Fire in Washington neighborhood burns home, RV

Over 40 firefighters were battling a fire in the Washington neighborhood this morning that burned at least one building, a single-story Craftsman-style home, as well as an RV parked on the property.

Fire crews responded to a call of a residential fire at the corner of Locust Avenue and 14th Street at 10:37 a.m. to find the home “fully involved in flames,” said Capt. Jack Crabtree, a Long Beach Fire Department spokesman.

A large crowd quickly gathered around the scene of the fire, with firefighters asking onlookers to step back and police assisting with crowd control.

Joseph Martinez, 15, was working out at nearby 14th Street Park with his father when he noticed the fire at the nearby property. “There was a lot of crackling and popping,” Martinez said. “A couple of people started running.”

Sixty-three-year-old Mike Levizon said he lived in the RV on the property and was alerted to the fire by a fellow resident. “My friend said he smelled smoke, but I didn’t see anything,” he said. Shortly after, Levizon said he saw flames at the side of the house, which quickly spread to a nearby tree and his RV.  “I grabbed some water, but it was too late.”

The full extent of the fire is still unknown according to Crabtree, but the residence was completely destroyed. “It’s a full loss,” Crabtree said.

Members of the Long Beach Fire Department extinguish a house fire at the corner of Locust Avenue and East 14th Street Saturday morning on July 24, 2021. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Members of the Long Beach Fire Department extinguish a house fire at the corner of Locust Avenue and East 14th Street Saturday morning on July 24, 2021. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Members of the Long Beach Fire Department extinguish a house fire at the corner of Locust Avenue and East 14th Street on Saturday, July 24, 2021. The home, according to a spokesman for the department, was “a full loss.” Photo by Stephen Carr.

Smoke can be seen from Downtown Long Beach from a house fire at the corner of Locust Avenue and East 14th Street Saturday morning on July 24, 2021. Photo by Stephen Carr.

Members of the Long Beach Fire Department extinguish a house fire at the corner of Locust Avenue and East 14th Street Saturday morning on July 24, 2021. Photo by Stephen Carr.

This story has been updated to correct LBFD spokesman Jack Crabtree’s rank. He is a captain.

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Alena Maschke writes about all things business and beyond for the Long Beach Business Journal/Long Beach Post. Born and raised in Germany, she first fell in love with California during an exchange year at UCLA. After receiving her master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in 2017, she returned to the Golden State with an appetite for great stories, pupusas and the occasional Michelada.
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