Montebello Fire Disrupts Traffic, Causes Power Outage

August 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Oilers Barbershop owner Armen Bagramryan told EGP that he heard a loud explosion sometime after midnight Tuesday night, but didn’t think anything of it until he started telephone receiving calls from relatives and friends. That’s when he says he learned an explosion had occurred at Seidner’s Collision Center, the auto shop located next to his barbershop.

“It was a loud noise, but nothing that alarmed me,” he said of his initial reaction.

When the calls started coming in, “I got off the phone and rushed to my barbershop,” said Bagramryan, who lives about three blocks away near the Beverly Hospital. “Police had the streets blocked off,” and he couldn’t get anywhere near his shop, he said.

The explosion at the two-story shop was reported around 12:30 a.m. in the 300 block of Whittier Boulevard, according to the Montebello Fire Department. Several people reported hearing loud explosions, fire officials said.

When firefighters arrived, they found the building engulfed in flames and “a power line exploding,” ABC 7 News reported. Power had to be cut to hundreds of residents, according to the fire department.

A two-alarm fire overnight Tuesday at an auto repair shop in Montebello, destroyed cars at the shop and forced the closure of the 300 block of Whittier Boulevard for several hours. (EGP photo by Carlos Alvarez)

A two-alarm fire overnight Tuesday at an auto repair shop in Montebello, destroyed cars at the shop and forced the closure of the 300 block of Whittier Boulevard for several hours. (EGP photo by Carlos Alvarez)

Several nearby residents were temporarily evacuated, according to news reports.

Whittier Boulevard was closed down for several hours between 3rd Street and 4th Street as firefighters worked to put down the heavy flames, fueled by chemicals used by the business. The back of the structure collapsed and several cars in the structure were completely destroyed.

Expecting the worst, Bagramryan told EGP he was relieved to find that the only issue at his barbershop was that there was no power.

About 160 customers lost power, according to Southern California Edison, which expected to have power fully restored by mid-afternoon Wednesday.

Bagramryan opened his barbershop about two years ago and told EGP that this is the second time in as many weeks that fire has caused him to worry. He said he was never able to find out the cause of that fire, just three building down from his location.

The cause of auto-shop fire was not immediately known, fire officials said. It’s still under investigation.

No injuries were reported.

Home Destroyed in Early Morning Fire

August 4, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

MONTEBELLO – A house was destroyed by a fire Thursday in Montebello and a person was injured, authorities said.

The fire was reported shortly after 6 a.m. in the 100 block of West Oakmont Drive, the Montebello Fire Department reported.

Firefighters extinguished the flames, which burned through the roof, shortly before 7 a.m., a dispatcher said. The condition of the injured person was not immediately known.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

10 Horses Die in Montebello Fire

June 20, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Ten horses died in a fire that consumed a stable early Sunday morning in Montebello, a fire chief said.

The fire inside a stable in the 300 block of Bluff Road was reported just after midnight, according to Montebello Fire Department Battalion Chief Richard Fredrickson.

“We got most of the fire out in about an hour, but it took about two hours before we could declare a complete  knockdown because the structure was still crumbling down and burning,” Fredrickson said.

Many animals were saved from the blaze but 10 horses were killed, Fredrickson added. No people were injured.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation, he said early this morning.

Man Pleads No Contest to Causing Lincoln Fire

March 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A transient who sparked a blaze that charred more than 300 acres in the Montebello Hills last summer pleaded no contest today to recklessly causing a fire.

Arturo Miallan Aguilar, 46, was immediately sentenced to one year in county jail, along with a one-year, live-in drug treatment program and three years probation, according to Deputy District Attorney Joy Roberts.

Aguilar was arrested hours after the blaze – dubbed the Lincoln Fire – started last Aug. 16 in the Rio Hondo riverbed in Montebello and spread into the hills.

Police said Aguilar was apparently trying to cook a meal when the fire spread.

A Southern California Edison worker fell and broke his leg and four firefighters were injured fighting the blaze. One suffered heat exhaustion, another a shoulder injury, one an eye injury and one firefighter complained of neck and back pain after a Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopter made a hard landing at Rose Hills Cemetery due to a mechanical problem.

While no buildings were damaged, some residents were evacuated during the fire and there was damage to oil field infrastructure.

A restitution hearing date is scheduled to be set later.

Montebello Home Fire Quickly Extinguished

January 7, 2016 by · 1 Comment 

County firefighters knocked down a fire at a home in Montebello in 20 minutes, according to the Los Angeles County Fire department.

The blaze inside the one-story home at 5723 Via San Delarro was reported at 11:04 p.m. Tuesday, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Robert Diaz. A knockdown was declared at 11:24 p.m., Diaz said. No injuries were reported.

The fire was under investigation, Diaz added.

Transient Charged with Starting Montebello Hills Fire Pleads Not Guilty

January 4, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A transient charged with sparking a 370-acre fire in the Montebello Hills pleaded not guilty Monday.

Arturo Miallan Aguilar, 46, is charged with recklessly causing a fire and faces up to three years in prison if convicted. He is due back in court Feb. 4 for a pretrial hearing.

Aguilar remains jailed in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Aguilar was arrested hours after the Aug. 16 blaze started in the Rio Hondo riverbed in Montebello and spread into the hills. Police said Aguilar was apparently trying to cook a meal when the fire spread.

A Southern California Edison worker fell and broke his leg and four firefighters were injured fighting the blaze. One suffered heat exhaustion, another a shoulder injury, one an eye injury and one firefighter complained of neck and back pain after a Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopter made a hard landing at Rose Hills Cemetery due to a mechanical problem.

While no buildings were damaged, some residents were evacuated during the fire and there was damage to oil field infrastructure.

Brush Fire Damages Montebello Hills

August 20, 2015 by · 2 Comments 

A transient was charged Tuesday with sparking the 378-acre Lincoln Fire in the Montebello Hills area.

Arturo Miallan Aguilar, 45, pleaded not guilty in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom to a charge of recklessly causing a fire, according to the District Attorney’s Office. He was arrested Sunday night, hours after the blaze started in the Rio Hondo riverbed in Montebello and spread into the hills.

(Photo by Fred Zermeno)

(Photo by Fred Zermeno)

Police said Aguilar was apparently trying to cook a meal when the fire spread. He faces up to three years in prison if convicted, according to prosecutors.

Aguilar’s bail was set at $20,000. He is due back in court Aug. 28, when a date will be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial.

The blaze began around 1:30 p.m. Sunday, fire officials said.

The fire burned 50 acres of the Montebello Hills property including a portion of a habitat reserve, said Deputy Montebello Fire Chief Dan Amador.

(Photo by Fred Zermeno)

(Photo by Fred Zermeno)

Cook Hill Properties Director of Communications Byron de Arakal said the developer is in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about the impact of the blaze. The federal agency in 1993 listed the California Gnatcatcher, a tiny bird that makes its home in the Montebello Hills, on its list of threatened species, putting much of the 488-acre site off-limits to development.

At this point, it’s not clear how much of the habitat was damaged or whether any of the endangered species, which also includes native vegetation, was affected.

The fire has been completely contained within the city of Montebello; however, Los Angeles County Fire crews are continuing to work to prevent flare-ups of the fire, which fire officials said Wednesday is 94% contained.

Fire-related injuries were reported.

A Southern California Edison worker fell and broke his leg at the scene around noon Monday, said Amador, and four firefighters were injured fighting the blaze Sunday. One Montebello firefighter suffered heat exhaustion, another firefighter from Los Angeles County suffered a shoulder injury, a Monrovia firefighter suffered an eye injury and one firefighter complained of neck and back pain after a Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopter made a hard landing at Rose Hills Cemetery due to a mechanical problem.

(Photo by Fred Zermeno)

(Photo by Fred Zermeno)

While no buildings were damaged, there was damage to oil field infrastructure owned by Freeport, he said. The extent was still being assessed. The fire also damaged 17 power poles causing outages in nearby streets, according to Amador,

Some area homes were subject to voluntary evacuations while the fire raged.

The fire closed stretches of Lincoln Avenue, San Gabriel and Rosemead boulevards and Durfee Avenue, according to Montebello police and the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The eastbound Pomona (60) Freeway was closed at San Gabriel Boulevard around 5 p.m. Sunday, but reopened about 3 1/2 hours later, according to the California Highway Patrol.

 

EGP News contributed to this report.

 

 

 

Homeless Man Suspected of Causing Lincoln Fire in Montebello

August 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A fire – apparently the work of an arsonist – that’s charred about 225 acres in the Montebello Hills and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County since Sunday afternoon was 60 percent contained Monday morning.

About 100 personnel were assigned to the firefight, the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported.

Authorities have arrested a homeless man suspected of causing the so-called Lincoln Fire, which broke out in a riverbed in and around the Montebello Hills about 1:30 p.m. Sunday, police said.

Arturo Miallan Aguilar, 45, was booked into the Montebello jail Sunday night on suspicion of arson and held in lieu of $35,000 bail, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department records.

SuperScoopers and bulldozers were called in to battle the brush fire, which started in the Rio Hondo riverbed near the Whittier Narrows Reservoir, Montebello Fire Department Deputy Chief Dan Amador said.

 

A fire that was started in the Rio Hondo Riverbed near the Whittier Narrows Reservoir, burned 225 acres in and around the Montebello Hills Sunday. (Montebello Police Department)

A fire that was started in the Rio Hondo Riverbed near the Whittier Narrows Reservoir, burned 225 acres in and around the Montebello Hills Sunday. (Montebello Police Department)

The blaze jumped roads and threatened oil fields and structures in the area, though none burned, Amador said.

A huge plume of black smoke was visible from across Los Angeles and Orange counties, as heavy brush burned just southwest of the interchange of the Pomona (60) and San Gabriel River (605) freeways.

Four firefighters were injured fighting the blaze, Amador said. One suffered heat exhaustion, another a shoulder injury, one an eye injury, and one firefighter complained of neck and back pain after a Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopter made a hard landing at Rose Hills Cemetery due to a mechanical problem.

Two recently arrived SuperScooper water-dropping aircraft leased to the county from the Province of Quebec assisted brushfire strike teams. The fixed-wing planes skimmed water from the lake at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, according to Irwindale police.

The SuperScoopers were not expected to be deployed Monday, but were on standby if needed, the county fire department reported.

Firefighters from departments in Monterey Park, Monrovia, Arcadia, Pasadena, South Pasadena, Glendale and San Gabriel were assisting in the firefight.

Some area homes were subject to voluntary evacuations.

The fire closed stretches of Lincoln Avenue, San Gabriel and Rosemead boulevards and Durfee Avenue, according to Montebello police and the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The eastbound Pomona Freeway was closed at San Gabriel Boulevard around 5 p.m. Sunday, but reopened about 3 1/2 hours later, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Copyright © 2017 Eastern Group Publications/EGPNews, Inc. ·