No Hydrants Sends Vacaville Fire to 4 Alarms

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Vacaville’s David Dembowski got unique wake-up call Monday morning.

“Heard police radios and walked out and saw big flames,” Dembowski told FOX40.

The flames across from Dembowski’s home were from three burning outbuildings at Poplar Street and Willow Street in rural Vacaville.

Vacaville Fire Protection District got the call just after 5 a.m.

“Flames probably 30-40 feet in the air,” said Deputy Fire Chief Doug Rogers. He added some vehicles caught on fire and nearby propane tanks were also a concern.

Four people inside the main house were evacuated unharmed. Then the call went to four alarms, but not because the fire got worse; it was from a lack of water. Since the fire was in such a rural part of Vacaville there weren’t any immediate fire hydrants. Fire crews had to truck in the water with multiple water tenders.

“It takes time to bring water tenders in, narrow roads, and it can make for some difficulty,” explained Rogers, “We have five water tenders on this doing a round-robin; when they’re empty, go to hydrant, go and come back with water.”

Each tender holds three-thousand to five-thousand gallons of water and considering Rogers estimates it takes 100,000 gallons to put out a fire this size which means there were a lot of trips.

Another concern was the sound of small explosions coming from the outbuildings. Dembowski heard quite a few of them, “(Firefighters) came over and told me I should move my truck and dogs.”

Rogers added it’s a big concern for firefighters, because there’s no telling what a person will store in a garage.

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