk of the fire was knocked down. To assist with extensive overhaul a SBCoFD Excavator was utilized. This allowed for firefighters to safely and efficiently overhaul the structurally compromised building. Crews remain on-scene completing overhaul. No injuries to firefighters or citizens were reported. The fire remains under investigation by fire investigators.
San Bernardino County Fire responded with eight Engines, two Truck Companies, two Medic Squads, three Chief Officers, an Air/Light unit, an Excavator & two Fire Investigators. Rialto Fire assisted with an Engine Company.

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Mike McClintockCorrespondent

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