■ Mary Ann Morris / Editor
A copper-colored Toyota minivan caught on fire at approximately 2:10 p.m. on March 24, in the parking lot in front of Bed, Bath & Beyond at the Page Plaza in Hemet. The fire was contained to the engine compartment of the vehicle. The vehicle was owned by an elderly couple who were shopping when the fire occurred. No injuries were reported and no other vehicles or property was damaged.
City of Hemet Fire Engine 4 responded within minutes of the blaze being reported, with Fire Capt. Pat Brown (no relation to Fire Chief Scott Brown or Hemet Police Department Chief David Brown), Engineer Sean Patterson and Firefighter/Paramedic Dan McIntyre responding.
“That’s what we do,” said Patterson. “You call us; we come and put the fire out.”
Prior to firefighters’ arrival, the parking lot and surrounding area was engulfed in thick, acrid smoke. The damaged Toyota was originally surrounded by other vehicles, but the owners were able to move the cars away before the fire department arrived. The white truck shown in the photos was not damaged, according to firefighters. “It might be wet, but that’s about the extent of it,” said Patterson.