A chimney fire destroyed a house on an Appey Way hillside outside Jamestown Monday night, but firefighters were able to contain the fire to just that one structure.
Davis Dean, 20, said the house belonged to his grandparents, Yvonne and Bill Morse.
He lives in an apartment above one of two garages on the property and was sitting outside when he saw the fire come up from the chimney.
“It blew up and fell into the house,” he said. “The whole house went up. The doors flew open.”
No one was injured, he said as he sat about 10 yards from the fire and watched it burn.
He said he ran in and saved two dogs. A firefighter saved two cats.
Yvonne Morse said the house had an indoor and outdoor fireplace shared by the same chimney.
“It started smoking and the eaves of the roof started smoking,” she said. “There was an explosion."
She said they moved to the house from Sonora eight weeks ago.
“They did a good job of containing it,” Dean said.
Battalion chief Loren Monsen of Twain Harte Fire Department said the report came in at 8 p.m.
He estimated 95 percent of the house was destroyed. He could not confirm the fire started in the flue and said the cause under investigation
Responding were 10 engines, three water tank trucks, a couple of supervisors from Cal Fire Tuolumne Calaveras Unit, Columbia Fire Protection District and Sonora Fire Department.
“I was just thinking today I need to get some stuff together for the poor people in Paradise and this is nothing compared to them, Morse said. “We have a strong faith and that will see us through.”