A house fire in San Bernardino that claimed two lives over the weekend was determined to be accidental in nature and investigators discovered that the home’s occupants did not have any working fire alarms, the San Bernardino County Fire Department said Tuesday, Aug. 2.
The fire was reported Saturday, July 30, at 11:11 p.m. in the 1100 block of East Holly Vista Boulevard and it was revealed that the home was possibly occupied, prompting a request for ambulances, the Fire Department said.
Just 40 minutes before the fire was reported, firefighters had responded to a report of a smell of smoke at an intersection north of the fire, fire officials said. After checking the location and the surrounding area and finding no smoke or fire, crews departed, authorities said. It was unclear if the smoke call and the structure fire were related, the Fire Department said.
The firefighters arrived around 11:17 p.m. and found smoke coming from the single-story home, officials said.
Inside the house, the smoke gave zero visibility to the firefighters and they had to utilize a “systematic method” and thermal imaging cameras to help with the rescue, the Fire Department said. A few minutes later, they found the two victims and took them out of the house to medical crews in the front yard of the home, authorities said.
The fire was knocked down a little after 11:30 p.m., officials said.
A search of the area revealed that multiple pets had died in the blaze, including dogs, cats and birds, the Fire Department said. No working smoke alarms were found inside the home either, fire officials said.
The fire’s cause was preliminarily determined to be unintentional and accidental in nature, officials said.
“It is important for residents to install and maintain smoke detectors and have a home escape plan,” the Fire Department said in a news release.
Identifying information for the victims was not immediately available.