A fire started Thursday afternoon near several homes in Moreno Valley shortly after a police pursuit ended in the area.
About 4 p.m., deputies with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department started pursuing the driver of a stolen vehicle, according to initial reports. Deputies pursued the vehicle and detained two people.
A fire broke out in the same area, near Bay Avenue and Phyllis Avenue, about 4:13 p.m. and severely damaged two homes. It also destroyed three outbuildings and burned 5 acres of grass and brush, according to fire officials. Nine vehicles were also severely damaged or destroyed, among them the stolen car and two sheriff’s SUV patrol vehicles.
Firefighters were able to save 80 homes from being damaged or destroyed by the fire, according to fire officials. The fire was contained at 6:33 p.m.
KCBS-TV Channel 2 reported that the fire ignited when the pursuit ended with the suspect vehicle crashing in a field. Two patrol cars and the suspect vehicle caught fire, which then spread to nearby homes, according to the station.
Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Robyn Flores, a public information officer, said that information was inaccurate and that there was no crash.
Rather, the pursuit ended in a field, and a fire “did ignite” there, she said.
There were no further details available beyond that, she said.