Tipped lantern burns Ridge house quickly | TheUnion.com

Tipped lantern burns Ridge house quickly

A tipped propane lantern caused the rapid destruction of a San Juan Ridge house Thursday, according to firefighters.

Gene Nunley, 21, and his girlfriend were building a fire at 20520 Walls Flat Road, north of Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, while using the lantern to illuminate their 500-square-foot, A-frame house, according to Al Hoffmeyer of the North San Juan Fire Protection District.

The lantern was connected to a five-gallon tank, which tipped, breaking off the lantern, said Hoffmeyer, the district’s fire prevention bureau chief.

The lantern ignited the propane, and a burst of flame blew out the windows.

Nunley and his girlfriend escaped with their dogs and called 911 from a house next door, but with the closest fire station 15 miles away, the house burned to the ground before North San Juan firefighters arrived, Chief Boyd Johnson said.

A fresh layer of hail on the roads made it tough going for district fire trucks, Johnson added, and the house was in a canyon, near the Middle Yuba River.

Hoffmeyer said the couple will be staying with family members who live nearby. He said the house was owned by Nunley’s grandfather, Art Nunley.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User