Fire Prevention & Protection, Firefighter Training, Firefighting

Bethel Island CA Residents Question Response to Multi-Home Fire

Some residents are questions firefighters’ response to a raging fire overnight destroyed two homes and damaged a third in Contra Costa County (CA) that injured one person, reports San Francisco ABC 7.

Firefighters say they faced many challenges battling this fire.

Homeowner Jody Mazzarella knew what to do because fire is her business; she is the co-owner of Mazzy’s, a company that specializes in fire prevention. She has hose lines and fire extinguishers at her house and she and her boyfriend tried to use them.

“We ran out an tried to put our fire hose on, which he was instructed to stop and put it down. They wouldn’t let him do it,” said Mazzarella.
Firefighters were worried about a power line that had come down during the fire, so they stopped fighting the fire for fear of electrocution, which was frustrating for the residents to watch.

“I’m yelling ‘put the fire out, put water on the fire. You see it? It’s starting to catch the roof on fire'” said resident Eric Dukes.

“We had a power line that dropped and we had to move back for safety of our personnel which hampered fire operations,” said East Contra Costa Co. Fire District Chief Hugh Henderson.

The fire actually started at the next door neighbor’s home and spread to the Mazzarella house. They lost more than an hour waiting to

figure out the power issue while the huge wood home continued to burn. By that time it wasn’t safe to go inside. It took about five hours until they finally put the fire out.

“It’s a nightmare to go ahead and watch this in slow motion, but it happened,” said Dukes.

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