21 Aug 2014
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Couple Interfere with Crews' Attempts to Fight Lakeland Village Fire

A Wildomar man was arrested for allegedly hindering firefighting efforts, while a woman was taken to the hospital for a mental health evaluation, according to sheriff's deputies.

Couple Interfere with Crews' Attempts to Fight Lakeland Village Fire

A man who allegedly tried to prevent firefighters from getting inside a Lakeland Village house to extinguish a fire was released from custody Thursday.

Irbin Franco, 23, of Wildomar, was arrested Wednesday night on suspicion of obstructing a public safety official after he allegedly stymied Riverside County fire crews as they attempted to knock down a blaze in the 33200 block of Tetterington Street, near Hays Avenue, according to Riverside County sheriff's and fire department officials.

The fire broke out around 7:50 p.m., with five engine crews and a truck company -- numbering around 20 firefighters -- arriving minutes later, a fire department spokeswoman said.

[RELATED:  Click here to see photos from the fire on Lane Media]

Sheriff's Lt. David Knudson said deputies were called to the scene for crowd control and to close the street, but instead had to contend with Franco and a woman "acting erratically" and trying to prevent firefighters from doing their job.

According to Knudson, the woman, whose identity was not released, was detained and transported to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, while Franco was arrested.

The lieutenant said firefighters located a small quantity of marijuana in the house and turned it over to deputies.

"It does not appear that the marijuana and the cause of the fire are related," Knudson said.

The fire was contained within an hour. The cause remained under investigation.

Franco posted a $2,500 bond and was released from the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta Thursday morning.

– City News Service.

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