Fire drives family from house - The Desert Trail: News

Fire drives family from house

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Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 12:51 pm | Updated: 12:40 pm, Mon Feb 12, 2018.

TWENTYNINE PALMS — Eric Quander, his wife, and their son were left to find a place to stay after fire destroyed the house they were renting in the 3600 block of Pinto Mountain Road Friday, Feb. 9.

County Fire Battalion Chief Mike Snow described the one-story wooden house as a total loss.

No injuries were reported.

Looking at the house while firefighters continued to put the finishing touches on the fight, Snow put the loss at about $60,000.

Thirteen firefighters, from Twentynine Palms, Yucca Valley and the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, answered the call, which came in a 10:46 a.m.

A fire engine from Twentynine Palms arrived first at 11:04 to find the house fully engulfed in flames.

Firefighters were forced to pull out of the house when the northeast corner of the roof collapsed, Snow said.

The fire also brought down the power line running into the house, forcing firefighters to rope off a section of the property. While firefighting efforts continued, Edison workers arrived and shut off power leading to the home.

The fire, Snow said, may have begun after Quander burned some rubbish under the home’s patio cover and the fire caught in the patio and then spread to the roof.

Quander said he thought the wind might have caught some debris from the fire and thrown it up onto the roof.

He said he and his wife were at home when they noticed smoke coming out of the swamp cooler. He added that he was able to put out the fire in the swamp cooler but not the fire in the roof.

Quander said the family did not have a place to stay but he would find someplace.

“It’s been a hell of a month,” he said. “But we’re all safe and sound.”

Quander is well known to Morongo Basin residents because of his efforts to start a film festival in Joshua Tree and mount a Morongo Basin production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.”

In 2016, while living in Yucca Valley, he sought a seat on the Town Council.

© 2018 Hi-Desert Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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