[UPDATE: 11:20 a.m.] Father Arrested After Cooking Fire in the Myrtletown Area

Press release from Humboldt Bay Fire:

Humboldt Bay Fire Department HBF Eureka

At 6:48 PM. this evening, Humboldt Bay Fire along with Humboldt County Sheriff and Eureka Police responded to a structure fire off of Park street in the Myrtletown area. First 911 reports indicated a fire in the residence with children and a father trapped inside, additional information provided from dispatch stated the neighbor and a male were in a fight outside the residence. The first arriving unit found a single story residence with light smoke coming out of the front. The fire crew entered the residence to find an extinguished cooking fire and the male occupant of the residence. Additional units arrived and were canceled. In all two engines, one ladder truck, one squad and one chief officer responded. The fire crew ventilated the residence with a fan to remove the smoke.

The fire was first noticed by an alert neighbor who heard a smoke alarm sounding. On further investigation fire was seen through the side window in the area of the kitchen. The neighbor alerted her husband and called 911. The husband was able to gain access to the residence and rescued all 3 of the residents from the front room area where they had been sleeping. The neighbor then picked up the flaming pan from the stove and received burns to his hand while removing the pan to the back yard. The 3 residents were uninjured. Humboldt County Sheriff Deputies placed the 2 children in protective custody and the father under arrest for endangerment.

Damage to the residence was minimal due to the smoke detector activation and the swift action of the neighbors. The cause of the fire was a unattended pot of oil that overheated

Arcata Fire Protection District provided coverage for Humboldt Bay during the fire.

12 Firefighters initially responded with no firefighter injuries reported.

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UPDATE 11:20 a.m.: Samantha Karges of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department told us that Jose Garcia was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for child endangerment. She explained that “he started cooking and fell asleep in the living room due to his level of intoxication.”

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