This cause for this recent house fire is under investigation that resulted in about 30 firefighters from several departments responding to squelch the blaze. Courtesy photo

The South Pasadena Fire Department responded to the 2000 block of Hanscom Drive recently to battle a house fire that required about 30 firefighters to finally extinguish the blaze and prevent it from spreading to nearby homes and hills.

Several rooms and the garage at 2073 Hanscom Dr. were well-involved when So Pas fire arrived on the scene at just after 9:30 p.m. on Feb.12.

Fire officials estimate the damage to be about $300,000 to the structure and $100,000 to the contents. The cause is still under investigation, fire officials said.

When firefighters arrived, all the home’s inhabitants were outside the structure but two dogs were still trapped inside.

“The firefighters were able to successfully get the dogs out of the home to safety and they were not injured,” said So Pas Fire Chief Paul Riddle during a telephone interview last Wednesday morning.

Moreover, there were no injuries to residents and one firefighter suffered a minor ankle injury connected to the blaze, according to fire officials.

So Pas firefighters were assisted by firefighters from departments representing Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Marino and Alhambra. It took the combined efforts of the firefighters for about an hour to bring the blaze under control.

When such a fire breaks out, the call is for a “full structure response”  and it’s “automatic aid.” No additional calls go out. At the scene, a unified command structure also is set up to combat the blaze, Riddle said.

In all, a battalion chief, four fire engines, three fire trucks and one rescue ambulance responded to the blaze, Riddle said.

“There were nine apparatus at the fire and it’s a testament to firefighters on scene that they contained the blaze from spreading to nearby homes and the hills,” said Riddle. “We received the call just before 9:30 p.m. and were on scene in just under five minutes.”

Riddle applauded the response time because the Hanscom home is in a densely populated, hillside area of South Pasadena where access is always difficult because of narrow streets and parked cars. However, that did not cause any delay in response to this blaze.

“That’s the farthest point of our city and it is a tight area,” Riddle said. “But, it went extremely well. The streets were clear and we were able to get all our resources there.”

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Steve Whitmore is the editor for the South Pasadena Review. Steve has spent more than four decades as an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with a 16-year stint as the senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Steve comes to us from the Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, where he covered politics and was a columnist.

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