Inmate firefighter critically injured while battling brush fire in Lakeside

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Lakeside brush fire

LAKESIDE, Calif. — A member of an inmate firefighting crew was critically injured Wednesday while helping extinguish a small brush fire that briefly threatened a mobile home park near Lake Jennings, authorities reported.

The man suffered a severe leg wound about 2:45 p.m. in an accident involving a chain saw he was using to clear away vegetation at the site of the blaze in the 13400 block of Olde Highway 80 in Lakeside, according to Cal Fire.

Medics took the man to Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, where he was admitted in critical condition, said Jon Heggie, a fire captain with the state agency. The victim’s name was not released.

The blaze, which caused no reported structural damage, erupted for unknown reasons on a steep, rocky hillside about 1:30 p.m., Heggie said. Crews had the flames under control within an hour.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.