Employees at a Victorville, CA, body shop knew just what to do when a car fire disrupted business as usual in mid April. Workers grabbed fire extinguishers to snuff out a vehicle fire before firefighters arrived, according to San Bernardino County Fire Department officials.
The call came in to Fire Dispatch at 12:29 p.m. of a car on fire at Sonshine Auto Body on Jasmine Street in Victorville, officials said.
Two fire engines, one from Victorville and the other from Hesperia, were dispatched to the scene, according to Hesperia Battalion Chief Richard Campos, who also responded to the incident.
When Campos arrived, the auto body shop was full of black smoke and the car fire had been put out, he said.
“I was very impressed by the way the employees reacted,” Campos said. “They called 911, put out the fire and gave direction for all employees to leave the structure and everyone was accounted for.”
A full commercial fire response was dispatched to the business, and then canceled once Campos realized the fire had been extinguished.
Employee Matt Mena, who was working on a car nearby, heard a popping sound and looked up to see a 2010 Jetta on fire nearby, he said.
Mena remembered PASS, a fire extinguisher method that stands for point, aim, squeeze and sweep, that he learned during the company fire training program.
“We knew where the fire extinguishers were because of the training,” Mena said. “I remembered to aim at the base of the fire.”
Arson investigator Hector Trevino was also called to the scene because the cause of the fire was not known and it is under investigation, Campos said.