Just before 5:30 tonight OCFA firefighting crews in Santa Ana extinguished a fence fire before it could catch a detached classroom at a school on fire.
Why do you suppose a fence would catch fire?
Two adults and one child were displaced after an attic fire damaged their home at the 2000 block of S. Sycamore St., in Santa Ana, this morning. The fire was reported at 7:49 a.m.
It took firefighters approximately 15 minutes to get the fire knocked down. No injuries reported and the cause is under investigation.
The fire took place about a block west of Main St. near the South Main Business District.
Just after 9 p.m. last night OCFA firefighters arrived to find 12 cypress trees on fire at a mobile home park at the 1500 block of N. Newhope St., in Santa Ana.
Four residents were displaced due to damage their home sustained, however multiple homes were spared damage due to a quick knock down of the fire. No injuries were reported.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. The SAPD assisted at the scene.
Patrick Andrew Ceniceros, 61, of Tustin, is heading to prison for 18 years to life after being sentenced on Friday for setting a five-alarm arson fire last year at a Tustin apartment building killed a pet dog and displaced about 100 residents. He was given credit for 599 days in custody which means he will get out of prison even sooner.
Ceniceros pleaded guilty on May 24 to aggravated arson with property damage in excess of $8.3 million, arson of an inhabited structure, arson of property and cruelty to animals, all felonies. He also admitted sentencing enhancements for using an acceleration device in an arson.
He was previously convicted for attempted murder in October of 2009 in San Bernardino County, and served 8 years in prison for that crime.
Ceniceros set the fire when the residents were asleep, which could have killed many of the apartment’s residents. The fire was reported at about 3 a.m. at Chatham Village apartments at 15751 Williams St., near McFadden Avenue. The fire burned so intensely that it caused the apartment’s roof to collapse. The fire started on the first floor but quickly grew into the second floor and the attic. It took almost five hours for 120 firefighters to finally extinguish the arson fire.
Ceniceros has been in jail since Feb. 12, 2020, after he made incriminating statements when he was interviewed by OCFA investigators about the blaze.
The apartment building was considered to be a total loss even though some of the lower units were not burned as those units were damaged by the water and smoke.
You may have seen column of black smoke this afternoon near Downtown Santa Ana. The OCFA has reported that there was a fire at a residential duplex at the 1000 block of W 2nd St before 12:50 pm. The fire took place right next to Angels Community Park.
The fire started outside and extended towards surrounding homes. The firefighters stopped the forward spread before it did extensive damage to each home involved.
13 children and 19 adults were displaced by the fire as four homes were damaged. Sadly, one dog did not survive.
Fire investigators are on the scene. There is no cause determined yet. No injuries reported. Assistance provided by
the SAPD and So. Cal. Red Cross, which provided three SAVE cards with monetary value to assist the displaced residents.
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Santa Ana man has been charged with lighting illegal fireworks and causing a Fourth of July explosion that left a 4-year-old with a burned cornea and an 8-year-old with second-degree burns and a burned cornea. Several other children and adults suffered burns to their faces and scalps as a result of the explosion.
Frank Lazcano Lopez, 46, of Santa Ana, has been charged with two felony counts of explosion causing mayhem and great bodily injury, one felony count of explosion of a destructive device causing bodily injury, and one felony count of dissuading a witness by force or threat.
He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted on all counts.
Lopez is currently being held at the Theo Lacy Facility on $1 million bail.
Just after 11 p.m. on July 4, 2021, Garden Grove police were called to Rosita Place and San Juan Place in Garden Grove to respond to a large explosion that injured several people, including young children, watching fireworks. Several people, including several children, were rushed to the hospital to be treated for their injuries, including two brothers, 4 –years-old and 8-years-old, who both suffered burns to their corneas. The 8-year-old also suffered second-degree burns around his eye.
The explosion caused significant damage to several nearby cars and shattered windows. A man, later identified as Lopez, is accused of igniting the fireworks and threatening a witness to force him to delete photos of the damages caused by the explosion.
Lopez was arrested by Garden Grove police on Thursday, July 8, 2021.
“The injuries suffered by these innocent children were completely preventable,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. “Every year, law enforcement and fire officials warn the public about the dangers of illegal fireworks – and every year people suffer injuries they should never have suffered if they had listened to our warnings. This time it is very young children who were forced to suffer the very real and very painful effects of illegal fireworks. And children should never have to suffer as a result of the irresponsible acts of an adult.”
Deputy District Attorney Deborah Kwon of Special Prosecutions is prosecuting this case.
On July 4th, 2021 at 11:30 PM, Garden Grove police officers were dispatched to the 13800 block of Rosita Pl., regarding a large firework explosion that caused windows to be blown out from an apartment complex and vehicle.
Upon arrival, they located multiple injured parties and secured the scene until the OCSD Bomb Squad could arrive.
An 8-year-old child was transported to a local hospital with a severe injury to his eye and burns to his body. Five additional children were treated by medics at the scene for non-lethal injuries.
While at the hospital, officers discovered three additional victims had transported themselves there.
Detectives conducted follow up and were able to identify Frank Lazcano Lopez (46-years-old, of Santa Ana) as being involved in setting off the illegal fireworks that injured nine people, and damaged several apartments and vehicles. Lopez was arrested today and booked into Orange County Jail for igniting a destructive device, causing injury.
This investigation is on-going. Anyone with information regarding the firework explosion is asked to contact Detective Heine at 714-741-5422.
SANTA ANA, Calif. – Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer issued a statement slamming the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) for allowing felons convicted of violent felonies to be assigned to minimum-security inmate firefighting crews, an assignment that allows them to shave off as much as 60 percent of their sentence and have their crimes immediately erased from their record upon release from prison.
On July 4, an inmate firefighter went off-roading in a stolen Cal Fire fire engine after escaping from his assignment battling a brush fire in El Dorado County. He was serving a 10-year prison sentence for a carjacking spree in Orange County, including stealing an Orange County Sheriff’s patrol car. The 31-year-old inmate attempted to carjack another vehicle after the stolen fire engine became stuck in a ditch on Sunday.
Cameron Zoltan Horvath, 31, was sentenced to 10 years in state prison in 2015 after being convicted of six felonies, a misdemeanor, and a felony enhancement for carjacking an elderly victim in Orange County. He also had a prior “strike” conviction for a 2014 attempted carjacking. Horvath admitted stealing a vehicle from a residential complex, getting in an accident, and subsequently carjacking the elderly driver of the other vehicle. He led the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol on a pursuit in the stolen vehicle. After the pursuit, Horvath stole a Sheriff’s patrol vehicle and drove a short distance before being arrested. Horvath was taken to a hospital, where he fought with deputies, attempted to steal one of the deputies’ firearm, and battered a nurse by grabbing her.
On July 4, 2021, Horvath was assigned to an inmate fire crew battling a brush fire ignited by illegal fireworks when he is accused of stealing a fire engine and driving through nearby businesses, crashing through chain link fences and damaging other vehicles and property before the fire engine became stuck in a ditch. Horvath is then accused of attempting to carjack another vehicle before being captured. Much of the July 4 event was captured on surveillance video.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer slammed the lack of screening of convicted felons by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to allow inmates convicted of violent felonies like Horvath to serve on the minimum-security inmate fire crews, putting public safety at risk. Currently, only arsonists, registered sex offenders, prisoners with a history of escape with force or violence, and those serving life sentences are prohibited from being assigned to Fire Camp.
Those minimal restrictions allow convicted felons sent to state prison for violent felonies including carjacking, armed robbery, weapons/firearms offenses and even attempted murder to serve on inmate firefighting crews while serving time in state prison. Inmate firefighters also receive increased “good time” credits from the CDCR, resulting in most inmates only serving about 1/3 of their sentence. Violent felons assigned to fire crews serve only about 40% of their sentence as a result of the CDCR’s increased good time credits.
The District Attorney’s Office does not have a say in which inmates are assigned to inmate fire crews; that decision-making authority rests entirely with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
“Violent felons are sent to state prison because they have committed such heinous crimes they must be taken out of our communities,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “It is unconscionable that the very entity responsible for housing dangerous felons continues to allow these same violent felons back into our communities and expect them to miraculously be less dangerous because they are dressed in firefighting gear instead of a prison uniform. It doesn’t work that way. This is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to shorten the sentences of dangerous criminals and get them out of prison and back on the streets as quickly as possible. Our communities – and our victims – deserve better.”
This incident is just the latest involving violent felons assigned to CDCR inmate fire crews attempting to escape from the minimum-security fire crews.
In 2005, inmate firefighter Marlon Ruff walked away from the Eel River Conservation Camp in Humboldt County. Ruff was serving a prison sentence for beating and robbing an armored vehicle guard. While on the run, Ruff shot and killed San Francisco Police Officer Bryan Tuvera and then killed himself.
In 2010, Jeffory Lynn Shook led law enforcement officers on a chase across four counties before SWAT teams captured him in a trailer park in rural Siskiyou County with Aryan Brotherhood gang members he had met in prison.
When Shook escaped from Fire Camp, he had already been shot and wounded by police twice in previous high-speed pursuits, including one in Orange County and had tried to run over a detective in Placer County.
Former Placer County Sheriff Ed Bonner called Shook “one of the most violent and dangerous suspects we’ve encountered in a long time.”
Under a law that went into effect on January 1, inmates who participate in Fire Camp are allowed to immediately have their convicted expunged when they are released from prison. This allows inmates to hide their convictions as if they never happened, including concealing a child abuse conviction when applying for a daycare center license or concealing an elder abuse conviction when applying to work in an assisted living facility. Most serious and violent crimes, including attempted murder, carjacking, mayhem, robbery and weapons and firearms offenses, are eligible for expungement in exchange for participating in Fire Camp.
“By pretending these crimes never happened, we are pretending victims were never victimized and that past behavior is not a predictor of future behavior,” said District Attorney Spitzer. “We cannot release violent felons back into target-rich environments with only the hope that they learned their lesson and they won’t reoffend. Hope only goes so far.”
The Garden Grove Police Department announced the results of their 2021 illegal firework enforcement efforts.
These stats do not reflect officers being rerouted to a few large incidents, one of which included a fire on Norma St.
Guests awoke to firefighters attacking a fire at a motel in the 1500 blk of E. 1st street in Santa Ana at approx 7:15 a.m.
The firefighters knocked it down in just 9 min while guests tried to get back into rooms to grab belongings. The quick stop protected the guests and the rest of the motel.
The firefighters laid in over 600 feet of hose from the street while battling the blaze.
The OCFA was assisted by the Orange Fire Department and the SAPD.
It makes sense when you think about it. The local gangbangers have gotten pretty good at distributing meth and other drugs in Santa Ana. Why wouldn’t they use that business acumen to make a fortune selling illegal fireworks to our residents as well?
It turns out that is exactly what the gangs are doing, all over California. Even worse they are using the money they make importing and selling illegal fireworks to pay for the guns they use to commit crimes. Those guys by the way are increasingly ghost guns, made with 3-D printers. Such guns are unmarked and untraceable.
The gangbangers are buying the illegal fireworks in Nevada and in Mexico then stashing them in their cars and slipping them past our borders.
Illegal fireworks also enter into California through the port of Long Beach from Mexico and China and are ostensibly headed out of state to be sold legally, but some somehow never make it to their intended destinations. These fireworks are then sold online, in parking lots and from warehouses at double or triple their cost, according to the O.C. Register.
Over 250,000 pounds of illegal fireworks are seized by various police agencies in California every year and turned into the State Fire Marshall to be destroyed. However these are the proverbial tip of the iceberg as anyone in Santa Ana can attest. Every 4th of July is insane in Santa Ana with illegal fireworks booming overhead all night long into the wee hours.
These illegal fireworks are not safe. Every year dozens of Californians blow off their fingers and/or hands. Sometimes large quantities of fireworks blow up in the homes they are stored in, presenting a distinct hazard to our neighborhoods. That is not to mention the fire risk in a state that is bone dry.
The officials cannot stem the tide of illegal fireworks in California. It is up to you! Stop buying the illegal fireworks and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Don’t provide money to the gangs so they can turn around and buy more guns!
A salvage yard in the City of Santa Ana near N. Fuller St. & E. Washington Ave. had flames come right up to it after several palm trees caught fire today. The fire occurred just south of the 5 Freeway.
OCFA firefighters quickly surrounded the fire & prevented further spread.
The cause is under investigation.
As 4th of July approaches, we would like to remind our community that only fireworks bearing the “Safe and Sane” seal are permitted to be used within the City limits, during the following days and hours only:
• July 1st – 12:00pm (noon) to 10:00pm
• July 2nd – 10:00am to 10:00pm
• July 3rd – 10:00am to 10:00pm
• July 4th – 10:00am to 9:00pm
The use of illegal fireworks may contribute to serious injuries and fires in our community. The Santa Ana Police Department wants to remind the community that “Possession and/or Use of Illegal Fireworks” is a CRIME. Violators may be subject to $1000 fines and up to one year in jail.
Community members can anonymously report the use of illegal fireworks at (714) 245-8771 or via email email@example.com.
A medida que se acerca el 4 de julio, La Ciudad de Santa Ana les recuerda que sólo los fuegos artificiales que llevan el sello “Seguro y Sano” (“Safe and Sane”) están autorizados para uso dentro de los límites de la ciudad y solo durante los siguientes días y horas:
• 1 de julio – 12:00pm (mediodía) a 10:00pm
• 2 de julio – 10:00am a 10:00pm
• 3 de julio – 10:00am a 10:00pm
• 4 de julio – 10:00am a 9:00pm
El uso de fuegos artificiales ilegales puede contribuir a lesiones graves e incendios en nuestra comunidad. El Departamento de Policía de Santa Ana quiere recordarle a la comunidad que “posesión y / o uso de fuegos artificiales ilegales” es un DELITO. Los infractores pueden estar sujetos a multas de $ 1000 y hasta un año de cárcel.
Miembros de la comunidad pueden reportar el uso de fuegos artificiales ilegales anónimamente al (714) 245-8771 o por correo electrónico firstname.lastname@example.org.
A two alarm commercial structure fire broke out in Santa Ana at 1441 E. 17th St. last night at 11:30 p.m.
The structure that burned has been vacant for some time. The neighbors have often complained about homeless people hanging out at that building.
Approximately 60 firefighters fought heavy fire upon arrival and maximized the hydrants to supply the multiple ladder pipes and large hand lines.
They were engaged in a defensive attack on the blaze. Initial crews had spotted fire coming through the roof.
The OCFA was assisted by firefighters from the Orange Fire Department and the SAPD.
OCFA fire investigators continue their detailed work. They were using drones to assist in finding hot spots.
The OCFA was also assisted by the Santa Ana Building Dept. and the Water Dept. for all their much appreciated assistance.
COSTA MESA, Calif. — Today, June 20, 2021, at about 6:17 a.m., a woman called from a hotel room at the 3100 block of Bristol Street and made a threat to harm herself and start a fire.
Shortly thereafter, officers arrived at the door to the hotel room the woman called from and could hear the smoke alarm sounding inside the room. The woman had barricaded the front door prior to police arrival. Officers were able to force entry to check her welfare and located the woman inside. There was thick smoke and flames inside the room and officers removed the female occupant from the room.
Other guests from neighboring rooms were evacuated as the Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue Department (CMFR) was dispatched to the scene. They put out the fire and a CMFR arson investigator was on scene; this information was shared via their Twitter account.
The woman was arrested for arson and a mental health evaluation is being conducted, hence her identity will not be disclosed.
This incident will be investigated and no further information will be released.