It’s a tragedy that has shaken up this tight-knit community, officials confirming two elderly residents were killed in a fire in the La Quinta Cove early Wednesday morning.
The deadly fire started just after 2 a.m., with the Riverside County Fire Department able to put out the blaze in a little over an hour, saving only two out of the four residents involved.
At around 2:21 a.m., the Riverside County Fire Department received a call for a boarded structure fire with victims trapped inside the building.
When CalFire arrived to Avenida Martinez in La Quinta, they found out it was not one but two structures involved.
“The first arriving engine reported not one but two single story residents as well, involved with fire.” Justin Karp, the Battalion Chief for the Riverside County Fire Department says.
At approximately 4 a.m., CalFire was able to completely put out all flames, at that point they were able to conduct a full search, discovering the unthinkable.
Four victims involved, in one structure, two victims who perished at the scene.
“The other structure was also occupied. Those two adults were able to get out and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.” Battalion Chief Karp says.
Resident Ashley Weiss says, her grandparents, Kermit and Linda, lived in one of the homes, now completely destroyed by the fire.
Weiss says she believes that it was an explosion caused by an oxygen tank that caused the fire.
She says the second structure involved was the guest house, where two renters lived.
The other two residents involved were able to leave the scene, and are now being assisted by the American Red Cross.
Many neighbors in the area were also temporarily displaced, but were able to return home, just a few hours later.
“We did initially evacuate them due to the immediate threat of the fire spread. However, with the exception of some very minor damage to one of those homes, we were able to keep the fire completely limited to the two original buildings.” Battalion Chief Karp adds.
The two residents who were able to escape the structure fire, are now left with nothing. They were only able to leave the fire with the clothes on their back, and their dog.
For more information on how to help these residents, click the link below.