Cal Fire subdues fire in Chicago Park abandoned home |

Cal Fire subdues fire in Chicago Park abandoned home

Cal Fire units and the Peardale Chicago Park Fire Protection District contained a structure fire in Chicago Park Saturday, suppressing the fire within an hour, Chicago Park Fire Captain Art Schreiber said.

"It was a house believed to have squatters in it. It was abandoned," Schreiber said. "When we first got there the fire had already vented through the windows and the roof, and it had about an acre of vegetation fire."

According to Schreiber, fire units received multiple calls around 2:50 p.m. Saturday, that an abandoned home located on the 14000 block of Colfax Highway was on fire. At least four Cal Fire units, two Peardale Chicago Park fire engines, and units from the Ophir Hill Fire Protection District responded to the fire.

"We were able to contain the fire within an hour from getting there," Schreiber said. "We contained the vegetation fires due to the structure exposures to the neighbors house, then we turned our attention to the structure, because the power lines hadn't been secured yet, and once they came down, we were able to take some action on the structure."

Schreiber says the fire began to spread to a neighbor's backyard, but units were able keep additional homes from being exposed. To subdue the fire two additional hand crews were called on to the site, along with an aircraft which dumped retardant on the site's surrounding vegetation.

A helicopter assisted with the fire of the home, but units were at the site till late evening mopping up the surrounding vegetation, and the home which was a complete structural loss. Cal Fire is currently doing an investigation into the cause of the fire, but currently the cause is undetermined.

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"It's not confirmed but the house was abandoned," Schreiber said. "And according to the neighbors and the sources that talked to the chief during the fire investigation, there were people squatting in the structure, and that the home was foreclosed."

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email or call 530-477-4236.

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