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Beaumont house fire displaces seven

By KESQ & CBS Local 2 News Staff, newsline3@kesq.com
Greg Lee, KESQ News Channel 3 & CBS Local 2 Reporter, glee@kesq.com
Published On: Jan 23 2014 01:14:56 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 23 2014 08:32:55 PM CST

When firefighters arrived, they fought heavy flames, smoke and strong winds. nobody from the family was injured, but a pet bird, dog, and rabbit all died. Firefighters say they could have saved the home, but had trouble getting to the flames, because of hoarding.

BEAUMONT, Calif. -

A fire quickly spread and destroyed a home in Beaumont leaving seven people, including three children, without a place to live.  The fire broke out around 10:45 AM Thursday on the 1000 block of Edgar Avenue.  Neighbors and the family watched as firefighters pulled out piles of smoldering belongings from the home.  "It was flames about 30 feet high just engulfing the house," said Steven Casarez, who lives on the block.  

Firefighters did their best to save the home and keep the flames from spreading, but brutal conditions made it difficult. No people got hurt, but three pets: a rabbit, a dog and a bird died.  "Lot of heavy fire, lot of heavy smoke, with the winds, it's just a combination for a very hectic fire," said Captain Manuel Reyes from the Beaumont Fire Department.  

Firefighters also dealt with problems just getting to the flames, because of the amount of belongings blocking their way. "House was hoarded," said Captain Reyes.   "Front, backyard, not very good access for our hose lines."

The fire captain believes the crew could have saved the house, if not for the hoarding.  Instead, the fire not only destroyed the home, it spread to Bette Yarnell's house, burning the fence and wall. "Junk, junk, junk," said Yarnell.  "People have complained about it, but nothing ever got done and this is what happens." 

For that reason, Yarnell and other neighbors say they're not surprised.  "It was something that was in the making," said Yarnell.  "We knew it was going to happen, and the city and nobody did nothing about it." 

The American Red Cross is helping the family deal with the aftermath of the fire.  The cause remains under investigation. 

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