SHADOW HILLS (CBSLA) — Did a pile of tires and tree trunks help fuel the flames that spread the Creek Fire?

As KCAL9/CBS2’s Dave Lopez reports, some residents say that the blaze could have been contained earlier if not for one hot spot in their neighborhood.

“They were man high. All along that fence line. This created the perfect storm,” said John Eck, who was still in shock over losing all of his business to the fire.

Related: Creek Fire Crews Battling ‘Hurricane-Force’ Winds

“It could have been prevented,” said homeowner Dale Steadman.

The property owner with the tires and tree trunks is Shiloh Wanzo.

“I knew it was a hazard when I got down here in March,” said Wanzo.

Wanzo said he inherited the property from his father who he didn’t talk to in the last 10 years of his life. He didn’t know he had all these tires and then he made a deal with the gardeners in the area that they could put all their tree trunks there.

Related: SoCal Wildfires: What We Know Right Now

“The city came and talked to me about it. I informed them that I had no means of possibility of cleaning up the tires. They told me they were going to take a lien out on my home,” said Wanzo.

Steadman and other people who lived nearby complained to the city.

Steadman said he sent emails and kept getting no response or a response saying that there was nothing the city could do about it.

“With the wood and the rubber. Oh my God. And it happened,” said Steadman.

Steadman, whose house was spared as he is on top of the hill, and Eck, are both convinced the fire was stopped on the corner and then the flames hit the rubber and the tree trunks and it was chaos.

Neighbors say they are going to go back to the city to show them all the pictures and emails and they want some type of action even though they know the damage has been done.


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