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Ray’s RV Finally Rebuilding After Crippling Blaze

January 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Workers rebuilding at Ray's RV

Workers were busy Wednesday (Jan. 25) at Ray’s RV in Banning, Calif., taking down a fire-damaged structure, more than 10 months after a blaze that destroyed an estimated $1 million in property.

“We had a large building, a long building there,” owner Ray Boyd said Wednesday in an interview with the Banning Beaumont Patch at the business. “The insurance took care of replacing the big building, the city did not have water supply enough for the new requirements that insist on a six-inch water line.

“All they have is a four-inch water line here, so they had to take the big building and split into two buildings,” Boyd said. “So the requirement for the sprinkler system wasn’t necessary. So now they’re building two buildings equivalent to the same size of the one large building.”

The new work buildings will be 3,500 square feet each, Boyd said.

The cause of the fire was ruled “undetermined,” a Cal Fire arson investigator said. The blaze broke out the night of March 3 in a service area at Ray’s RV. No injuries were reported but the blaze destroyed four RVs and caused an estimated total of $1 million damage, according to Cal Fire-Riverside County.

There were delays at city planning for rebuilding, Boyd said, because some planning services have been contracted out, and fresh reviews of his plans required further revisions.

Overall the delay has been about nine months, Boyd said.

“Well, it was April 3, we had our money in the bank, and what is this, Jan. 25, we’re just now starting where they’re tearing down the old buildings,” Boyd said. “What they’re doing is tearing the old one down. Then they’re going to do a whole new foundation, whole new building. They’re taking apart the old building right now.

“Once they removed all of the fire damage that was going to collapse on somebody, they removed it, we had two small sections left and we’ve been working in those since March,” Boyd said.

 

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Investigation Lingers on at $3M Ray’s RV Fire

March 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The cause of the March 3 fire that destroyed several motorhomes and caused an estimated $1 million in damage at Ray’s RV in Banning, Calif., remained under investigation this week, the Banning-Beaumont Patch reported.

“The burned units are still parked out here,” Ray’s RV owner Ray Boyd said Monday afternoon (March 28). “Nothing’s to be touched or moved until we get the OK from the fire department and the insurance companies.”

The cause fire was considered undetermined and an investigation was continuing, Cal Fire Capt. Specialist Jackie Williams said in a phone interview.

“When they went into this, everybody said this was going to take a long time,” Boyd said. “The sheriff’s department, the fire department, the insurance companies all said it was going to take a while.”

The fire broke out the night of March 3 in a service area at Ray’s RV, 4500 W. Ramsey St.

Cal Fire Southern Region Chief Dale Hutchinson spotted the fire from Interstate 10 and reported it at 8:13 p.m., Cal Fire officials said.

Six engine crews responded from Banning, Beaumont and Calimesa and declared the blaze contained at 8:50 p.m. No injuries were reported but the blaze destroyed four RVs and caused an estimated total of $1 million damage, according to Cal Fire-Riverside County.

Three motorhomes were gutted and insurance investigators were determining whether three other damaged RVs will be considered total losses, Boyd said.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Stowells, the incident commander during the fire at Ray’s RV, said water supply was an initial concern that was resolved during the fire fight.

“There was one hydrant there, and it wasn’t in today’s standards a good hydrant,” Stowells said. “It had a 2 1/2-inch port so it limited the gallonage we could use.

“We secured a second hydrant further down the street, west of Ray’s RV,” Stowells said. “That increased our gallonage. We had no water issues.”

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Chief Recounts Water Access at Ray’s RV Fire

March 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

One week after fire ripped through Ray’s RV on West Ramsey Street in Banning, Calif., Cal Fire officials in Banning and Perris said the cause of the blaze remained under investigation, the Banning-Beaumont Patch reported.

Some possible factors had been ruled out, but a definite cause of the fire had not been established, Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Stowells said Thursday.

Stowells, the incident commander during the fire at Ray’s RV, said water supply was an initial concern that was resolved during the fire fight.

“There was one hydrant there, and it wasn’t in today’s standards a good hydrant,” Stowells said. “It had a 2-and-a-1/2 inch port so it limited the gallonage we could use.

“We secured a second hydrant further down the street, west of Ray’s RV,” Stowells said. “That increased our gallonage. We had no water issues.”

The fire broke out in a service area shortly after 8 p.m. March 3 at 5400 W. Ramsey St. Cal Fire Southern Region Chief Dale Hutchinson reported the fire from Interstate 10 at 8:13 p.m.

Six engine crews responded from Banning, Beaumont and Calimesa and declared the blaze contained at 8:50 p.m.

No injuries were reported but the blaze destroyed four RVs and caused an estimated total of $1 million damage, according to Cal Fire-Riverside County.

Three motorhomes were gutted and insurance investigators were determining whether three other damaged RVs will be considered total losses, Ray’s RV co-owners Ray and Jane Boyd said.

The owner of one motorhome that was damaged during the blaze this week accused a Ray’s employee of not doing enough to save her vehicle during the fire.

Alida Marie Betts, who lives on the Morongo Reservation, said Tuesday that Mark Boyd, employee and son of the Boyds, could have grabbed keys and moved her RV away from the fire.

“That is my RV bus in the foreground,” Betts said. “It appears to me that before it sustained major heat damage it could have been moved . . . ”

Betts made her initial comments Tuesday after viewing video of the fire fight documented by Banning-Beaumont Patch.

There were fuel tanks attached to burning motor homes during the blaze last week. It is unlikely anyone would have been allowed to move vehicles during the fire fight, Cal Fire-Riverside County Capt. Mike Smith said.

“It would not be routine to allow any party access to a fire scene during our fire suppression actions,” Smith said Wednesday. “Our concern with recreational vehicles is their stores of propane.”

Stowells added that Betts’ RV was blocked in part by a fence, and the driveway into the service area was blocked by firefighting equipment.

“Our houses and personnel were around that vehicle, and we were pushing in on getting a knockdown,” Stowells said. “You can see they are moving in and out, back and forth.

“It would have been unsafe to move that vehicle,” Stowells said. “The driveway was blocked by fire apparatus and hoses.”

Betts could not be reached for comment Thursday. She has also raised concerns about the Boyds’ fire insurance and fears damage to her motorhome may not be covered. She said her RV bus was worth $245,000 before the fire but is now seriously devalued.

Betts’ RV did not burn, Ray Boyd said. A fabric bra on the front end melted, and the front end will need a paint job, he said. The windshield cracked because firefighters were spraying water on the hot glass, he said.

“What she says is totally inaccurate, totally,” Jane Boyd said. “About the insurance, she will be more than 100% compensated.”

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Ray’s RV Says Fire-Damaged RVs Are Covered

March 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Jane and Ray Boyd, owners of Ray's RV

Jane and Ray Boyd, owners of Ray's RV

The owner of a motorhome damaged during last week’s blaze at Ray’s RV in Banning, Calif., has accused a Ray’s employee of not doing enough to save her vehicle during the fire, and fears she won’t be covered by the business’ insurance, the Banning-Beaumont Patch reported.

Ray’s RV co-owners Ray Boyd and Jane Boyd said Wednesday (March 9) their customer’s comments were inaccurate and misinformed.

Alida Marie Betts, who lives on the Morongo Reservation, said Tuesday that Mark Boyd, employee and son of the Boyds, could have grabbed keys and moved her RV away from the fire.

“Instead, they let it get burned, windows bubbled and cracked and my Rv is toasted,” Betts said.

With fuel tanks attached to burning motorhomes during the blaze last Thursday, it is unlikely anyone would have been allowed to move vehicles during the fire fight, Cal Fire-Riverside County Capt. Mike Smith said.

“It would not be routine to allow any party access to a fire scene during our fire suppression actions,” Smith said Wednesday afternoon. “Our concern with recreational vehicles is their stores of propane.”

Cal Fire Southern Region Chief Dale Hutchinson, who reported the fire from Interstate 10 and went to Ray’s RV, could not immediately be reached for comment. Efforts were also made Wednesday to reach the incident commander, Battalion Chief Jeff Stowells of Beaumont and Cal Fire.

The Boyds said Betts’ comments were incorrect second-guessing.

“She makes claims no one would move her vehicle,” Ray Boyd, 63, said in a phone interview. “The firefighters would not let us move any of the vehicles, because it was too dangerous. They were hosing down her vehicle to keep it from catching fire.”

The March 3 blaze at 4500 W. Ramsey St. destroyed four RVs and caused an estimated total of $1 million damage, according to Cal Fire-Riverside County. Three motorhomes were gutted and insurance investigators are determining whether three other damaged RVs will be considered total losses, the Boyds said.

No one was injured in the blaze, which was reported at 8:13 p.m. and declared contained at 8:50 p.m., Cal Fire officials said.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation, Cal Fire-Riverside County spokeswoman Melody Hendrickson said Wednesday afternoon.

Betts made her initial comments Tuesday after viewing video of the fire fight documented by Banning-Beaumont Patch.

“I’m disappointed,” Betts said in a phone interview Tuesday night. “Mark Boyd could have moved my RV instead of talking on his cell phone.

“They told me to go to my insurance company,” Betts said. “That they don’t have insurance to cover my loss.”

Mark Boyd, 46, was not available for comment. Jane Boyd, 67, said Betts was “hysterical” and spreading misinformation.

“It’s not factual what she says,” Jane Boyd said. “They let Mark back there to point out where the propane tanks were. They were not about to let anyone back there to move vehicles.

“We don’t need a hysterical woman stirring this up,” Jane Boyd said. “What she says is totally inaccurate, totally. About the insurance, she will be more than 100% compensated.”

Betts’ RV did not burn, Ray Boyd said. A fabric bra on the front end melted, and the front end will need a paint job, he said. The windshield cracked because firefighters were spraying water on the hot glass, he said.

As far as insurance, Betts will be covered, Ray Boyd said.

“We gave her information on who she should contact to make a claim,” he said. “She needs to go through her insurance company, who will make a claim to our insurance. Three claims have already been settled.”

Betts said Wednesday in an email:

“Who wants an RV that was in a fire? No one. There are thousands of them out there for sale from banks, that repossessed them, etc. . . . So the thing is worth half of the NADA/Blue Book now. And I am just supposed to eat it? They should have had insurance that paid for my bus. They damaged it, they should own it now.”

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$1M Fire Destroys 6 Motorhomes at Ray’s RV

March 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Business continued Saturday (March 5) at Ray’s RV on West Ramsey Street in Banning, Calif., where fire tore through a service bay area and destroyed at least five motorhomes Thursday night, the Banning-Beaumont Patch reported.

Owner Ray Boyd said Saturday he now believes as many as six motorhomes are complete losses.

“We have six considered totally destroyed,” Boyd said, “including one owned by the company that was for sale. The exterior core melted and inside it’s rank with smoke and melted material.”

Insurance investigators will make the final determination, Boyd said. Two investigators from Security Insurance visited Ray’s RV on Friday and another investigator was expected today to assess damage to the service bay structure, Boyd said.

Cal Fire-Riverside County investigators had not announced a cause as of Saturday afternoon.

“They told us they hadn’t found anything definite as far as the cause,” Boyd said.

A Cal Fire official available Saturday said an investigation was continuing.

The blaze was reported at 8:13 p.m. Thursday and it caused an estimated $1 million total in damage, Cal Fire officials said.

Cal Fire Southern Region Chief Dale Hutchinson spotted the fire from Interstate 10 and reported it, Cal Fire-Riverside County Capt. Mike Smith said.

Six engine crews from Banning, Beaumont and Calimesa responded and declared the fire contained at 8:50 p.m., Smith said. No injuries were reported.

Boyd said five of the totaled motorhomes belonged to customers who brought them to Ray’s RV for service. The business specializes in motor home sales, exterior and interior servicing, and parts.

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California RV Shop Fire Damage May Top $1M

March 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Firefighters were investigating Thursday night (March 3) the cause of a fire that tore through a RV repair shop in Banning, Calif., KPSP-TV, Thousand Palms, reported.

The fire was reported just after 8 p.m. at Ray’s RV on Ramsey Street, according to Captain Mike Smith of the of the Riverside County Fire Department.

Witnesses told KPSP Local 2 that the flames spread quickly through the recreational vehicles, and sent shrapnel high into the sky as propane tanks exploded.

Nearly two dozen firefighters had the blaze under control within about a half an hour, but several crews were expected to remain on scene for a couple hours Thursday night to mop up, Smith said.

Initial estimates indicated that four units were destroyed in the fire. A metal awning above the vehicles was melted in several spots due to the extreme heat from the flames.

The owners of the location said that though the damage was bad, they would still be able to operate their business. They estimate that the vehicles were each worth upward of $250,000, but say they have insurance that they hope will cover the costs.

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