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 Residential Structure Fire, McKinleyville - June 2, 2021


Burning house with flame and smoke

(McKinleyville, CA) – At approximately 12:17 pm today, the Arcata Fire District was dispatched to a residential structure fire in the vicinity of Park and Sutter Roads in McKinleyville. The first arriving units were directed by bystanders to access the fire on Children’s, off Sutter Road. Battalion Chief Campbell located the fire and reported a single story, wood-framed residence with 50% fire involvement and completely filled with smoke.

The engine from the McKinleyville station initially began extinguishing the fire from outside of the building. One crewmember sprayed water while the other searched rooms from the exterior using a thermal imaging camera looking for potential trapped occupants. There were extended response times for a second engine due to multiple calls occurring in the District at the time of dispatch. Calls that occurred during the incident were handled by neighboring agencies. Chief Justin McDonald commented, “This is exactly what the fire service is about. When there is a fire, we all help each other out, regardless of where the incident might be occurring.  Neighbors helping neighbors.”

With the location of the fire occurring at the dead-end of a long graveled roadway, the nearest fire hydrant was several hundred feet away on Sutter Road.  Incoming engines were able to provide additional water by extending the hose from the hydrant at the street, blocking and closing off Sutter Road until the fire was controlled. 

At 12:39, the Incident Commander reported fire control with extensive overhaul of the remainder of the structure and that the primary search was complete.  No occupants were located, structure damage only. The Incident Commander, Battalion Chief Campbell stated, “The location of the fire was difficult to find and we are thankful for the local residents who directed us to the correct location. Unfortunately, the home was still a complete loss.”

Firefighter spraying water on a burning house.
Firefighter squirting water on a burning home

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it is believed to be accidental in nature.  

Arcata Fire District would like to thank our neighboring agencies for assistance both at the scene and for covering our stations. Fieldbrook Fire, Westhaven Fire, and CalFire Trinidad had resources at the fire, while Humboldt Bay Fire was reassigned to cover the District.

Arcata Fire would like to remind the community to make sure your street name and house address are visible and well-marked so that emergency personnel is able to quickly locate an address during all weather conditions and day or night.

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