Sacramento, CA

Early morning fire destroys at least 15 vehicles in North Sacramento

Robert J Hansen

Unhoused residents of Wednesday morning’s fire on Roseville Road say fire crews “did nothing“ for 30 minutes
Joseph Guzman (left) lost his vehicle in the fire and first responders (right) in North Sacramento on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.Courtesy Jennie Welles

A fire that destroyed several unhoused encampments on Roseville Road east of Del Paso Heights early Wednesday morning is still under investigation, according to Keith Wade, Sacramento City Fire, public information officer.

Fire crews were dispatched at 12:45 am, and the first fire engine arrived in six minutes, according to Wade.

“We were notified through the 911 system that received multiple reports,” Wade said.

Joseph Guzman, an unhoused resident on Roseville Road, claims fire crews did not begin fighting the fire for nearly 45 minutes.

“They just stood there and watched it burn,” Guzman said. “It just doesn’t make sense, you know.”

There were no nearby fire hydrants or water supply and required two fire engines so hoses could reach the fire, according to Guzman.

“There’s no water supply here, nowhere around here,” Guzman said. “Way down there near Longview, they had a hose hooked up.”
Joseph Guzman And another resident of Roseville Road and the aftermath of the fire on Thursday, September 9, 2021.Images by Robert J Hansen

Poor People’s Campaign committee member, Kevin Carter, is frustrated with the reactive approach the county and the city seem to have regarding Sacramento’s homeless population.

“It always falls on deaf ears, it seems. Instead of a proactive approach, they have a reactive approach,” Carter said.

The effects of this reactive approach place blame on the homeless communities rather than the leaders who were elected to solve the problem, according to Carter.

“Rather than giving them fire extinguishers knowing fires will happen in the summer, they just let it happen so they can point to the community as the problem,” Carter said.

According to witnesses and residents of the encampment, the fire destroyed at least 15 vehicles and RVs used as shelter.

At least a dozen destroyed vehicles can be seen on Roseville Road near Longview Drive in North Sacramento.

According to Wade, no structures were damaged, but multiple encampments were destroyed and several motorized vehicles.

Councilmember Sean Loloee said in a press release that the Sacramento Department of Public Works, in coordination with Caltrans and Sacramento Regional Transit has scheduled the closure of Tri Stations Road to mitigate safety concerns for vehicular traffic along the overpass.

“This decision is due to a fire underneath the structure,”’Loloee said. “Tri Stations Road will be closed traffic between Winters Street and Roseville Road.”

The closure with be in effect 24 hours/day. Motorists are encouraged to follow provided traffic control signage and use alternate routes for an undetermined number of days according to the press release.

Carter borrowed a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who said, ‘Justice delayed is justice denied,’

“Services delayed are services denied. It’s the same thing,” Carter said.

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Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist. Focused on holding elected officials, police and the courts accountable to the people throughout the greater Sacramento area.

Sacramento, CA

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