Police / Fire

Vehicle fire extinguished in San Juan Bautista

Fire occurred in an alley off The Alameda.

A truck parked in an alleyway off The Alameda in San Juan Bautista caught fire on June 17, briefly igniting part of a nearby property. Firefighters from the San Juan Bautista Fire Station arrived and swiftly put the blaze out before the fire could spread to the house.

The fire began in an alley between 403 and 407 The Alameda shortly after 1 p.m. on June 17. It was originally reported as a full structure fire, but on arrival, firefighters reassessed the situation and called off some of the response vehicles.

Neighbors said they had been concerned about the number of cars and their condition in the alley. At least eight cars and trucks were easily visible from the street.

“I got a call that my house was on fire,” said Rosemary Apodaca, owner of the house at 407 The Alameda. “When I got here I saw it was in the alleyway at Groscup Way. There are always cars parked in this alleyway. It has been a fire waiting to happen. I am thankful the firemen got there so quickly. Five minutes later and the whole block would have gone up.”

Batallion Chief Rodney Dover was on the scene and described the situation.

“We initially dispatched Engines 14 and 11 along with Batallion 9206, Water Tender 52 and Engine 12,” Dover said. “Engine 14 arrived and discovered a vehicle fire that had extended to the fence with a threat to the structure. They called in to reduce the equipment inbound and extinguished the fire with one pre-attack line.”

Dover said that the fire inspector would examine the scene, interview neighbors and will consider action based on the results. He remarked that he had just come from a grass fire in Hollister and that crews were still battling a large fire in Bitterwater covering close to 800 acres. With fire season just beginning, Dover advises people to check the perimeters of their homes and take extra care with fireworks.

“Everything is dry and any fire starting now is going to be huge,” Dover said. “With this, the fire could have gone up the fence and ignited the powerlines. A fire like this in the country would be deadly.”


Robert Eliason

I got my start as a photographer when my dad stuck a camera in my hand on the evening of my First Grade Open House. He taught me to observe, empathize, then finally compose the shot.  The editors at BenitoLink first approached me as a photographer. They were the ones to encourage me to write stories about things that interest me, turning me into a reporter as well.  BenitoLink is a great creative family that cares deeply about the San Benito community and I have been pleased to be a part of it.