On Monday night on the southbound 14 Freeway in Acton, a school bus carrying Golden Valley High School girls volleyball players caught fire, prompting evacuation. Four people reported smoke inhalation.
Battalion Chief Matt Imbelloni from KBAK and KBFX reports that preliminary investigations suggest a firework set off nearby ignited a fire that damaged two portable classrooms.
Graduation Ceremony Interrupted by Fire
Golden Valley High School in Middletown, California, was briefly shut down on Monday while firefighters responded to two portable classroom fires at Golden Valley High. No injuries were sustained when one of these structures caught fire near Childs Avenue near campus; crews from Merced Fire Department quickly contained it as they saw no evidence it had been started intentionally.
However, the tiny fire has caused residents to question whether schools may become more susceptible to disruption from future wildfires. While school districts have historically dealt with fire-related school closures since 2015, the total number has nearly doubled – especially after last year’s Camp Fire devastated Paradise, where most schools were lost or damaged, and students took online classes until makeshift classrooms in office parks and shopping malls could open again for them.
Teachers in Middletown and elsewhere report that many of their students and families continue to feel the effects of displacement, as they’ve had to move, relearn how to navigate their communities, find new places to sleep after losing homes or seeing them reduced to rubble, while simultaneously returning to classes despite showing signs of stress, anxiety depression or behavioral problems.
Zoe Miller has difficulty sleeping in their Sonoma County home after they and their two young children were forced out by the Tubbs Fire of October 2017. “It can be quite upsetting going through such an emotional upheaval when you should be shaping your identity,” Miller lamented.
Brooke Simonson of Golden Valley High School expressed similar fears to those at GVHS after learning her house may be sold to make way for a city fire station in Golden Valley and fears for her family if this happens. She wants city council members to reconsider the location of this fire station, which would displace multiple homeowners.
Fire Damages Two Portable Classrooms
Golden Valley High School in Bakersfield recently caught afire, which forced graduation ceremonies to be halted and caused extensive damage to two portable classrooms and multiple vehicles parked nearby. According to firefighters at KERO News, they believe a nearby firework triggered it quickly spreading throughout a field near where graduation ceremonies were taking place and quickly spreading throughout.
Hundreds of residents were safely evacuated while firefighters contained and kept under control the blaze, working to make sure it did not spread to nearby houses. A few were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation while its cause is currently under investigation.
Students enrolled at Golden Valley High School will temporarily attend classes at alternate locations, working closely with Kern County Fire Department officials to ensure all of them can make it. “Our number one concern is student safety,” stated a representative from their school district.
In the coming days, the school board will convene a special meeting to discuss how best to address this situation. This marks the second time this year that fire has disrupted classes at this school.
Last year’s fire at Golden Valley Elementary School forced its district to reconfigure classrooms and build new facilities, as students from the old school were relocated temporarily to the Bakersfield College campus while repairs were made to its destroyed structure.
Golden Valley High School administrators are taking proactive steps to prevent similar events from reoccurring. They have added additional fire alarms and sprinkler systems, created a disaster plan, and will continue working with their fire department to monitor this situation.
Concerns related to the fire will receive assistance with counseling services and other support from school district staff. Food and water will also be made available, along with temporary housing if necessary. A reception and care center has opened at Great Oak High School (32555 Deer Hollow Way in Temecula). Large or small animals can be brought directly to San Jacinto Animal Shelter.
Fire Damages Multiple Vehicles
Firefighters have been busy fighting a raging mountain fire near Aguanga since it first broke out on Monday, October 30. It quickly spread onto State Route 14 and caused evacuations in the Summit Knoll community. By late morning Saturday, it had consumed 7 square miles and been only 5 percent contained.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — On Thursday night, during a high school graduation ceremony in California, a large fire broke out, forcing students to evacuate the stands and canceling the event. A viewer contacted KBAK with photos that appeared to have been caused by fireworks set off at the venue of graduation.
Firefighters with both the Bakersfield Fire Department and Kern County Fire Department were able to extinguish the blaze within 25-30 minutes and are currently investigating its cause.
Students gathered in the gymnasium and other parts of campus as fire crews worked to keep flames from reaching buildings. Principal Craig Chavez reports that students were removed from classrooms and directed into emergency staging areas away from facilities until it was safe for them to resume normal activities.
Guadalupe Valdez, a 2023 graduate of Golden Valley High, describes the fire as terrifying and the flames rising high into the bleachers as it spread quickly through his neighborhood. For approximately 15 minutes, while firefighters worked to prevent further spread, the graduation ceremony had to be suspended while they controlled its progress.
Though the ceremony was disrupted, everyone was safe, and it proved to be an unforgettable experience. He applauded the firefighters’ hard work in fighting off the fire.
He states: “These firefighters are an essential group that are here for the residents and millions of tourists who visit every year,” and is thankful for their hard work. Likewise, he hopes this incident can serve to educate the public on fire safety matters and why fireworks should never be used under any circumstance.
The fire broke out at campus this past Monday evening, quickly burning two portable classrooms before it was quickly contained by firefighters, leaving no injuries behind and allowing students to return to their classes once firefighters determined it was safe to do so. Merced police are investigating its source.
The fire interrupted and damaged graduation ceremonies as well as several parked vehicles. At first, it was believed to be due to fireworks; however, now experts believe arson to be responsible.
An outbreak at a high school in southern California forced students to evacuate and postpone graduation ceremonies, forcing them into emergency staging areas while firefighters battled the flames – no injuries were sustained in this fire, which is currently under investigation.
Firefighters are currently fighting a brush fire near Golden Valley High School that was first reported to authorities around noon Wednesday; now, 10 percent is contained.
Residents in a west metro suburb with approximately 20,000 inhabitants are concerned about how a fire will impact their community, with fears that flames could spread into homes and businesses, as well as how its smoke might reduce air quality.
One of the primary concerns surrounding fires is how they will impact commuters. A fire could create significant traffic congestion on highways and delay in accessing groceries from stores; additionally, power outages could occur, interrupting services.
No information has yet been given as to when the high school will reopen, although it is anticipated that they may do so after all traces of fire have been extinguished.
The fire broke out at the back of classrooms, though no one was present during its outbreak. A witness captured a video of a bus engulfed in flames, posting it to Twitter. Once on scene, two students were treated for smoke inhalation but did not need transport to a hospital facility.