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    Updated On: Jun 27, 2015

    Chico firefighters quickly knock down fire started at rear of house in southwest Chico

    A firefighter surveys the damage after the Chico Fire Department quenched flames that started in the back of a home Wednesday on the 1400 block of Almond Street in Chico.Dan Reidel — Enterprise-Record

    Chico >> A fire that broke out in a southwest Chico residence Wednesday afternoon while a tenant was sleeping inside was confined mostly to the exterior and attic of the home.

    Chico Fire responded to a call of a possible arson fire in the 1400 block of Almond Street at 2:50 p.m., and upon arrival four minutes later, the first engine of firefighters saw large flames and black smoke coming from a pile of tires and debris in the rear of the house.

    “It was obviously knocked down quickly before it was extended significantly into the structure,” Division Chief Bill Hack said.

    No one was injured and damage to the inside of the house was minimal. The exterior corner near where the fire is believed to have started was blackened from ground to roof, with warped vinyl siding, a melted dog crate and tires, and other damaged debris, and the attic sustained some damage.

    Members of the fire investigation unit, which is part of the department’s newly formed community risk reduction division, were investigating the source of the fire and a cause has not yet been determined, Hack said.

    The fire was reported by the tenant sleeping inside, who was wakened by the noise of the flames and initially thought it was the sound of someone pressure-washing the side of the house, Hack said. He did not know what spurred the arson suspicion by the tenant but said investigators would be taking necessary precautions.

    “We are investigating the fire as we always do,” he said, adding that firefighters were also assisting the residents in boarding up the structure to make it liveable.

    Four engines, one squad, one truck and two officers responded to the incident.

    Contact reporter Ashley Gebb at 896-7768.


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