Three homes were damaged by a fire on Bethel Island in eastern Contra Costa County on March 14, 2019.

KCRA News/YouTube

Homes Destroyed In Fire On Island With No Fire Station, Few Hydrants

KCBS Radio Morning News
March 15, 2019 - 9:42 am

A fast-moving fire destroyed three homes on remote Bethel Island last night in eastern Contra Costa County on Thursday night. 

The island in the delta lacks a fire station after budget cuts years ago forced its closure, according to East Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Chief Ross Macumber. 

Firefighters from Oakley were dispatched to put out the flames, but it took them 15 minutes to arrive.

"If when we do get fires, we do have a time and distance issue," said Macumber. 

Plans to open a new station are stalled, he said. 

Bethel also does not have many fire hydrants, besides some that are on the main roadway. That forced the crews to pump water from the delta to extinguish the fire, which started around 6 p.m. 

"I'm a bit heartbroken. My childhood was kind of in that house. Everything that I had," said Lauren Duart, who told TV-station KPIX that the home of her grandmother and recently deceased grandfather burned to the ground. "In the end, it's just stuff. We still have my grandma."

No one was injured, but two people were displaced by the damage. 

The cause of the fire was unknown on Friday morning.