Tag Archives: residential fire safety

Fire at West L.A. High-Rise Sends Residents Scrambling for Safety; Two Critically Injured | Corona, CA

By Hannah Fry, Alejandra Reyes-Velarde, Luke Money, Sonja Sharp

JAN. 29, 2020 9:54 PM

A fire broke out Wednesday morning in a 25-story Westside residential building, sending residents climbing out windows and fleeing to the rooftop to escape the flames. The blaze, which erupted on the sixth floor at the Barrington Plaza apartments in the 11700 block of Wilshire Boulevard, was reported shortly after 8:30 a.m. by fire crews, who were tending a nearby blaze that had begun earlier.

At least 300 firefighters responded to help battle the fire and evacuate residents inside the building. Eleven residents were injured; seven were sent to a hospital for treatment, including a 3-month-old baby, and four were treated at the scene. Most were suffering from smoke inhalation. Two firefighters suffered minor burns.

One 30-year-old man required CPR and was listed in grave condition Wednesday afternoon, and another 30-year-old man was in critical condition, according to Los Angeles Fire Capt. Erik Scott. “The preliminary information is the two most critically injured … were both in the unit of fire origin,” Scott said.

Fire officials initially reported that some people had jumped from the building to escape the flames. Authorities later clarified that two people contemplated jumping but were rescued by fire officials. Residents crawled on their bellies through thick smoke to escape. One man was seen clinging to a ledge before a fire ladder was hoisted up to him. “This could have been much worse,” Scott said.

Fire officials said residents won’t be allowed back into the building overnight while they investigate the blaze, which was deemed suspicious.

Firefighters took an unconventional approach in battling the flames, hosing the building from the outside in an effort to cool the units before allowing firefighters to tackle the flames inside. The bulk of the fire was on the sixth floor of the 240-unit high-rise, though three other levels were damaged by smoke, officials said.

While some crews focused on the fire inside, others were tasked with evacuations. At least 15 people, some in bathrobes, were airlifted to safety from the building’s rooftop. Officials said it was the first time the fire chopper had been used in rescue efforts. “This was a herculean effort by the members of the Los Angeles Fire Department,” said Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas. “It takes a lot of coordination, and our resources did a good job.”

After an intense, hourlong battle that was made more challenging by strong winds gusting up to 35 mph, firefighters were able to knock down the flames shortly before 10 a.m. Deputy Police Chief Justin Eisenberg said the Los Angeles Police Department and arson investigators were studying the blaze to determine whether it was criminal or accidental. No one has been arrested in connection with the fire, he said. The separate fire that started earlier in the morning about three blocks away also is part of the investigation.

Mackenzie Williams, 25, said she was driving to work at Pure Barre — a fitness studio at Wilshire Boulevard and Granville Avenue — about 9 a.m. when she “saw one firetruck pass by me, then I saw two, then I saw 10, then I saw about 20, so I definitely knew something was going on.” After seeing smoke pouring from the building and the helicopter evacuations, she said, “I just hope everyone is OK over there.”

John Tavakoli was outside when the floor where his grandmother lives burst into flames. As firefighters rushed to evacuate her and her neighbors, his initial horror settled into smoldering rage — another fire like this one had burned here a few years ago, but little had changed. Like others, he blamed the revolving door of short-term renters for unsafe conditions in the building.

“A lot of people Airbnb here.” he said. “They party all night — they’re up until 2 a.m. on a Tuesday.”

Meanwhile, he said, safety issues have gone unaddressed.

“Our rent goes up, utilities go up, but one elevator’s always broken,” he said.

Resident Gavyn Straus stood barefoot on the sidewalk, holding a towel around his American-flag bathing suit as he watched a Sheriff’s Department helicopter hoisting stranded neighbors off the roof. He had been in the pool swimming laps when he turned his head for a breath and noticed the smoke. Right away, he leaped out of the pool and dashed up to alert neighbors on his floor.

The smoke “was like a black wall” on the seventh floor, he said. Higher up, he started banging on doors, telling neighbors to get out.

Twins Kristina and Kimberly Pagano, recent UCLA grads, were asleep in their apartment when the fire broke out. They woke up to the sound of firetrucks. Moments later, the building fire alarm went off, and they rushed outside.

Both immediately thought of the 2013 fire, believed to have been sparked by a cigarette. The building still allows residents to smoke in their units on designated floors, which the sisters had toured before moving in. Like others, they said the building hosts a large number of short-term visitors.

“We always see people with luggage,” Kristina said.

“It’s like a hotel,” Kimberly agreed.

Officials have said that there is no indication the fire was caused by anyone smoking inside or that it broke out in a unit rented as an Airbnb. The building is covered by L.A.’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance, which limits annual rent increases for tenants, but some of its units are exempt from that law, according to housing department spokeswoman Sandra Mendoza. Under an ordinance that went into effect last year, Angelenos cannot rent out their apartments for short stays if they live in a rent-stabilized unit.

The 2013 fire erupted on the 11th floor of the building, displacing up to 150 residents and injuring two people. It also raised concerns about a lack of sprinkler systems in some buildings in Los Angeles. Barrington Plaza was not equipped with a sprinkler system at the time. Because it was built nearly 60 years ago, it does not fall under state regulations later adopted that forced buildings taller than 75 feet to include such fire-suppression systems unless granted an exemption.

Los Angeles has a loophole in its fire code that allows 71 residential high-rises to house tenants despite having no fire sprinklers in the buildings. The structures were built between 1943 and 1974, when new codes required sprinklers.

Deputy Chief Armando Hogan said Wednesday the building still does not have sprinklers. There have been repeated attempts to require older buildings to install sprinkler systems, including a push after Barrington Plaza’s last fire, but landlords at the time argued they would cost too much.

A year ago, the City Council again tabled a proposal to require sprinklers in all buildings. One of the sponsors of the measure said the issue lost momentum amid opposition from landlords, but Councilman Mike Bonin said he will reintroduce a mandate for sprinklers in light of the latest blaze.

Curtis Massey, chief executive of fire safety consulting company Massey Emergency Management, said the sprinkler systems typically seen in modern high-rises quickly douse flames before they have a chance to spread. “It’s like an on-duty 24-hour firefighter that’s able to respond faster in most circumstances to a fire than the building staff or the fire department,” said Massey, whose company has worked on fire preparedness plans for Century Plaza and the Wilshire Grand Center.

Modern fire safety features also include elevator and stairwell-pressurization systems that keep the smoke out of those areas, he said.

In 2014, a group of tenants in the high-rise sued the building’s corporate owner for negligence. According to residents, several fire alarms failed to sound in Barrington Plaza as the October 2013 blaze spread. A door to the roof was locked and the stairwells filled with choking smoke, tenants said. “The conditions at the supposedly high-end apartment building were atrocious,” attorney Mark Geragos said at the time.

Resident Ivo Gerscovich’s 2-year-old daughter and father-in-law were found unconscious in a smoke-filled stairwell above the 20th floor during the 2013 fire. “It’s a deathtrap,” Gerscovich said then. “It’s totally insane and indefensible.” Ben Meiselas, an attorney with Geragos’ firm, said the building “is a relic of the 1960s.” “It conformed to codes of the 1960s, and since that time, they’ve availed themselves through grandfather clauses of the building codes of that bygone era,” he said.

Meiselas said building owners should be required to prominently display whether their structures adhere to current codes. “You have this building that advertises itself as a class-A luxury building, but back in 2013, at least, it really had fundamental safety issues,” he said.

Residents said that they weren’t aware of any additional safety measures. “This situation really scares me,” said Ploy Pengsomboon, who was able to evacuate from her ninth-floor unit only after smelling smoke and hearing firetruck sirens. “I’m scared if one day I’m in a deep sleep and something like this happens. I didn’t get a chance to prepare. They should tell everyone to get out and shouldn’t let us learn about it ourselves.”

The blaring of a fire alarm woke 84-year-old Dan Karzen, who has lived in Barrington Plaza for 20 years. “I had my pajamas on, so I had to hurry to put some clothes on, grab my phone and walk out the door of my 16th-floor apartment,” Karzen said. “I knew it was bad because there was all this smoke.”

After leaving the building, he crossed the street to a strip mall, where he stopped to await word from fire officials. “I don’t know when we’re going to go back in, and I don’t want to leave because all my stuff is up there,” he said.

When Liz Bowers was jolted awake by sirens, she smelled smoke and immediately thought it couldn’t be another fire, remembering the 2013 blaze. But when she looked out her window, there it was. “I was like … it’s Tower A again,” she said. She had a clear view of the flames and clouds of black smoke. She could hear screams and windows blowing out from the heat of the flames. Bowers ran downstairs to the public pool area shared by the two buildings and continued watching as firefighters worked to quell the flames and rescue residents. After witnessing the dramatic events, she decided she’d had enough. She needs to move out.

Bowers thought about all the times she could smell cigarette and marijuana smoke from her apartment, the result of little oversight from building managers, she said. She spent three years knocking on the leasing office’s door, writing letters and making phone calls to building managers. Eventually, she gave up. “They should have put sprinklers in after the [2013] fire,” she said. “They let everybody smoke. There’s a lot of Airbnb [rentals]. You get all these people coming into party and smoke pot. The landlords don’t care.”

Times staff writers Matt Stiles, Dakota Smith, Colleen Shalby, Andrew J. Campa, Emily Alpert Reyes, James Rainey and Matthew Ormseth contributed to this report.

For more information about our services, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

How to Design a Fire Protection System | Corona, CA

We all want to be safe from the harm and damage that comes from a fire. No one wants to lose anything or anyone due to an accidental fire. Unfortunately, this can’t be helped – they’re called accidents for a reason. This is why it is so important to be prepared, in case one of these accidents arises. One way to do this is by designing a fire protection for you and your valuables. But, where does one even begin?

The design of fire protection systems is a multi-step process beginning with an assessment of the environment to be protected. Factors both internal and external to the environment are considered. We begin with a site survey of the facility then provide the client with appropriate alternatives based on an assessment of the fire protection and life safety needs. Once a decision is made on the specific type of system required, we assign a primary engineer to the project that then develops the appropriate engineering design.

Our CAD design services include:

  • Fire sprinkler design drawings with as much detail as required and then some.
  • All designs are based on the latest NFPA codes. All schematic CAD drawings include underground fire supply, riser details with location within structure, main and branch line locations, sprinkler head type and location.
  • Bid drawings can also include back-up specifications, water analysis, and hydraulic calculations.
  • Fire sprinkler fabrication/installation/coordination drawings include all compliments listed above including computer generated shop drawings, hydraulic calculations and material submittals.
  • Fire Pump and/or ground storage tank installation drawings with all associated piping and equipment.
  • Special hazard suppression system fabrication/installation drawings.

For more information about our services, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

We’re Here to Help at CJ Suppression | Corona, CA

fire extinguisher service

Fire safety is important for both you and everything you’re responsible for. We are a one-stop shop for all of these needs because we are dedicated to supplying top notch service with quality end results:

Inspections/certifications. Our trained technicians perform all required inspections and testing to ensure your fire protection system is fully operational.

Title 19 (5-year inspection). This procedure inspects all components of your fire protection system and is performed every five years.

Annual. This procedure inspects the required components of your fire protection system on a yearly basis.

Quarterly. This procedure inspects the required components of your fire protection system every 3 months.

Fire pumps. Fire pump inspections are typically performed annually and more frequent depending on the authority having jurisdiction or insurance carrier.

Backflow. Testing and certification are required annually in most jurisdictions.

Flow tests. Hydrant flow testing are needed for system inspection/certification and water flow requirements for system hydraulic calculation design.

Kitchen hoods. We perform installation, inspection, testing, certification and cleaning of kitchen hoods per NFPA codes requirements.

Maintenance. We can provide a structured maintenance program with automatic scheduling within our in-house database.

Repairs. We provide repair service of any type of fire protection system from underground fire line to overhead wet, dry or special hazard systems.

24-hr emergency service. Our on-call staff can facilitate support for any type of emergency around the clock.

Employee training. We provide education and training sessions of all types of fire protection systems to employees and or management.

Fire extinguisher service. We specialize in service and sales of all fire extinguishers.

Fire extinguisher training. Our onsite training for any size company to ensure proper protocol in case of a fire event.

For more information about our services, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

When Tenant Improvements Are Necessary | Corona, CA

Having safe and protected buildings are a top priority for any landlord. Not only does it keep your tenants safe, but it also keeps your investment protected. And as time goes on, wear and tear take place and buildings need to have some improvements done. The same goes for fire safety – we need to invest some time and money in order to protect everyone and everything from a fire. Fire sprinklers are a fantastic investment in order to keep up your fire safety, but even this needs to be improved from time to time. It is time to call in a professional.

But where do you start? It can be a daunting task trying to figure out just what you need to be fire safe. You can rely on word of mouth, but can you be sure? When making tenant improvements, it is essential to confide in a reliable company that will get the job done in a timely manner. After all, improving anything will surely disrupt your daily business, so having things done quickly and correctly is necessary to keep things moving smoothly. The professionals of CJ Suppression have years of expertise with tenant improvements and specialize in all of the following:

  • Installation
  • Relocation
  • Rework within improvements
  • Remodels
  • Modifying fire sprinkler systems

Thorough tenant improvements ensure that your business runs smoothly and efficiently. For this reason, it is vital to rely on our company to avoid any complications. Call CJ Suppression in Corona, CA today and ask about how our experience with tenant improvements can help you.

For more information about tenant improvements, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

Fire Sprinklers in the Home | Corona, CA

Did you know that small fire can start with just a little flame and fully submerge a room in less than three minutes? That’s an extremely short amount of time. But if fire sprinklers are available, they can reduce the risk of death by about 80%, so why would you not install them in the home? It may seem unnecessary, but here are six reasons you may change your mind:

  • The sprinkler heads activate individually. Fire sprinkler heads activate only over the area where the fire is. Only the sprinkler heads closest to the fire will activate to spray water on the fire.
  • Fire sprinklers are activated by heat, not smoke. For instance, if smoke from a recently blown out candle or burnt food from an over or toaster will not trigger the fire sprinkler like a smoke detector.
  • Many fire sprinklers activate within 30-60 seconds, growing and spreading while the firefighters are in route. The longer it takes to put out a fire, the higher the risks for residents and property damage.
  • Residential fire sprinklers are smaller than commercial sprinklers and can be incorporated into the ceilings of many homes. Residential sprinkler fixtures are available in many types of finishes to make them more inconspicuous.
  • Fire sprinklers cause less water damage than a fire hose. Fire hoses discharge 80-125 gallons per minute, while fire sprinklers only discharge around 8-25 per minute.
  • Smoke alarms only alert residents but won’t extinguish a fire. Fire sprinkles can put out a fire while the residents flee from their home, increasing people’s safety and reduces the amount of property damage.

For more information about fire sprinklers, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

Fire Sprinklers in the Home? Find Out Why | Corona, CA

When we think of fire sprinklers, we generally don’t assimilate it with our home. Thought of as something that is designed for businesses and factories, fire sprinklers aren’t a concern for many homeowners. But should they be? Let’s take a look at their advantages – you may reconsider your decision:

Can’t stop the blaze. As smart as smoke alarms are these days, they can’t extinguish fire. Sprinklers do and continue to do so as you and your family run for safety. Also, by stopping the fire as soon as it starts, sprinklers can prevent, or at least reduce, the amount of property damage.

Not activated by smoke. Your fire alarm going off because of burned toast and a snuffed candle certainly can be annoying. With sprinklers, you don’t have to worry about that because they are activated via heat, not smoke.

Instant help. Sprinklers will activate within a minute – a whole lot less time than it takes for your local firefighters to get to your home. Also, sprinklers can help slow down the fire and minimize the damage done until the firefighters arrive to completely douse the fire.

Cost-effective. Firefighters use an average of 2,935 gallons to extinguish your regular residential fire. That’s many times more than the 341 gallons of water used by sprinklers on average.

Insurance-friendly. Your insurance provider may lower your premiums thanks to your sprinkler system. Be sure to contact your home insurance provider to know if this applies to you.

The costs of having sprinklers installed far outweigh the costs of losing a huge part of your house. In some cases, families lose their entire homes because of residential fires. Don’t let that happen to your family by having sprinklers installed.

For more information about fire sprinklers, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

Fire Sprinkler Makes Quick Work of Ridgefield Blaze | Corona, CA

 Accidental fires

By Katie Gillespie, Columbian Education Reporter

Published: May 24, 2018, 9:43 AM

A fire sprinkler saved the day for a Ridgefield family whose stove caught fire Thursday morning, said Tim Dawdy, Clark County Fire & Rescue spokesman. About 8 a.m., Clark County Fire & Rescue responded to a kitchen fire at 184 N. 43rd Place in Ridgefield. Someone was cooking fries in oil when the stove caught fire and burned the kitchen cabinets, he said.

But the home, a condo in a new development in the north Clark County city, had fire sprinklers, which quickly extinguished the blaze before it spread. By the time firefighters arrived, the only thing left to do was mop up the water.

“These simple, inexpensive fire sprinklers really do their job,” Dawdy said. Neither condo on either side of the home was damaged.

Three adults live at the condo, Dawdy said. No one was injured. There were no children or pets in the home.

A fire is a scary thing, especially contained inside a large complex like a condominium complex. Don’t risk the lives of others and your property, install fire sprinklers in your housing or business complex. Fire sprinklers buy you time to get people out of the building and help to suppress the fire keeping it contained to one location.

For more information about fire sprinklers, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

Accepting patients from Chino, Ontario, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto, Fontana and all surrounding areas.

Spring Clean Your Fire Safety | Corona, CA

fire extinguisher trainingNow that the chilly days are warming up and the seasons are beginning to change, it’s time for everyone to get to their favorite springtime task – spring cleaning. But there are some items that are generally overlooked by even the best spring cleaners, and these minor tasks can save your life:

Grills. The NFPA reports that an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling each year. Since this is the season to spark up the grill, make sure you check each the propane tank, the hose, and all connecting points. Make sure the grill is clean — it is a contributing factor in nearly 20% of all grill structure fires so make sure it isn’t near anything flammable. If you have an outdoor fit pit, the same rules remain. Be careful when you celebrate the warm weather.

Chimneys. The odds of you sparking up a cozy fire in the springtime months are pretty slim, so make sure to clean up your fireplace until next year. Another good idea would be to have an inspection and cleaning done. Why wait until the last minute?

Smoke alarms. Regardless of whether or not it was used, the batteries should be changed once a year, so this is an excellent task in the spring. However, test the alarm to make sure things are in working order once a month.

Dryers. The leading cause of clothes dryer-related fires is a failure to keep them clean, so make sure to clean the lint trap after every load, but while spring cleaning, add clean out vent pipe to the list.

For more information about springtime fire safety, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

Accepting patients from Chino, Ontario, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto, Fontana and all surrounding areas.

Calming Winds: The Thomas Fire Update | Corona, CA

By Melissa Etehad and Ben Poston / Contact Reporter

December 17, 2017 10:35PM  Reporting from Montecito, CA

Firefighters took advantage of light winds in Santa Barbara County late Sunday, mounting an aggressive attack directly on the massive Thomas fire’s western face a day after powerful gusts pushed flames toward homes along the coast.

Crews were in place to protect homes should a wind shift send the wildfire toward neighborhoods overnight, but authorities said that’s unlikely.

“The fire’s burning in open country right now, which is away from homes, which is exactly where we want it,” said Capt. Rick Crawford, a Cal Fire spokesman. Even so, he said, “We’ll always be in the ‘ready, set, go’ mode.”

Just a day earlier, stronger-than-expected winds kicked up and triggered an epic battle to save homes along the coast. Two homes in the Montecito hills were destroyed and about a dozen structures damaged during Saturday’s flare up.

But firefighters were able to protect about a 1,000 structures because of advanced preparations, officials said. Evacuations were also lifted for the Carpinteria area.

As of Sunday evening, the third-largest wildfire in modern California history was at 270,000 acres and 45% contained, officials said.

Fueled by Santa Ana winds, with gusts topping 70 mph early Sunday in some valley and mountain areas, the blaze burned a massive swath from Santa Barbara to Ventura. By late Sunday, winds had dropped down to 3 to 5 mph, with gusts of about 10 mph, Crawford said.

“We’re in pretty good shape for the time being,” he said.

The fury of monster fire leaves residents no choice but to flee

In Ventura County, firefighters concentrated their forces in the hills above Fillmore where the wildfire stayed within containment lines. Their efforts were hampered during the day by dry conditions combined with low humidity and winds of about 35 mph.

Red flag conditions were forecast in the mountains and valleys of Los Angeles County through Sunday evening as well as parts of Ventura, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Winds are expected to stay calm Monday and Tuesday at 10 to 20 mph, which will “look tranquil” compared with the weekend gusts, said Kathy Hoxsie, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Those calmer conditions should allow firefighters to focus on more defensive work such as bulldozing fire lines and dropping fire retardant. The humidity levels should also increase during the early part of the week — another help for fire crews, Hoxsie said.

But it will be a short respite, as strong winds and low humidity are expected to return on Wednesday in Santa Barbara County and Thursday in Ventura County, Hoxsie said.

In advance of the weekend flare-up, firefighters smothered portions of the Santa Barbara County hills with hundreds of thousands of gallons of fire retardant to keep embers from igniting spot fires. Some hillsides were intentionally denuded above Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria, including in Romero and Toro canyons, to limit the potential damage.

Santa Barbara County Fire Division Chief Martin Johnson told reporters Saturday night that the aggressive prevention measures had paid off. Hundreds of homes were spared.

“Earlier this evening I was asked the question, ‘How many structures did we lose today?’ ” Johnson said. “That’s the wrong question to ask. The question to ask is, how many did we save today?”

As the winds began to die down in Santa Barbara early Sunday, fire officials said they were going to take advantage of the moment and extinguish smoldering hot spots in the Montecito area.

Rusty Smith, 57, said he fled his home on Gibraltar Road about 1 a.m. Sunday. He stayed with a friend nearby and set his alarm clock to wake him every 90 minutes so he could see if the flames had reached his house.

But firefighters managed to save Smith’s house and about two dozen others in the neighborhood.

“I wasn’t worried. You know when things are out of your control,” Smith said Sunday afternoon, as he swept debris from the driveway of his neighbor’s house. “But we know we were fortunate.”

Resident Lucas Merrick returned Sunday around noon to find that his home also had been spared. As helicopters dropped water on smoldering vegetation, Merrick said his hillside property is much more than a home for him and other residents.

“There’s a spiritual element,” he said. “That’s why people decide to live here.”

Not all homes were spared. On Sunday, a multimillion-dollar house on Park Hill Lane in the Montecito hills was still burning. From the outside, the Spanish-style structure appeared intact, but the interior was almost completely gutted.

All that remained was smoldering ash.

Despite the loss or damage of some homes in the Montecito hills, fire officials emphasized that more homes were saved than lost.

“This is the worst fire condition I’ve seen in the last 32 years,” said Capt. Dave Zaniboni, a spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. “It could have been a lot worse. We could have easily lost firefighters or had more homes destroyed. It was a great effort by firefighters.”

Orange County Battalion Chief Mike Summers huddled with his team of firefighters gathered in the parking lot of Cold Springs Elementary School to discuss the day’s plans. The fire had reached into the backyards of some homes on Saturday, and officials wanted to make sure that they were no longer threatened.

He said his crews would be patrolling along Coyote Road to clean up any hot spots.

Despite the long hours, Summers said his team was in good spirits and well-rested. He’s been on the fire for about a week and expects to work through Christmas.

“Many of the firefighters have kids and families waiting at home,” he said. “But we are here for the community. Our first priority is the community, and then our second is family waiting back home.”

Humboldt firefighter Jake Illiam, who was among the crews working in Montecito, said he was also missing his family. He said his daughter will turn 1 this week.

“Today was her birthday party,” he said.

Fire officials said that 8,300 fire personnel have been mobilized to fight the Thomas fire — the largest mobilization of fire crews to fight any wildfire in California history. Firefighting costs so far stand at $110 million.

By Saturday afternoon, Santa Barbara County appeared to be in recovery mode as evacuation orders were lifted for areas around Carpinteria.

For more information about wildfire safety, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

Accepting patients from Chino, Ontario, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto, Fontana and all surrounding areas.