Early morning fire destroys home
An early morning blaze devoured a Grass Valley family’s home today despite a four-hour battle waged by area firefighters.
The young couple and their two daughters who lived in the house at 526 Butler St. were on spring break vacation in San Luis Obispo when the fire started around 1 a.m., said Nevada County Consolidated Battalion Chief Spike Newby.
Several neighbors had called 911 to report seeing flames coming from the rear of the home and the back porch, but an investigation is still pending on how the fire might have started.
Newby said firefighters from Consolidated and Grass Valley fire departments attempted to keep the fire isolated to the rear of the house but were unsuccessful.
“The house appears to have been remodeled several times over the years and there were a lot of void spaces (pockets of air),” he said. “The fire unfortunately got into the void areas.” This made it difficult to actually locate some of the areas that were burning, he said.
“It took them four hours, which is an exceptionally long time,” said Newby, who did not fight the fire but did visit the scene later in the day.
Diana and Van Riley live next door to the family and were still in disbelief as they recounted what had happened early that morning.
Their bedroom is in the rear of their house, on the side close to the fire, Van Riley said.
“I heard a noise and I looked out, and I could see flames through the back,” he said, adding that several of the plastic toys in the back yard had been melted by the flames, showing just how hot the fire was.
It is just fortunate no one was home and no one was hurt, he said.
The family was picking through the wreckage of their home Friday afternoon, but did not want to talk, said a family friend who was helping them sort their belongings in the front yard and did not wish to be named.
She added that she is trying set up a help fund to for the family to assist them with expenses.
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