Fire burns mobile home near site of slaying |

Fire burns mobile home near site of slaying

A fire gutted a mobile home Tuesday night on the same street where a man was beaten to death just last week.

Although no one was hurt, one man was arrested during the blaze on Robin Avenue for allegedly hosing down a sheriff’s deputy and not obeying his commands.

Residents of the lane just outside the Grass Valley city limits had just returned from a memorial for neighbor Donald Gene Sullivan, 45, who was slain there Oct. 22. They were sitting around a picnic table about 10:45 p.m. when they noticed a fire across the street at the home of Lisa Weaver, 10448 Robin Ave.

Weaver was not home, and the fire gutted her residence despite efforts by the neighbors to save it. Their quick efforts with garden hoses probably stopped the blaze from spreading to trees throughout the neighborhood and other homes.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, Nevada County Consolidated Fire District Battalion Chief Vern Canon said Wednesday.

“It looked to me like the fire started near the wood stove,” said Marcus Coates, who lives across the street from the mobile home and whose backyard was the place where Sullivan was killed. “We all pulled hoses over and shot water on it. The fire was raging.”

Next-door neighbor Val King was shooting water on the fire “when a guy yelled stop,” King said.

King, 55, said he refused because the fire department had not yet arrived, and he did not know the person was sheriff’s Deputy Phil Carpenter.

“So I’m shooting the fire down and the next thing I know, he’s pepper-spraying me,” King said.

King was arrested for obstructing an officer and battery on a peace officer for allegedly turning his hose on Carpenter, according to sheriff’s Capt. Ron Smith. King denied spraying the officer, but had to make a $1,000 bail Wednesday before being released.

Meanwhile, Grass Valley-area transient Clifford McDonough, 38, remained in custody without bail at the county’s Wayne Brown Correctional Facility; he was being held on suspicion of killing Sullivan. He has also been charged with battery and violating probation for allegedly beating another man prior to the slaying.


To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail or call 477-4237.

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