Man Jumped From 2nd Story to Escape Destructive Fire in Crestline

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Firefighters were mopping up Thursday after a fire in Crestline left three people injured and destroyed three homes in the mountain community.


Crews were working to mop up hot spots after a few in Crestline on May 1, 2014. (Credit: San Bernardino County Fire Department)

The blaze began in a home in the 24800 block of Matterhorn Court shortly before 8 p.m. Wednesday and had spread to a second home and surrounding vegetation and trees by the time firefighters arrived, according to Capt. Marc Peebles of the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

One resident who re-entered his home during the firefight was trapped on the second-story deck, according to a news release sent out Thursday afternoon by the Fire Department.

Firefighters attempted to bring a ladder to the man, but “fire conditions worsened dramatically and the occupant jumped to the ground below,” the release stated. The man was airlifted to a trauma center.

Two other residents were burned and were hospitalized with moderate injuries, Peebles said.

Two homes were completely destroyed and a third was about 70 percent destroyed, Peebles said.

Seventy-five firefighters from the county, Cal Fire and U.S. Forest Service responded. The response, aided by resources pre-positioned in the area because of high fire danger, helped prevent a “catastrophic loss of numerous homes and forest,” the news release said.

Dubbed the Matterhorn Fire, the fire was knocked down just before 10 p.m. Wednesday, but crews were on scene amid windy conditions overnight. The fire had burned in a heavily forested residential area of Crestline, a community in the San Bernardino Mountains.

By morning, firefighters were mopping up “deep-seated hot spots” on the blaze, the Fire Department stated on Twitter at about 11 a.m.

The fire broke out amid high winds and temperatures, low humidity and warnings about critical fire danger. The 1,000-acre Etiwanda Fire was burning about 15 miles to the west-southwest.

The cause of the Matterhorn Fire was under investigation. No damage estimate was available by Thursday afternoon.


The fire sent flames shooting into the trees in Crestline on April 30, 2014. (Credit: Randy Johanson)


The Matterhorn Fire could be seen burning from far below. (Credit: Chelsea Cizek)