Trailer fire kills woman |

Trailer fire kills woman

A burning trailer took the life of a Penn Valley woman early Saturday.

The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office did not release the name of the victim Sunday evening, but investigators said a woman in her 30s lived inside the fifth-wheel trailer on the 10700 block of Baker Downs Lane, near Devonshire Circle.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Frank Koehler said investigators believe the woman was the victim in the blaze.

The fire was first reported at Saturday at 6:15 a.m. in Penn Valley. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and Grass Valley fire departments responded.

Penn Valley Fire Chief Gene Vander Plaats said Sunday the trailer was fully engulfed in flames at the time the fire was reported. Fire crews arrived at the scene at 6:28 a.m. By that time, Vander Plaats said, the roof had bent inward and flames reached 30 feet into the sky.

“It had a really good start,” Vander Plaats said.

As soon as the fire was extinguished, firefighters went inside to find the woman.

Koehler said Sunday that fire investigators have ruled the fire was most likely an accident for several reasons. Inside the 30-foot-long trailer, Koehler said, the woman had been using an electric heater for warmth, candles for lighting and an electric hot plate for preparing meals. He also said the woman was a heavy cigarette smoker.

The blaze threatened a nearby trailer and home but only the trailer was touched by the flames. No one else was hurt.

Koehler said sheriff’s investigators have called the mother of the woman who lived in the trailer, in Oregon, and warned her the victim could have been her daughter. Positive identification will have to be done through dental records, he said.

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