On April 5, 2021 at 06:11 a.m., the Foresthill Fire Protection District responded to a reported structure home fire in the 21000 block of Foresthill Road.  The first arriving Fire Company, Engine 90, found a single-family home heavily involved with fire.  Firefighters began to knock down the fire after receiving information that the occupants had already exited the home.  There was a delay in arrival due to an inaccurate reporting of the address from the initial 9-1-1 call.

Firefighters were able to knock down the fire in about 45 minutes and keep the damage to the house of origin, but the home was a complete loss.  The homeowner had provided a very good, cleared area so the fire did not extend into the surrounding vegetation.  Firefighters were on scene to complete the search for hidden and remaining fire for an additional 7 hours.  

There are a couple of lessons to pass along.  First, when using a cell phone to activate 9-1-1, please make sure and completely confirm the address of the emergency you are reporting.  This is especially important if the public safety answering point does not have technology that pinpoints your location.  

Second, providing fuel clearance around the home to meet the 100-foot mark is vital to keep your home defensible but also to keep a structure fire from the wildland.  Even though it is still early in the wildland season, this homeowner did provide a very good defensible space for his home which in effect provided protection to his neighbors.  

Additionally, the closing of bedroom doors provides precious protection not only to the occupants but to the area that is closed-off.  A picture is attached showing the ability of regular doors to provide this protection.  

The cause of the fire is undetermined with the damage to be estimated at over $400,000.00.  Pacific Gas and Electric representatives also responded to isolate the power due to electrical line involvement.  

The response included two Foresthill engines, engines from Auburn City, and Placer County Fire, Chief Officers from City of Auburn, and Cal Fire, several Placer County Sheriff’s Deputies, a ambulance from American Medical Response, Water Tenders from Placer Hills, Lincoln, and Foresthill, and two command officers from Foresthill Fire Protection District for a total of over 24 personnel.

Submitted by Assistant Chief

Jed Matcham

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