A fire in an exterior water heater and furnace cabinet destroyed a modular home in rural South County Saturday afternoon, officials said.
Nevada County Consolidated Fire Division Chief Jerry Funk said all occupants — a man and two women and their pets and birds — were able to escape without injury from the home in the 18000 block of Retrac Road, off of Lime Kiln Road.
“At this point, it appears it was possibly an equipment malfunction of some sort,” Funk said on Sunday. “It is yet to be determined.”
He said the 12:54 p.m. blaze was called in by the occupants, who own the home.
According to Funk, the three adults were inside when they heard a loud noise and then saw smoke filling up the house.
When they checked outside, they saw the water heater and furnace cabinet ablaze, as well as fire pouring out from underneath the home, which was raised up on blocks.
“When the units arrived, there was significant fire showing at the exterior backside of the home, and underneath,” Funk said.
Firefighters from Consolidated, Higgins Fire District and Cal Fire knocked down the blaze “relatively quickly,” he added.
However, the overhaul — thorough rechecking for sparks and embers — was extensive because the blaze had spread into the attic. The overhaul took about four hours, Funk said.
“We had it cleared by about 5 p.m.,” he said.
Funk said the cause of the fire appeared to be accidental.
“There is nothing suspicious, but the investigation is ongoing,” he said.
Funk said he had no word yet on a damage estimate, but he said the home was uninhabitable.
All the occupants were able to find other places to stay, he added.
To contact Staff Writer Keri Brenner, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.