A woman was displaced and her dog perished on Saturday in a fire that destroyed a home near the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora, the city’s fire chief said.

The fire started about 12:30 p.m. on the 400 block of Sonora Avenue. 

Flames were engulfing about three quarters of a single-family home and spreading into wildland vegetation when city firefighters arrived on scene, said Fire Chief Aimee New.

“They were able to stop forward progress into the wildland and make an interior attack into the structure,” New said.

The resident was not home at the time, and no people were injured by the blaze, but New said a dog that was inside the house did not survive.

“I’m a dog lover, so it was emotional,” she said

A woman who owned the house was was assisted by the American Red Cross because the home was a total loss, but New did not want to release her identity.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but New said they are focusing on electrical items or smoking material. 

Sonora city firefighters left the scene about 3:30 p.m. after the fire was fully extinguished and would return throughout the rest of the day to make sure it remained out, New said.

Personnel from Cal Fire and the Columbia Fire Protection District also assisted with the firefight.

New said aircraft from the Columbia Air Attack Base were called to prevent the fire from spreading further into wildland vegetation, but ground crews stopped the forward progress before any drops of flame retardant were needed.

Many other homes are located in the area.

“They made a great stop in the wildland and house because of the potential for it to spread up the hill toward the back side of Southgate (Drive) and Knowles Hill,” New said.

As personnel were leaving the scene in Sonora, another fire ignited at about 3:30 p.m. on Harvard Mine Road in Jamestown that reportedly involved a structure and spread to one acre of vegetation before firefighters stopped the forward progress.

This story has been edited from an earlier version that reported an incorrect number of people who were living at the home.

Contact Alex MacLean at amaclean@uniondemocrat.net or (209) 768-5175.

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