By Miriam Raftery
Photo: ECM News partner 10 News
July 21, 2018 (Ramona) – The Cinnamon Fire that scorched 13 acres in the Witch Creek area yesterday destroyed Ramona’s original stagecoach stop built in 1870, also resulting in efforts that saved the family's dogs. Other dogs in a boarding kennel on the property are also safe.
“We lived there for 12 years until we built a new house,” the owner of Kritter Camp Boarding Kennel, located on Creek Hollow Drive in Ramona, told East County Magazine regarding the historic structure. At the time of the fire, she added, “My daughter and her boyfriend lived there.”
On Facebook, she posted yesterday, “Today we lost a part of history.” But fortunately she assured, “ALL ANMALS ARE OK and SAFE. So is our family. We would like to THANK all our neighbors, friends and Ramona community. You all are the reason we love living in Ramona. We especially want to THANK the FIREFIGHTERS, POLICE OFFICERS, FIRE BOMBERS and the HELICOPTERS dropping loads of water. YOU ARE ALL AWESOME."
Teri Kerns at Ramona Valley Vineyards says she got a call from her friends and neighbors at Kritter Camp asking for help. The fire started very close to their home, leaving them scarcely time to evacuate their children and pets.
According to Kerns (photo, left, with her Great Pyrenees dog), the Sheriff opened gates to the family's personal kennel, letting dogs into a larged, fenced area safely out of the fire's path. From there, a couple of the family's personal dogs jumped the fence. Kerns rushed over to help in the search, which was successful in finding the family's missing dogs.
No boarded dogs were running loose, contrary to some posts on social media. All dogs boarded in a separate, air-conditioned boarding kennel are also safe and were never loose, the owner has confirmed. The kennel did not burn down, contrary to another rumor circulating online.
The fire began around 1 p.m. in the 25000 block of Old Julian Highway near Cinnamon Rock Road and also burned an outbuilding before it was fully contained last night.
Cal Fire Captain Isaac Sanchez told CBS news the fire is an example of just how fast a fire can spread in windy conditions. He urged all rural residents to have an evacuation plan in place.
Updated July 21, 2018 to clarify that the family's personal dogs were released into a fenced enclosure, not set loose, though some jumped the fence and were later found by the volunteers.