On December 11, 2016 at 2:00 P.M., the La Habra Heights Fire Department responded to a reported residential structure fire on the 900 block of Cancho Ln. in La Habra Heights. Upon arrival firefighters found a small fire in an upstairs living room which had been extinguished by the homeowner. Firefighters extinguished the remaining material and overhauled the room. Damage was limited to the wood floor and minimal contents.
The fire started when a burning log rolled out of the fireplace into a pile of combustible material. At the time of the fire, the resident was working in a remote location on the property and was unaware that a fire had started. Fortunately, other members of the family, upon returning home, were walking towards the remote section of the property when they heard the activated smoke alarms.
Upon entering the home to investigate, the residents were met with heavy smoke. 911 was immediately contacted and the homeowner extinguished the fire with a garden hose.
Due to code violations, the Building Department, Code Enforcement, and Fire Department has been working with the homeowner to gain compliance with local building and fire codes. The residents were ordered last month to install working smoke alarms throughout the structure, remove pack-rat conditions, repair stairways, and clear access and egress routes for safety.
It was clear when examining the sequence of events that without properly working smoke alarms, the structure would have sustained major damage and possibly loss of life.