An Orange County Fire Authority truck.
An Orange County Fire Authority truck. Photo by John Schreiber.

Wind gusts pushed a brush fire that broke out Thursday at Bartlett Park toward the Newland Center shopping center, damaging a preschool and a bank before firefighters got the upper hand.

No one was injured in the blaze, which broke out for unknown reasons at the park at Adams Avenue and Beach Boulevard at 9:51 a.m. and was knocked down in about an hour with the help of a half-dozen water drops.

Battalion Chief Jeffrey Lopez said the flames “ran up the hillside and threatened” the Newland Center. Firefighters evacuated 70 students and 21 educators and other staff at the preschool to an Auto Club office, he said.

Fire and water damaged the preschool’s attic, according to Lopez, who said the roof of a U.S. Bank branch was also damaged by the flames.

“Winds were spreading the fire and there were embers all over the place,” Lopez said. “The wind was a problem. We had significant gusts pushing it.”

–City News Service

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