Monday, August 31, 2009


Firefighters and residences in the greater Los Angeles area are in a race against time, as a quick-moving wildfire has almost doubled in size and is threatening 10,000 homes as of Monday afternoon.

Fire officials have ordered mandatory evacuations for residents of the 10,000 homes under threat. The city of Los Angeles today issued a mandatory evacuation order for an area of Sunland-Tujunga bordering the Angeles National Forest from roughly Alpine Way on the north to Haines Canyon Avenue on the east.

According to one fire spokesman, The Station Fire had increased to 85,576 acres as of Monday morning. The blaze is only 5 percent contained while being fueled by dry air and protected by the steep terrain in and around the Angeles National Forest.

Officials are keeping a close eye on the blaze, which is being aided by warm temperatures and low humidity, as it creeps closer to the Mount Wilson Observatory. The facility holds 20 television and radio transmission towers along with fire and police communication equipment.

Tragically, two firefighters died Sunday when their vehicle went down a steep enbankment as they were battling the Station Fire.

Officials identified the dead as Capt. Tedmund Hall, 47, and Spc. Arnaldo Quinones, 35.

"Our hearts are heavy as we are tragically reminded of the sacrifices our firefighters and their families make daily to keep us safe," California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement issued Sunday. "This is a devastating day for firefighters everywhere, and Maria and I join all Californians in expressing our gratitude and sadness. Our hearts go out to their loved ones."

Two residents who ignored mandatory Station Fire evacuation orders were severely burned when they decided to wait out the blaze in a hot tub, according to sheriff's officials.

Both were severely burned when flames ripped through their Big Tujunga neighborhood Saturday.

The Station Fire began Wednesday and had destroyed 18 structures by Sunday. The fire also is threatening 500 businesses and 2,000 other structures. The blaze grew over the weekend in an area that has not witnessed a major fire in more than six decades.

Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency Friday as a result of the Station Fire. He has also declared a state of emergency in Monterey County, where one blaze, called the Gloria Fire, has burned approximately 6,500 acres, and another, called the Bryson Fire, has charred more than 3,000 acres.


tana jackson said...

In November 2004 my home was destroyed by a fire. Being a small business owner this was a devastating event that could have ruined my family. What made it even more devastating was when my insurance adjuster asked, “Did I have an inventory of what was lost?” I did not! The irony was, I had been nominated one of the “Top 25 Pros to Know” in the Supply Chain and Logistics industry and specifically on inventory control. However, my experience was in the warehouse and not the living room.

My wife (who was 6 months pregnant with our second son) and I, along with my 4 year old son were forced to stay in a hotel. Because I traveled extensively with my job, often my wife and son would travel with me. It was always a joy for my son to stay in hotels, he felt he was always on vacation. However, this time, after about 2 weeks, my son Gabriel came to me and said, “Daddy I am ready to go home!” But we did not have a home we could return to. He said, “He missed our two dogs Shaka and Baby”, who were left at the burnt out home because the hotel would not accept pets. After he walked away I cried and could not stop crying. Months went by, my son was born premature with serious complications, and I was not able to think about anything as I continuously blamed myself for not being prepared. Later I learned I was going to get burned twice because I did not have that inventory, which was crucial to complete my insurance claim.

I decided to take my inventory knowledge and move it from the warehouse to the living room. I spent my time rebuilding my house, because we could not find a contractor to take such a small job, and developing a program named, “Cover Your Assets”.

CYA is inventory software for homeowners. It allows a homeowner to inventory their homes contents room by room. However, knowing that most homeowners do not have an inventory of their homes contents because of the amount of time it takes, I also developed “Home Inventory Specialists” that will perform the inventory for the homeowner, input the data into the software and teach the homeowner how to use the software. The last aspect of the program allows the homeowner to store the inventory on our servers, in cyberspace, out of harm’s way.

This is a simple concept I know, but after the 2007 fires in California less than 20% of the homes have been rebuilt and most homeowners have cited problems developing their inventory to complete their claims. Others found out after the fire they were underinsured. My goal is to eventually create legislation that will require homeowners to inventory their homes contents within 3 months of purchasing their home.

This will help prevent them from hearing, “Daddy or Mommy I want to go home” Rene’ Jones - Home Inventory Specialist

My business [Cover Your Assets] has been nominated for an opportunity to win $100,000 in grant and marketing support from American Express.

Go to and read the nomination for [Cover Your Assets]. If you are inspired by what you read, you can lend your support by registering and submitting an endorsement for this nomination.

In order for [Cover Your Assets] to be eligible to become a Shine a Light finalist, the nomination must receive 50 endorsements by September 13, 2009.

Thank you for your support.

Arizona Home Insurance said...

Wow tana that is an amazing story. Everyone that has Arizona Insurance needs to hear your insurance story!