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News Review
Explosion & Structure Fire - 703 Third St
Posted Date: 10/8/2013

What-Nature of Event:          

Structure Fire

When-Time and Date:             

September 29, 2013

Where-Address of Event:

703 Third Street

Who-Owner / Occupant:


Describe the Event: 

At 1:26 P.M., Santa Cruz City Fire was dispatched to a report of an unknown fire in the alley behind 703 Third Street. Our dispatch center (Net Com) stated that they were starting to receive multiple reports of an explosion in the area and it may be coming from a cottage in the alley. The Battalion Chief responding saw a column of smoke coming from the area and requested additional fire units to respond. At this time Net Com was stating that there may be a person trapped or burned. Upon the arrival of the fire units they encountered heavy fire and explosions coming from a garage and apartment on the alley. The fire was starting to catch a 4 story apartment building on fire and additional crews were directed to the Third street side to control the exposure to the apartment. At the same time 3 severely burned males made their way out to 3rd street and were attended to by AMR medics and fire personnel. All 3 victims were transported to Dominican Hospital’s landing pad and flown to a burn center in San Jose with approximately 60-70% second and third degree burns on their body. A second alarm was requested due to the fire impingement on the apartment building and the number of victims that we encountered. The fire was confined to the garage and apartment with some damage to the 4 story apartment and a couple vehicles parked next to the garage. No injuries to fire personnel were reported. Santa Cruz Police is handling the criminal investigation due to the injuries.


Agencies Involved:

Santa Cruz Fire and Police, AMR, Scotts Valley Fire, Central Fire, Aptos Fire. Coverage for the city was done by Felton, Aptos and Ben Lomond Fire.

Number of Apparatus:

8 Engines, 1 Truck, 3 Battalion Chiefs, 1 Breathing Support, 3 Ambulances, 3 Helicopters

Number of Firefighters: 


Estimated Loss & Save

$100,000 loss, $3,000,000 saved to adjacent properties.

Additional Information: 

Santa Cruz Fire was planning on attending 18 of the cities numerous block parties for Santa Cruz Neighbors Night Out but was unable to attend all due to the above fire. Crews were able to attend around 8-10 after they cleaned up from the fire and in between calls.



Battalion Chief Mike Venezio


September 29, 2013