Winds cause trouble in Inland Empire

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. The winds in San Bernardino have been very strong for the past 12 hours, but have eased Friday evening.

A big gust of wind damaged a house, ripping a porch right off the roof and damaging the garage.

But despite all the damage due to the wind, the bigger concern is fire.

A small fire erupted around the corner from the damaged home just before 8:30 a.m. Friday, and firefighters were able to respond quickly to Palm Avenue, east of the 215 Freeway, in San Bernardino.

"We just heard a loud bang, pop, you know, like a transformer popped early in the morning," said Tony Anile, a resident in the area.

Winds had apparently knocked a palm tree into one of the power lines, which snapped, fell and came into contact with a metal fence, sparking a fire.

Firefighters knocked the fire out quickly before any major damage.

"We had a lot of units responding to the area just because of the winds," said Capt. Rob McClelland.

But even a small fire concerns residents in the area.

"Three or four years ago, we did have this whole mountain range through here burned, all the way down into the wash about two blocks away, and they evacuated this entire neighborhood from Kendall Avenue all the way up to the foothill, so yeah, we get concerned when we get fires around here," said local resident Steve Reinhard.

Even though the Inland Empire area had a little bit of rain recently, it's still very dry and warm. Add in the strong winds, if a spark were to hit, a big fire might not be too fire behind.

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