CHP officer, firefighter injured in Lake County structure fire

- A firefighter was airlifted with burn injuries in a large structure fire at a market in Lake County's Middletown on Monday. 

State Sen. Mark McGuire tweeted at 3:43 p.m. that the fire was at Hardesters's Market on Calistoga Road (Highway 29) near Highway 175 and the firefighter was taken away with injury.

A California Highway Patrol officer, who was on duty, was ordering a sandwich at the market at about 2:22 p.m. when he heard the the market's fire alarm sound, according to officials. Officer Efrain Cortez responded to the south parking lot of the sore. CHP says he responded in his patrol car and quickly shut down the street called for the fire department before he proceeded to direct traffic. 

While he was directing traffic, officials say Officer Cortez saw a Cal Fire firefighter engulfed in flames. With another firefighter's help they were able to pull the firefighter to safety. 

The male firefighter was airlifted to UC Davis' burn center for evaluation. 

Multiple agencies responded, including Lake County Sheriffs' Department. 

Officer Cortez suffered first-degree burns to his right hand and smoke inhalation. He was treated and released from the hospital. 

Highway 29 is closed in both directions. Other roads near the market are also affected. 

A Nixle alert says the roads will be closed for many hours.   


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