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Fire guts Yuba City home; residents out of town
An attic fire burned through large portions of a single-story home on Tuesday in Yuba City while the family was visiting relatives out of town.
Flames shot out of the attic of the home in the 1800 block of Elmer Road, as the roof crumbled above a corridor of bedrooms. The fire started about 9 a.m. and continued to burn for more than an hour.
Investigators said the cause of the fire is unknown, but is not considered suspicious.
Amy Matulich, her husband and their 9-year-old son live in the house, but were in Nevada when the house caught fire, said property owner April Singley, Matulich's sister-in-law.
The Matulichs were in the process of moving out of the Elmer Road home before water, fire and smoke damaged most of it, Singley said.
Now that the home is heavily charred and sopping wet, Singley said she is unsure of what will become of her house, which has been in her family for about 20 years.
"Obviously the house is damaged beyond repair," she said, "but I don't really know."
Robert Bills, battalion chief with the Yuba City Fire Department, said the home isn't a complete loss, but it received significant water damage and damage to drywall as firefighters extinguished the blaze.
Dark smoke was first spotted by Derek Watkins, a neighbor who was drinking coffee in his driveway with his friend, Matt McVey.
"I thought they were burning trash in there," Watkins said.
Knowing something was wrong, the two friends drove over to the Elmer Road home to see if anyone was inside. They called 911 and pounded on the front door, but no one answered.
It was later discovered that at least one dog was inside the house, but made it out OK, Watkins said. Another dog ran from the property after Watkins and McVey showed up.
As the friends waited for emergency crew to arrive, Watkins said he shut the home's gas and power off.
Four fire engines and 13 firefighters arrived during the course of the fire, Bills said. Everything went smoothly, even though the department didn't have access to a fire hydrant.
"We don't have hydrants in this area," Bills said, "so we had to have a couple engines shuttle water to us."
CONTACT Griffin Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4783. Find him on Facebook at /ADgriffinrogers or on Twitter at @ADgriffinrogers.