Roofers Hailed as Heroes for Extinguishing California Brush Fire

RCS Roofers Extinguish California Brush Fire
February 8, 2021 at 3:10 p.m.

By Karen L. Edwards, RCS Editor.

Quick action by the crew prevented the high winds from making the fire worse.

When a roofing crew from San Diego, California-based Palomar Solar spotted a brush fire while driving, they pulled over and jumped into action. That area of the state was under red flag conditions with high winds that could cause a small brush fire to quickly spread into a much larger fire.

A neighbor had called 911 to report the fire and watched the scene unfold as the roofing crew started working to put the fire out. CBS 8 reported that neighbor Matt Bartelt shared images of the men that have since gone viral. “Too often people just pass by and don't get involved and this truly was a life and danger situation that they put themselves into,” Matt told CBS8.

Neighbors noticed the company name on the truck and called the owner to share the heroics. Palomar Solar Partner Adam Rizzo said that they received numerous calls and emails about the crew. “So many phone calls and emails,” said Adam. “Couldn’t be prouder of the guys, we are fortunate to have great employees.”

Adam told CBS8 that when he shared the news with the crew, they said, “Oh man no big deal we were just driving by, no big deal.” Neighbors disagreed. They had a fire in 2014 that had left the surrounding area dry and at risk. 

Crew leader Ubaldo Lopez said, “We are just roofer solar guys, that's what we do. The wind was starting to catch up and noticed a lot of brush up the hill we thought we might as well try to do something and slow it down before the fire department comes.”

Facebook user Julie Tait Adams shared photos on the site and described the scene writing, “With large amounts of dry fuel and high winds, Penasquitos and areas to the west could have been in extreme danger had it not been for these heroes from Palomar Solar. While others stopped to call 911, these men pulled up and quickly hit the fire with their extinguisher. When the extinguisher ran out, all of the men jumped the guard rail and headed into the brush with shovels to smother the fire. The fire was almost completely out by the time multiple agencies arrived.”

Lopez says that the crew was just in the right place at the right time. Other crew members who assisted include Lopez's son Damien and along with Cirinio Rios, Miguel Estevan.

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