Sonora-area woman dies in evening fire

February 17, 2003 12:00 am

By LENORE

RUTHERFORD

A woman died in a fire at the Ed Fields family residence on the 18200 block of Berry Lane about 5 p.m. yesterday.

There is no suspicion of foul play, said Tuolumne County Fire Department Information Officer Deborah Fish.

Fire and sheriff's investigators were at the home just south of Sonora on a small road off Campo Seco Road, until late last night, Fish said.

They were expected to return this morning to investigate the fire's cause.

The woman's name has not been released pending investigation, Tuolumne County Sheriff's Sgt. Bob Bogolea said this morning.

According to the sheriff's report, a neighbor called 911 at 5:02 p.m. to report a huge column of black smoke coming from the home.

The house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

"They were obviously a well-loved, well-respected and close-knit family," Fish said. "A lot of people were at the fire who cared about them. A lot of people were very upset."

She said the house was destroyed, as were all but two rooms in a garage-turned-office. The property is also the location of a business, Sonora Pumps.

The damage estimate is $350,000.

Emergency units responding to the fire included California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Tuolumne County Fire Department, Jamestown Fire Protection District, Sonora Fire Department and the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department, including deputies and a chaplain.