Union Democrat staff

Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday evening that a person has been found dead inside a house destroyed by fire in the Big Hill area of Columbia.

Firefighters were called to the house on Calle Quartz Road near Adelleana Lane sometime after 6 a.m. Tuesday to find the house fully engulfed in flames.

“The cause of the fire and death remain under investigation,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

The identity of the deceased was not released. The Sheriff’s Office said an autopsy would be performed to determine the cause of death.

Cal Fire said the fire burned about a quarter of an acre near the house. Forward progress was stopped in about an hour and a half.

Some homes near the Hatler Mill were evacuated.

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