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UPDATE: Fire Engulfs RV in Temecula

The fire at Santiago Road, off Ynez Road, was reported at 10:31 a.m.

Updated at 11:45 a.m.

A dry radiator was blamed for starting a fire that destroyed a motorhome in Temecula Sunday.

The fire at 28755 E. Vallejo Ave. was reported at 10:31 a.m.

A Winnebago was engulfed in flames after owner Elind Galindo, 80, started it up and let it idle for an hour, he told Patch.

Two fire engines arrived on scene about 10:45 a.m., as Patch arrived at the site.

Galindo, who said he worked for the Los Angeles County Fire Department for 25 years, said the motorhome hadn't been used in a long time. When Galindo started it up to recharge the battery and move it away from his garage, it started faintly smoking, he said.

"Apparently the radiator was dry," Galindo said. "I saw fire and black smoke (inside the motorhome) and got out."

The vehicle was stocked with 25 to 30 gallons of fuel when it caught fire and he described popping sounds coming from its axle as it burned, Galindo said.

The man said firefighters were slow to respond to calls for help and didn't arrive until 15 minutes after the fire was reported.

Galindo said he tried to extinguish the blaze with a garden hose while awaiting help, spraying down the RV and trying to open its engine compartment to get water inside it.

"I was there for 15 to 20 minutes just throwing that water on," said Galindo. "I know the fire station was pretty close."

A firefighter declined to comment at the scene of the blaze and referred questions to the fire department spokesperson. The spokesperson didn't immediately respond to a request for comment by phone.

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The owner of a motor home in Temecula expressed frustration after watching his RV burn to its frame Sunday.

The fire at Santiago Road, off Ynez Road, was reported at 10:31 a.m.

The first fire engine pulled up just as Patch arrived on scene, about 10>45 a.m.

LotusBud April 16, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Please note that he states he said he worked for the LA County fire department. He didn't say was a firefighter for LA County. Most retirees his age will profess that they are a retired fireman or retired fire captain. They like their titles. Either way, the response time was long, but not unusual. Just because the stations are close by, doesn't mean they were at their stations when the call came in. The majority of their calls are medical calls. They are running to homes for stroke victims and heart attacks or for traffic accidents. They would never delay a fire response if they had the man power. They live for fire calls!!! LOL And if they call came in at 10:31 and they arrived at 10:45, that does not equal 20 mins. He should just be thankful he is alive and leave the fire department alone.
KB April 16, 2012 at 07:31 PM
It's not like firefighting is rocket science.
Brenda April 16, 2012 at 09:48 PM
14 minutes? I don't know is that a long wait for a motorhome fire? I know they run the calls based on the level of emergency? It certainly could have been alot worse with that much gas in it, Kaboom!. "A Winnebago was engulfed in flames after owner Elind Galindo, 80, started it up and let it idle for an hour, he told Patch." I also do not understand starting it then "When Galindo started it up to recharge the battery and move it away from his garage, it started faintly smoking, he said." So he started it, moved it from house, saw smoke, and THEN continued to let it smoke and run for an hour? Or I am just reading this whole thing wrong. Secrets I agree with you on starting a vehicle that HE cannot even remember the last time it has been run? The first thing you do is check the fluids as they dry up in a few months, and also you still have to watch for leaking gaskets even if new when you parked it as they still dry up and then leak out. Yes, one would think he would know better.
Brenda April 16, 2012 at 09:57 PM
If you love it so much you drive and maintain it at least 2x a year. I have such a car :) Its my baby, nothing special just a 1992 Isuzu Rodeo 4x4 that has awesome memories of raising my kids, off road races we went to, LOL. But funny thing is this was her weekend to get out of the garage, get cleaned up, all fluids checks, leaks looked for(even though seals are new, but could be dry), fuel filter etc. Then after a nice drive bring her home and look for any new leaks, nothing, so husband takes her off to a long drive out of town for the week. :) Then she will come back and get parked again until one of us wanna drive her or "warm her up". She doesnt sit for years and not get touched. Just saying.........Oh and I think it was a fireman that told me baking soda or salt for a fire in a vehicle was good too? Not sure if it was salt or something else, but he named a lot of remedies, and definately NOT water.
Brenda April 16, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Like I said above its a wonder it was not a large Kaboom with that much gas in it. I know stored vehicles are not left with that much gas in them for any reason just because of a situation like this. I have always been told especially if in the garage or close to it, no more then 5 gallons which is enough to start and get to a gas station if you plan on driving it for a bit. Not sure why he would keep 25-30 gallons of gas in it sitting right up to his house. Well if nothing else everyone reading this will learn alot on the storage of cars and restarting them after sitting for awhile. Thank GOD the owner, and his neighbors all were there trying to put it out for 14 minutes, and thank God it didnt go Kapoom, and everyone is ok.

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