Fire. Our ancient friend. Or immortal enemy. In my lifetime, just about every California house had a fireplace that was actually used to build a fire. In my father’s time, the fireplace and stove warmed the house from the chilling bite of winter. Meals were cooked on wood-burning stoves. There’s a local elementary school in Canyon Country named after Leona Cox. A young widow, she started working as a janitor at Sulphur Springs Elementary in the early 1920s. Part of her job in the colder days was to get to school at 5 a.m. and start fires in the stoves so the few small rooms would be warm and ready for students. Another janitor, in 1939, set Newhall Elementary ablaze with his morning stove ritual. Decade after decade, we’ve covered fires and the tens of thousands who have fled them. Recently, the Tick Fire caused freeways to close and thousands to evacuate. Some fires are smaller, more personal. On far-too-regular a basis, The Signal has reported the small tragedy. Sometimes, it’s some lone soul smoking in bed. Sometimes, the cause is more profoundly stupid — or confoundingly bizarre. Long before 1921 when silent screen star William S. Hart bought the Babcock Ranch on the hill in...