Fire skirts campus of Skyridge Elementary School
The Wildcats, part of the Auburn Youth Soccer Club, were practicing at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18 at Skyridge Elementary School on Perkins Way in Auburn, when parents began to notice an exceptionally strong smell of smoke in the air.
Nathan Chilton of Auburn was watching his son, Jaedyn, during the practice, when he observed parents peering through the fence bordering the school vegetable garden. The grass was on fire.
“During the nearly 15 minutes it took for the fire department to respond, a handful of parents scrambled to use the one hose and a few buckets to hold back the flames and protect the adjacent school building. Once on-site, firefighters quickly took control of the situation and put out the flames,” Chilton said.
“One of the other fathers was fighting the fire with the one hose and had already inhaled a good deal of smoke. I relieved him and took my turn, spraying the flames and trying not to breathe in too much of the smoke myself, until, to my great delight, a firefighter arrived and shouted at me to ‘get out of there,’” Chilton said.
Chilton submitted these photos he took onsite.
“I am a local portrait photographer and I always have a camera on me,” he said.
Lynne Tolmachoff, communications operator for Cal Fire, said that fire trucks responded from Auburn City and Newcastle fire departments as well as Cal Fire. The fire, which scorched less than half an acre, is of undetermined origin, Tolmachoff said.
~ Journal staff report