Neighbors protected neighborhood from Lilac Fire

Posted at 11:29 PM, Dec 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-12 02:30:03-05

BONSALL, Calif. (KGTV) – People that have homes along Redondo drive in Bonsall are thanking three people for saving their houses.

Don Phillipbar, his stepson, and his neighbor decided not to evacuate Thursday. Instead, they made a stand against the Lilac Fire, which burned for days, scorched more than 4,000 acres and burned more than 60 structures.

RELATED: Lilac Fire: San Diego fire evacuees begin to return to homes

Phillipbar is a retired firefighter. He retired in 1990 after about seven years of firefighting. His stepson also has a firefighting background. And his neighbor is a retired fire captain from Monterey Park.

“I had to give it some serious thought,” Philipbar said about when asked about fighting instead of fleeing.  “I just decided there wasn’t going to be enough equipment here in the first initial response and they’re going to be spread too thin,” he added. 

He said his neighbor had fire hoses handy from her time as a firefighter.  That’s what his neighbor and his stepson used to fight the flames.  Meanwhile, he went down the block and picked up his neighbor’s yard hoses to put out hotspots.

“We fought the fire for a few hours, and we protected about 7 to 8 homes,” Phillipbar said. “(But) don’t do this at home. Just like when you’re watching all the movies, don’t do this at home. We were trained experts. We had exit strategies set up, that’s how you do it.”