On Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, at approximately 4 a.m., Idyllwild Fire Protection District was dispatched to a structure fire in the 26000 block of Saunders Meadow Road, near Crestview Drive. The Incident Commander was Idyllwild Capt. Jim Reyes.

Friday morning, Idyllwild Fire and Riverside County Fire responded to a call of a structure fire on Saunders Meadow Rd. and Crestview Dr. Residents awoke to the smell of smoke, which they traced to the basement filled with smoke. Below, firefighters removed the layers of concrete, brick and wood floor from the fireplace and ceiling of the basement, creating a large hole to dowse the beams below with water. Photos by Jenny Kirchner
Upon arrival at the scene, personnel found the residents outside of the house. Apparently they awoke from the smell of smoke and traced it to the basement, which was then engulfed in smoke. Further investigation found a small fire underneath the fireplace — between the first floor and the basement ceiling.

It took approximately 90 minutes to completely locate, expose and extinguish the smoldering fire and render the occupancy safe for the residents.

One member of the household had smoke inhalation and was treated at scene. No other injuries were reported.

The fire was extinguished using approx. 250 gallons of water. No damage estimate was available at the time of the incident, according to Idyllwild Fire Chief Patrick Reitz.

IFPD responded with eight personnel on two engines, one ambulance and a command unit. Riverside County/CAL FIRE Pine Cove Station 23 also responded with an engine and three staff personnel.

Additional mutual aid units CAL FIRE were canceled prior to their arrival on scene.

IFPD reminds everyone to have working smoke detectors, and for those that heat with wood and propane to have a working carbon monoxide detector.