Southern California

Man in Path of Brush Fire: “God, Protect My Family”

The fire burned multiple structures, including a barn, but was contained before reaching homes

A brush fire that broke out in San Bernardino County prompted several evacuations before it was contained Friday afternoon, fueling concerns as high temperatures and dry winds keeps Southern California on red alert.

Aided by wind, heat and dry brush, a fire burned about five acres in the town of Devore. No people or homes were injured in the fire, but two structures were destroyed.

The fire may have been sparked by men clearing brush nearby, who told NBC4 they were using equipment with an electrical cord that they believe could have sent a spark into the dry weeds. Officials have not yet determined the cause.

Families in the area grabbed what they could and ran, as the flames spread quickly downhill through gusty winds and dry brush.

"God, protect my family," said Christian Hultgren, who was home with his wife and kids, including a baby, when flames engulfed their barn. "God, please, protect my family."

His family lost two vehicles, family heirlooms and a dozen chickens to the fire.

"She just said the flames were hopping over our driveway," Hultgren said. "She just made it out when it was just starting to touch the barn."

Several organizations assisted firefighters in containing the fire, including the California Highway Patrol, the city of San Bernardino and the California Department of Transportation, according to Cal Fire San Bernardino Unit’s public information Twitter page.

The area is now considered a crime scene as fire investigators try to figure out how the fire started.

Fire officials all week have been warning residents to take extra precautions when working with tools in the dangerously dry conditions

Hultgren said he thinks the incident was a case of negligence.

"You’ve got to think about your surroundings. I'm so upset right now," Hultgren said. "I can't even explain."

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