Locals help fight fire till engines arrive
A hot exhaust pipe caused the very dry juniper bush at 225 Posada Lane in Templeton, across the street from Twin Cities Community Hospital, to catch fire and ignite a quarter-acre of vegetation on July 29. The fire was reported at 12:42 p.m., according to CalFire, along with reports that power lines were down. When crews arrived, however, now lines were down, but a fire was burning.
According to Templeton Heritage Oaks Bank Branch Manager Maria Eskandanian, a man standing next to the vehicle’s whose hot exhaust pipe lit the brush, saw it catch fire immediately. It was then that another man working on Posada Lane and had a large water truck that he uses on construction sites to wet down the area, brought his truck over and used all the water in an attempt to help control the burn until fire personnel were able to arrive. The vehicle was parked next to Dr. Nelson Yamagata’s car, which was also damaged in the fire. The total damage of the fire is estimated by CalFire at $45,000, which includes the damages to both vehicles.
“The fire took hold very fast,” Eskandanian wrote in an email on her account of the incident. “Tires of Dr. Yamagata’s beautiful automobile were making loud popping sounds. The staff of Heritage Oaks Bank handled traffic control as the entrance and exit of Posada was blocked. Traffic was redirected through the Heritage Oaks Bank parking lot and toward Bethel to exit the area. Dr. Yamagata’s car was totally destroyed.”
Eskandanian reported that the fire jumped Las Tables Road and ignited a brush fire near the hospital. The hospital’s Founders Pavilion, which houses administrative offices, was put on notice that if the fire was contained soon, the building would be evacuated.
“All of this happened quickly and without the help of so many local citizens trying to control the flames before the assistance of [fire personnel], there could have been much more damage and possibly the injury of people,” Eskandanian wrote. As it turned out, there was no one hurt.”
The fire was under the jurisdiction of Templeton Fire Department, which was assisted by crews from Atascadero, Paso Robles, Santa Margarita, County Fire and CalFire. According to CalFire, the fire was contained by 12:52 p.m.