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RV fires in Mission Bay, Rancho San Diego, Chula Vista

Older refrigerators rank high as culprits

August 31 in Chula Vista: "The fire was knocked down in under 15 minutes."
August 31 in Chula Vista: "The fire was knocked down in under 15 minutes."

At about 4 a.m. on September 11, a De Anza Cove visitor called in about a Prowler fifth-wheel trailer RV that caught on fire. Firefighters from San Diego Fire-Rescue Station 21 pulled up with two fire trucks. They hosed down the "fully engulfed" recreational vehicle located on De Anza Road and North Mission Bay Drive, less than a mile northwest of the I-5 and Clairemont Drive exit — as seen on an OnSceneTV video. On the 3:45 video posted on YouTube, at least five firefighters are depicted extinguishing the fire "before it spread to the nearby vegetation. Firefighters confirmed there were no occupants in the trailer at the time of the fire. The cause of the fire is unknown."

As recreation vehicle owners throughout San Diego County have increased according to national consensus, "so have RV fires, it seems," says Michael H., a nearby dweller. Michael and his family arrived at Mission Bay after the tow truck driver towed the burnt RV away. "In the last month or two, I saw three other RV fires in San Diego County burn up. I heard some of the RV fires are caused by older refrigerators .... I can still smell the burnt plastic here."

"Never enter a burning RV!" says arprv.com. "Some insulation and plastics used to make an RV are toxic when they burn, they will knock you out if you breathe the fumes."

"While the number one cause of RV fires is reported within the RV engine compartment, often in the electrical system. It is reported that the number two cause of a fire is the RV refrigerator."

On August 31, 619newsmedia posted a video on their Instagram about the Chula Vista Fire Department responding to an RV fire earlier that morning, near the 300 block of Zenith Avenue, about two miles east of the I-5 and Main Street exit. "The fire was knocked down [in] under 15 minutes. Crews stayed on scene for roughly another hour for mop-up. Investigators are on scene attempting to determine the cause of the fire. There were no reported injuries."

In July, there were at least three RV fires reported throughout the county. On July 27, an RV reportedly caught on fire by the Sweetwater Road/I-805 exit.

On July 21, a couple reportedly tried jump-starting their RV by Fury Lane in Rancho San Diego. "There was a gas leak, and the RV caught on fire," reads the caption underneath the fire-rescue video posted by 911 VIDEO NEWS. "The people were able to get out with their dog. When the fire department arrived, the RV was fully [engulfed, and] 10-15 gallons of fuel went into the storm drain. It took some time to put out the fire. HazMat crews and Fish & Wildlife were called in due to the gasoline into the storm drains."

On July 12, a vegetation fire north of Valley Center reportedly "burned an RV before firefighters halted its spread at three acres," according to Cal Fire San Diego.

"The National Fire Protection Association estimates that there are about 20,000 RV fires throughout the U.S. per year," says the National Park Services government website. What are other causes of RV fires and their remedies? "A dragging brake can create enough friction to ignite a tire or brake fluid -- have your RV's brakes checked. Bouncing down the road can loosen electrical connections, [producing] heat, and in turn, fire -- tighten them before your trip. Many RV fires are caused by a 12-volt short -- check all 12-volt connections before every trip. Leaking fluids in the engine compartment can ignite -- during your pre-trip inspection, check all hoses for firmness, clamp tightness, and signs of leaking. Mechanical or electrical failures cause roughly three-quarters of highway vehicle fires -- proper maintenance will help reduce your chances of having malfunctions on the road; have repairs made before you travel."

"With the desert season around the corner and all the snowbirds driving into San Diego and Baja, they should double-check their RVs before taking off," suggested Michael.

Per RV Industry Association: "RV ownership [in the U.S.] has increased over 62 percent in the last twenty years with a record 11.2 million RV owning households, split almost equally between those over and under the age of 55, with significant growth among 18-to-34-year-olds, who now make up 22 percent of the market."

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August 31 in Chula Vista: "The fire was knocked down in under 15 minutes."
August 31 in Chula Vista: "The fire was knocked down in under 15 minutes."

At about 4 a.m. on September 11, a De Anza Cove visitor called in about a Prowler fifth-wheel trailer RV that caught on fire. Firefighters from San Diego Fire-Rescue Station 21 pulled up with two fire trucks. They hosed down the "fully engulfed" recreational vehicle located on De Anza Road and North Mission Bay Drive, less than a mile northwest of the I-5 and Clairemont Drive exit — as seen on an OnSceneTV video. On the 3:45 video posted on YouTube, at least five firefighters are depicted extinguishing the fire "before it spread to the nearby vegetation. Firefighters confirmed there were no occupants in the trailer at the time of the fire. The cause of the fire is unknown."

As recreation vehicle owners throughout San Diego County have increased according to national consensus, "so have RV fires, it seems," says Michael H., a nearby dweller. Michael and his family arrived at Mission Bay after the tow truck driver towed the burnt RV away. "In the last month or two, I saw three other RV fires in San Diego County burn up. I heard some of the RV fires are caused by older refrigerators .... I can still smell the burnt plastic here."

"Never enter a burning RV!" says arprv.com. "Some insulation and plastics used to make an RV are toxic when they burn, they will knock you out if you breathe the fumes."

"While the number one cause of RV fires is reported within the RV engine compartment, often in the electrical system. It is reported that the number two cause of a fire is the RV refrigerator."

On August 31, 619newsmedia posted a video on their Instagram about the Chula Vista Fire Department responding to an RV fire earlier that morning, near the 300 block of Zenith Avenue, about two miles east of the I-5 and Main Street exit. "The fire was knocked down [in] under 15 minutes. Crews stayed on scene for roughly another hour for mop-up. Investigators are on scene attempting to determine the cause of the fire. There were no reported injuries."

In July, there were at least three RV fires reported throughout the county. On July 27, an RV reportedly caught on fire by the Sweetwater Road/I-805 exit.

On July 21, a couple reportedly tried jump-starting their RV by Fury Lane in Rancho San Diego. "There was a gas leak, and the RV caught on fire," reads the caption underneath the fire-rescue video posted by 911 VIDEO NEWS. "The people were able to get out with their dog. When the fire department arrived, the RV was fully [engulfed, and] 10-15 gallons of fuel went into the storm drain. It took some time to put out the fire. HazMat crews and Fish & Wildlife were called in due to the gasoline into the storm drains."

On July 12, a vegetation fire north of Valley Center reportedly "burned an RV before firefighters halted its spread at three acres," according to Cal Fire San Diego.

"The National Fire Protection Association estimates that there are about 20,000 RV fires throughout the U.S. per year," says the National Park Services government website. What are other causes of RV fires and their remedies? "A dragging brake can create enough friction to ignite a tire or brake fluid -- have your RV's brakes checked. Bouncing down the road can loosen electrical connections, [producing] heat, and in turn, fire -- tighten them before your trip. Many RV fires are caused by a 12-volt short -- check all 12-volt connections before every trip. Leaking fluids in the engine compartment can ignite -- during your pre-trip inspection, check all hoses for firmness, clamp tightness, and signs of leaking. Mechanical or electrical failures cause roughly three-quarters of highway vehicle fires -- proper maintenance will help reduce your chances of having malfunctions on the road; have repairs made before you travel."

"With the desert season around the corner and all the snowbirds driving into San Diego and Baja, they should double-check their RVs before taking off," suggested Michael.

Per RV Industry Association: "RV ownership [in the U.S.] has increased over 62 percent in the last twenty years with a record 11.2 million RV owning households, split almost equally between those over and under the age of 55, with significant growth among 18-to-34-year-olds, who now make up 22 percent of the market."

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