Heroic effort by firemen keep neighbors safe during building fire

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EL CENTRO – The El Centro Police and Fire Dispatch Center began receiving multiple 911 calls of a building on fire near Imperial and Pico avenues Monday at 11:04 p.m., according to fire department logs.

The first El Centro Fire Department Engine Company arrived on scene approximately four minutes and thirty seconds after the initial dispatch, and found a residential style building fully engulfed in flames, creating a Second Alarm incident, and sending out requests for an additional Engine Company and a Ladder Truck Company from the Imperial County Fire Department.

El Centro firefighters quickly performed an aggressive fire attack at 1699 N. Imperial Avenue. Two fire engines and two rescue squads reportedly attempted to subdue the fire. Fire crews carried out a combination attack by fighting from both the exterior and interior. Good, early progress was made to prevent the spread to surrounding businesses, reports stated.

Due to the heat and early growth of the fire, crews had to battle from all directions. Fire fighters provided roof ventilation to make a large hole for the ladder truck to spray water inside. Hot spots remained throughout the building for a while.

Fire crews remained on scene battling the blaze until approximately 3:00 a.m. About 20 firefighters worked to bring the blaze under control, and no injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported. The El Centro police, the Imperial Irrigation District, Southern California Gas Company and the American Red Cross also assisted on scene. El Centro Fire Department investigators are currently working to determine the cause of the blaze.