On Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 12:46 p.m., a six year old boy was playing with a lighter on the side of his house, 1000 block of Olive Avenue, when a pile of rubbish, including plastics, burst into flames and lit a fence on fire. The fire engulfed the fence and spread to the adjacent structure. The main body of the fire was on the side of a 5 unit complex that was adjacent to single family residence next door.
Fire personnel from the Ventura County Fire Department and Ventura City Fire Department arrived on scene after the fire had progressed significantly. Fortunately all occupants of every unit were home and everyone was evacuated to safe locations. The fire was knocked down in 4 minutes and no injuries were reported. Fire crews inspected the roof and attic of the adjacent structure and determined with thermal imagers that the fire had been fully extinguished and did not spread into the interior of either structure. Crews overhauled the burned area. Initial damage estimates limited the damage to less than five thousand dollars.
A Ventura Fire Investigator discovered the cause of the fire after interviewing the occupants of one of the units. Firefighters sat down with the young boy and discussed the hazards of playing with lighters and matches. He fully understood the consequences of his actions and his parents and fire crews were rather certain he would not repeat the behavior. The owner of the multi-unit complex was at the scene and put together a rehabilitation plan for both properties. Both units were determined to be habitable and no residents were displaced.