Fire claims home in Columbia

By Union Democrat staff June 25, 2014 12:30 pm

Three people safely escaped an overnight fire that destroyed a Columbia home.

The fire was reported about 12:18 a.m. today on the 11100 block of Green Street, across from Columbia State Historic Park.

It was quickly extinguished by firefighters from the Columbia Fire Department, Sonora City Fire, Tuolumne County Fire, Cal Fire and Columbia College Fire. The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office also helped with getting people out of harm’s way, said Sonora City Fire Capt. Grant Miller.

An elderly woman, her son and a third younger man, believed to be a relative, were sleeping in the home when the fire erupted after midnight.

The younger man said he had gotten up, saw the fire and woke the others, enabling everyone to escape, Miller said.

The men early this morning stood in front of the house evaluating the damage but said they were not ready to talk about what happened, so declined to comment.

The fire rendered the roughly 1,200-square-foot, single story structure uninhabitable, Miller said. It also spread to the garage, which was damaged. 

The fire’s cause is under investigation. It appeared to have originated near the back porch.

The American Red Cross responded and put the victims up in a hotel.

Meanwhile, the Oak Fire, burning since Sunday near Oak Valley and Pool Station roads, in a remote area between San Andreas, Angels Camp and Copperopolis, was fully contained Tuesday afternoon at 85 acres. 

A grass fire also broke out late Tuesday evening near Stagecoach Hill Road and Old Emigrant Trail East in Mountain Ranch and was contained a few hours later at 3 acres.