Four driven from home by blaze |

Four driven from home by blaze

John HartGrass Valley and Nevada County Consolidated fire personnel responded to a fire in an apartment at 3191Z2 N. Church St. Friday afternoon. Firefighters remove a burning chair.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Firefighters are seeking the cause of a Grass Valley house fire Friday that left a family of three and at least one other renter temporarily homeless.

Crews responded at 2:10 p.m. to 3191/2 N. Church St. after a fire started in the closet and quickly spread to the kitchen/living room area. An accumulation of ceiling-level gases ignited, shattering the home’s windows, said Grass Valley Fire Chief Hank Weston, who declared the building uninhabitable.

Weston called the fire “strange,” partly because it’s unclear why it started in the closet. The fire was human-caused, and nothing appeared wrong with a light in the closet, he added.

It’s also unclear how many people were living in the damaged unit, which will require about $15,000 in cleanup and repair costs, Weston said. He said three people who had been in the unit were standing around as firefighters cleaned up. The house is owned by Ellen Campbell of Grass Valley, according to the fire department.

Joshua Lund, 24, and his wife and son live in the other unit, but weren’t home at the time. Lund said his family can’t return for about a week, until an electrician inspects the wiring, but he and his family will find temporary housing.

Grass Valley and Nevada County Consolidated crews fought the blaze.

Just the night before, police visited the same home. At 11:37 p.m. Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office relayed the call of an anonymous male requesting a welfare check on a woman who lived at the unit and was a possible domestic violence victim.

Police found no woman home at the time, and Weston said it’s unclear if there’s a connection.

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