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Fire Erupts at Ammunition-Filled Trailer

August 02, 1993|GREG HERNANDEZ | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SILVERADO CANYON — An abandoned storage trailer containing ammunition and chemicals used in the manufacture of explosives caught fire Sunday afternoon, but firefighters managed to prevent the blaze from spreading to nearby homes.

There were no injuries in the fire, which ignited about 5 p.m. in the 2900 block of Silverado Canyon Road, Orange County Fire Department spokeswoman Kathleen Cha said.

"Firefighters started to put the fire out, but when they realized what was inside of the trailer, they backed off and took on more of a defensive mode," Cha said.

Forty-eight firefighters were called to the scene, and the department used two tanker planes to drop fire retardant in the area.

"Water would have been more dangerous since we didn't know what the chemicals were," Cha said. "We wanted to keep the flames from spreading onto any of the brush and from threatening any of the homes nearby."

Silverado Canyon Road was closed at Santiago Canyon Road to all motorists except residents, but there were no evacuations.

"As a health precaution, we advised residents to stay inside for the evening," Cha said. "However, we don't think there is a health threat. It was very windy, and it was humid, so the smoke was dissipating up rather than out and around."

Cha said that officials from the Orange County Sheriff's Department and the district attorney's office were called to the scene to investigate because of the ammunition and chemicals found inside the metal trailer.

The cause of the fire was not known Sunday night.

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