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.
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.