[UPDATE] Bystander and Officer Save Driver from Burning Vehicle that Crashed into Barn


A Plaza Cab lit on fire after crashing into a barn in Arcata at about 12:30 a.m. today. The crash was near the intersection of Alliance Road and 30th Street.

“The cab was full of smoke and the vehicle was on fire,” said Arcata Fire Battalion Chief Sean Campbell.

The driver of the vehicle was trapped inside.

“A community member and Officer Matt O’Donovan helped get the driver out of the vehicle,” Campbell said. “I believe the driver was transported [to the hospital].”

The cab crashed into a fence and took out a corner of the barn.

“I would call it major structural damage,” Campbell said.

The flames from the vehicle spread to the barn. However, fire crews arrived at the scene quickly because they were already at a nearby call. They put the fire out before the flames had too much time to spread.

Several witnesses said the driver suffered from a seizure.

[Click here for our earlier story.] [See below for update]
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Update 4:35 a.m.: A video of the incident from Arcata Fire’s Facebook Page:

Update 9:24 a.m.: Press release from Arcata Fire District.

arcata fireEarly this morning just before 12:30 AM, Arcata Fire District responded to the 3000 block of Alliance Road for a vehicle into a building with fire and entrapment.

The first arriving engine reported a vehicle into a barn with flames coming from under the vehicle. The interior of the vehicle filled with smoke as the two-person engine crew prepared for fire attack while searching for the trapped person inside the vehicle. The Incident Commander was soon notified that Arcata Police officers arrived on scene before the engine and assisted a Good Samaritan in removing an individual from the burning vehicle. The occupant of the vehicle was taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance and the fire crews continued to extinguish the fire.

The vehicle had a significant fuel leak causing rapid fire spread. This proved to be a challenge to firefighters, as there was a potential for fire extension and structural collapse of the barn.

Battalion Chief Sean Campbell stated that, “Having firefighters on the engine immediately available for calls like this one can be the difference between a positive and negative outcome. Had the vehicle been occupied by multiple people, this would have ended differently.” Having adequate staffing on engines will allow the Arcata Fire District to be more efficient for such incidents.

No other injuries were reported and the cause of the fire to the vehicle is still under investigation. Arcata Fire District responded with three engines and a chief officer and requested mutual aid from Humboldt Bay Fire. Humboldt Bay Fire responded with one engine and one chief officer to provide coverage for the Fire District. Arcata Police Department and Arcata-Mad River Ambulance also responded.



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  • Chemtrails…

    Eat some more microwave food!

    Best weed killer is microwaved water.

    Nobody got hurt so that’s good.

    This wreck brought to you by Brawndo….

  • Good job all around.hopefully the driver will be ok.

  • Nice little pre-election ad there...

    “Incidents like this justify the need to take a fire engine to a medical aid and other incidents instead of a smaller apparatus.”
    — and here I thought the FIRE would be the reason for bringing a fire engine there. Silly me.
    And if it was just a medical call, why SHOULDN’T a “smaller apparatus” be used instead. Does the fire department really need to be “loaded for bear” when it is known beforehand that it isn’t needed? Showing up with firehoses when stretchers are needed seems……misguided?

    • You totally missed the point. They were already on a medical call at the same time of the fire, which they explained in the beginning of the video. Point being they need to be ready to respond at all times, things do happen at the same time, fires will happen when they are on medical aids. Do you understand that?

  • We don’t always have to roll the huge trucks for emergency calls,not fire related.its a waste of money to use the big truck,a smaller response vehicle would save money and time.My family has firemen a they say the same thing years back.just sayin

    • They need to waste money. Show me a single cylon that comes in under budget.

      People would not hate them as
      much if they learned to be under budget. Honestly, I think they love being hated.

      Hate on and know that machines don’t have human rights.

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