Sunset Western Garden Book tonight and there was no mention of thorns. This plant you see in the photo has dangerous thorns, and only the pyracantha description mentions thorns. Both plants can grow tall like this and both have colorful orange or red berries. Both plants can grow in poor soil and are drought resistant. The fruits appears in July or August and last long enough to provide winter color.
This is the same shrub in bloom in May. The bees love the flowers. I can hear the tree buzzing as I approach it when the tree is in bloom. Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.
This is a close-up of the pyracantha flowers.