Video Evidence Shows Firefighters Responded Quickly To Ridgecrest Blaze

By: Daniel Chanin Email
By: Daniel Chanin Email

Two men who witnessed the Ridgecrest fire are disputing claims that the Reno Fire Department took almost fifteen minutes to respond and they have the video to prove it.

Those two witnesses have time-stamped photos and video showing firefighters were on-scene and actively fighting the blaze almost immediately.

Videoagrapher Aaron Hapgood says the footage showing engines arriving on the scene was taken within minutes after the fire started at around 2:45p.m.

Hapgood's business partner Eric Marks also snapped a photo clearly showing an engine already on scene with a firefighter outside the truck. It was taken at 2:51p.m. proving crews took significantly less than fifteen minutes to respond.

"I know the controversy is saying they didn't get here til 3pm and that's definitely not the case," says Hapgood. "They were already out of the trucks; hoses run and doing what they could to save these people's homes."

Another local station, cites one firefighter as saying there were delays and they resulted in additional damage. But Fire Chief Paul Wagner says the video and photos prove that's not the case.

"The timeliness of our response was very good," says Wagner. "It was reported that it was 14 minutes and that's entirely inaccurate. We arrived very quickly and did an excellent job."

Hapgood agrees and says that's why it's so important to get the record straight.

"It's not just about clearing the air, it's just the way it happened. The camera I have, as far as the timecodes are concerned, it doesn't lie. They were here when they were and they did what they needed to do."

The Reno Fire Department is using Hapgood's footage to help them with their investigation into what caused the blaze. In the meantime, they want to stress that they are confident that they did everything they could to contain this fire.

KRNV-Channel 4 has not returned a call seeking comment.


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