There were two fires that broke out in the early morning on Sunday, Feb. 28: one in the Serra Retreat area and one in the Malibu Knolls area, which later grew into a larger blaze that could be seen burning close to the Malibu Civic Center.
One of those fires was reported by a local homeless man who rushed to nearby LA County Fire Station 88 on a bicycle, according to Malibu Public Safety Manager Susan Dueñas.
“He saw the fire start, hopped on his bike and rode to the fire station to tell people there was a fire,” she told The Malibu Times during a phone interview. “If he hadn’t done that, we might have lost a home.”
Captain Cole Kahle of Station 88 confirmed to The Malibu Times over the phone that one of the early morning fires had been reported by a local person knocking on the station’s door. According to Kahle, as that person was knocking on the door, another person called the other fire over the phone.
“It was a simultaneous activation,” he described, noting that this was information he was relaying from his colleagues, as he was not on duty that day. Kahle’s colleagues told him that they answered the door to the person, but that they did not remember his exact identity and did not ascertain whether or not he was homeless.
Kahle said that the larger fire’s cause was still under investigation. During a recent city council meeting, Drew Smith, another fire captain, said that the fire was an electrical fire. He specified that it was not started by a homeless person.