Ridge fire considered accidental | TheUnion.com

Ridge fire considered accidental

Despite suspicions of arson, a Thursday night fire that destroyed a San Juan Ridge man’s motor home turned out to be accidental.

Timothy B. Gruber, 56, lost his motor home and three other vehicles after flames spread from the motor home’s carburetor.

Without a cellular phone, he went to his neighbor’s house, and that’s where the confusion began.

“(Gruber) ran to the neighbor’s and made the comment, ‘I set my house on fire.’ It was just kind of a spur-of-the-moment comment he made,” Battalion Chief Rob Paulus of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Friday.

A later conversation with Gruber sorted out matters.

Because of the heat, Gruber tried to drive the motor home to a more shaded section of his property on Refuge Road, south of Tyler-Foot Crossing and Cruzon Grade roads, when the fire started.

The other three damaged vehicles were older models. Gruber still has a trailer on the property that he can live in, Paulus said.

– Doug Mattson

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