News Update!!: Downtown Needles, CA: Another resident speaks out about fire department’s response time.

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News Update!!: Downtown Needles, CA: Another resident speaks out about fire department’s response time.

Over a week has pass when several structures, 2 homes and an apartment building boarded up, catch on fire in Downtown Needles, California on Saturday, June 13th, 2015.

Since that day, outrage has growing over the response time of the San Bernardino County Fire Department and the call for a local fire service to serve and protect the community of Needles, California.

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Eileen Anthony, a 53 year old resident of Needles, California, sits down and talks to ZachNews Photojournalist Zachary A. Lopez about what she and her husband saw that Saturday as they come back home from a day to shopping and lunch in Bullhead City, Arizona.

Eileen Anthony tells ZachNews that between 12:30pm and 1:00pm PT on Saturday, June 13th, 2015, Eileen Anthony and her husband were heading back home, and as they reached Lipan Boulevard in Fort Mohave, Arizona, they seen black smoke coming from Needles, California.

As Eileen Anthony and her husband reached the Best Buy Market off of Mohave Valley Highway, Eileen Anthony tells ZachNews that she can see more thick black smoke pluming up, and by the time they got to the Needles Bridge, the smoke was real think and black, and we realized the fire was in Needles, California.

As Eileen Anthony and her husband drove under the K Street Underpass and got onto J Street, they could see the smoke, and as they got onto the 1200 block of West Broadway in Downtown Needles, California heading eastbound, they drove by the fire.

Eileen Anthony tells ZachNews that see saw a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department vehicle blocking off I Street in Downtown Needles, California, and one house was totally engulf in flames.

ZachNews asked Eileen Anthony how many minutes did it took from the time she saw the smoke and the time she got to the Needles Bridge, Eileen Anthony tells ZachNews that it was, “20 minutes”.

ZachNews then asked Eileen Anthony how many minutes did it took from the time she got to the Needles Bridge to the time she got to where she drove by the fire, Eileen Anthony tells ZachNews that it was, “2 to 3 minutes” from Front Street.

About 22 minutes confirmed to ZachNews by Eileen Anthony it took from point where she saw the fire to the point of the fire.

ZachNews asked Eileen Anthony if she saw any fire department trucks as they drove by the first time pass the fire.

Eileen Anthony tells ZachNews, “There were no fire trucks there; just the Sheriff’s Department car blocking off the street.”

Eileen Anthony confirmed to ZachNews that it was one San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department vehicle; not 2.

Eileen Anthony then tells ZachNews that her husband drove onto Front Street passing the San Bernardino County Fire Department Station 31 which Eileen Anthony said was about 2 minutes from the fire to the fire station, and when she passes the fire station, Eileen Anthony tells ZachNews that she can see the doors of the garage of the fire station wasn’t open.

ZachNews asked Eileen Anthony if she saw any fire department trucks inside the fire station located on the 600 block of Front Street near D Street in Downtown Needles, California. .

Eileen Anthony tells ZachNews, “No” adding that, “As far as she can see, it was empty”.

As Eileen Anthony and her husband drove back onto West Broadway heading back west to the fire, she spotted a San Bernardino County Fire Department vehicle which Eileen Anthony described to ZachNews that vehicle, “it looked like a truck; a small truck or like a pickup, with the back of it was enclosed in some way. It didn’t have an open back; like it might of have some equipment or something in it.”

Eileen Anthony then told ZachNews that this vehicle, “smaller vehicle, its not a fire truck, and it only had one person in it.”

Eileen Anthony and her husband followed the San Bernardino County Fire Department vehicle that came from the east end of Needles, California on West Broadway heading to the fire.

Eileen Anthony and her husband parked their vehicle by the nursery were she can see the house was totally engulf in flames and spectators all around watching the fire from the corner of where the fire was happening and across the street near the nursery.

Eileen Anthony tells ZachNews that she can see a stream of water, which Eileen Anthony tells ZachNews was like somebody was using a yard hose; not a fire hose, and can see the next door home’s siding on fire and somebody turned the hose on that and put that fire out, and the water disappeared as the fire continued.

Eileen Anthony tells ZachNews that she and her husband watched the fire for about 5 to 10 minutes watching the fire and then that is when she saw a fire department truck come over the overpass (West Broadway Bridge) and that is when they left.

Eileen Anthony tells ZachNews that the fire department truck that came from over the overpass was a big white fire engine; a Mohave Valley Fire Department engine.

ZachNews asked Eileen Anthony how she felt about what happened with the fire department’s response to the fire.

Eileen Anthony tells ZachNews, “I’m quite disappointed, because I was thinking about my house. I sit out there – way out there – on the east end of town – and if that’s the response that we’re gonna it, well my house would be a total lost as well.”

Last week, ZachNews got an email back from San Bernardino County Fire Department Battalion Chief John Chamberlain who said about the response time for the fire department, “Their response time from there was 9 minutes 54 seconds.”

ZachNews asked Eileen Anthony about what she thinks of the fire department’s response to the fire they are providing.

Eileen Anthony tells ZachNews, “No; with the time since we saw the smoke, to the time the actual fire truck showed up, there’s no way they could have been there within 8 to 10 minutes.”

ZachNews asked Eileen Anthony has a message for the San Bernardino County Fire Department regarding their response time to the fire.

Eileen Anthony tells ZachNews, “All I can say is they need to response faster and if – I can’t say that they have to – they need to give an excuse for when they don’t, but there should be a good excuse for the reason they don’t response to a fire.”

Eileen Anthony also tells ZachNews, “If you have 2 fire trucks, and both of them are not our on a service, they’re should be enough to personal to handle that second truck to get them out to handle whatever fire we might have in town if they have to take it out.”

** You can watch the full video at the following ZachNews on YouTube website address: **

https://youtu.be/9b2aSh1xkMI

A day after the fire, near by resident Richard Webster spoke to ZachNews Photojournalist Zachary A. Lopez about the fire he and his family seen the fire as they pulled back into town from a trip out to Las Vegas, Nevada.

** Read the news story at the following ZachNews on WordPress website address: **

http://wp.me/p26goG-63u

** Watch the interview at the following ZachNews on YouTube website address: **

Some of the residents, including those residents we interviewed, are planning to attend the Needles City Council Meeting being held at 6:00pm PT on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 inside the Needles City Council Chambers located on the 1700 block of J Street near the Needles Recreation Center and Bailey Avenue in Needles, California.

San Bernardino County Fire Department Battalion Chief John Chamberlain will be talking about the fire that happened on I Street near West Broadway in Downtown Needles, California on Saturday, June 13th, 2015 which burned and damaged an apartment building boarded up and at least 2 homes including a home in the process of being moved into by George Edward Hamil Sr.

Residents affected by that fire, have concerns about the fire department’s response time, or have concerns about local fire department service to the Needles, California area as well as all witnesses that have actual facts to share regarding this fire may want to attend this Needles City Council Meeting, especially any residents with concerns regarding our fire protection need to come and express your concerns.

For more information regarding the Needles City Council Meetings, please contact Dale Jones in the City Clerk’s Office at the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-2113 Ext. 345.

According to the San Bernardino County Fire Department, the fire is believed to be Arson in nature.

Early on Sunday, June 21st, 2015, ZachNews talked with a resident who knows who started the fire in Downtown Needles, California on Saturday, June 13th, 2015 telling ZachNews that he knew who it was because one of them is his nephew.

The resident even told ZachNews detailed information, which another resident also was told, about how the fire started as a man and a woman were trying to plug in an air conditioner well using power taken from other properties.

This information with the names was provided to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department as well as to the City of Needles.

As the cause of this fire remains under investigation, anyone with information is asked to contact the We-Tip Hotline at: 1 (800) 47-ARSON (1-800-472-7766) or San Bernardino County Fire Department Dispatch at: 1 (909) 356-3805.

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During the Needles City Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 9th, 2015 inside the Needles City Council Chambers in Needles, California, members of the Needles City Council voted 5 to 1 to approved to establish a Fire Services Task Force .

As part of the motion, members of the Needles City Council approved an amended by Needles City Council Member Shawn Gudmundson to not impose residency requirements on potential volunteers for the Fire Services Task Force.

According to the City of Needles, at the Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 Needles City Council Meeting, members of the Needles City Council directed the Needles City Manager Rick Daniels to develop a specific plan for the establishment of a local Fire Department.

That work is underway and a report is expected to be completed by September 2015 for your review. It will outline all of the tasks that must be completed and include definitive cost estimate to establish the local Fire Department.

Citizen input is always valuable in such an endeavor in that it helps identify issues, provides technical expertise not otherwise available, and tests the viability of various solutions. A task force has a specific mission and deadline to accomplish their work. A task force is appropriate in this circumstance.

As for fiscal impact related to this agenda item, according to the City of Needles, 5 to 6 meetings of staff time. The recommendation regarding this agenda item, according to the City of Needles, 1. Call for volunteers for serving on the Task Force. 2. Set an Agenda item for July 14 for each Councilor to appoint a member, and 3. Establish a mission and timeline for the Task Force to complete its work.

**** Agenda Item Packet Regarding Establishing a Fire Services Task Force: ****

http://www.cityofneedles.com/2015_WEBSITE_FILE_POSTING/1_CITY_COUNCIL_NPUA_SARDA/6_JUNE/MTG_1/cc_060915-10.pdf

** For more information on how to join the Fire Services Task Force, please contact Dale Jones in the City Clerk’s Office at the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-2113 Ext. 345. **

**** Stay tuned to ZachNews for more news update with more information regarding this news story. ****

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