Garage fire on Hidalgo spreads to multiple structures

  • Firefighters fight a fire that started on Hidalgo Avenue from neighboring Cordova Street. All photos by Phoenix Tso.

  • A scorched palm tree on Granada Avenue.

  • Responding fire departments.

Location

Alhambra , CA United States

Alhambra firefighters responded to a fire that started at two garages on the back alley of Hidalgo Avenue at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue around Monday evening, spreading to a neighboring house.

The fire burned down the two garages while the house sustained minor damage to the exterior, said Alhambra Fire Chief Tom Phelps. Embers were carried by windy and dry conditions to a palm tree in the front yard of a house on Granada Avenue, three blocks down.

The Alhambra Fire Department is currently investigating the cause of the fire. Firefighters from Arcadia, Monterey Park, Pasadena and South Pasadena also responded to the incident.

The fire started at 5:21 p.m., according to the Pasadena Star-News. Firefighters were still fighting the blaze as of 7 p.m.

Witnesses described seeing flames and smoke around 5:30 p.m. “The flames were pretty high,” said Eileen Acosta, who lives on nearby Garfield Avenue.

Rob Gorris, who lives on corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Cordova Street first smelled the smoke. “Something is wrong,” he said to his wife, before going outside and seeing the smoke.

Romelia Salinas owns the house on Granada Avenue where the palm tree caught on fire. She described getting a text message from her husband on her way home from work who had been alerted by their son who goes to University of California at Santa Barbara. A neighbor had alerted the son.

Luckily, firefighters putting out the Hidalgo Avenue fire were able to quickly put out the fire in her front yard. Neighbors also helped. “I’m very fortunate that the firefighters were here and that our neighbors were her,” she said.

Salinas said that her husband was trying to convince her to cut down the palm trees in their front yard. “I said, ‘I don’t know, it goes with the style of the house,'” she said. After her husband said he told her so, Salinas said that the palm trees probably saved their house from catching on fire, a Craftsman Bungalow dating back to 1914.

Salinas said that her family would take care to remove the dried palm fronds on their trees from now on to reduce the risk of fire.

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