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Rancho Palos Verdes: Fire off Hawthorne Boulevard*

November 15, 2008 | 11:30 am

Fire burns in Rancho Palos Verdes

[Updated at 1:44 p.m.]

Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Darryl Jacobs said firefighters responded to a light brush fire in Rancho Palos Verdes about 10 a.m. A sheriff's deputy who arrived before the firefighters found a smoking electrical transformer that had fallen from a power pole that appears to have started the blaze. It erupted at Hawthorne Boulevard, between City Hall and the Salvation Army College for Officer Training at Crestmont.

Two water-dropping helicopters and two airplanes were used, and by 10:30, approximately 80 firefighters had encircled it and had begun  putting it out. By 12:15 p.m., all that remained of the fire were portions that were smoldering and smoking, Jacobs said.

The fire burned 10 to 12 acres. There were no injuries.

The fire burned west, toward City Hall, but never came close to the building, said Carolynn Petru, deputy city manager. Although some students live at the college, no one was evacuated, she said.

"I'm a little chagrined we have this problem with the Edison Co., and I intend to follow it up because we've had problems with their transformers in the past," said Rancho Palos Verdes Mayor Douglas Stern.

--Jeff Gottlieb

Photo: Firefighters work to put out fire in Rancho Palos Verdes.  Sent by reader Jon to Latimes.com's reader photo site, Your Scene.  For more readers' fire photos go to Your Scene's November Wildfires album.