BETHEL ISLAND - Firefighters responded to a two-story fire at 3995 N. Willow Road in Bethel Island at about 7:30 p.m. Monday that had nearby residents scared for their safety, even though none were injured.
“I was actually looking out my window because my boyfriend was in the garage, and then I heard what sounded like either firecrackers or gunfire,” neighbor Kelly Schwald said. “So I was telling him to run back inside. Then the power went out and that pole sparked. There's a ridge of the trees there and the flames were up over that blowing over the water and over the barns on the other side.”
Despite the size of the fire, none of the nearby houses were threatened the nearby residents were told to evacuate their homes as a safety precaution by the police. Nobody was inside the house at the time, and the property owners weren’t on the property either, fire officials said.
The neighbors said that the people who owned and were restoring the property were living in a trailer on the premises, but also said that nobody has lived in the house itself for a while. However, the mother of the owner of the house said that her son purchased the property last year and was living on the second floor.
Neighbors also said that there were propane tanks on the property, however, firefighters on scene did not confirm whether or not that was the cause of the blaze. The trailer on the side of the property was also unharmed.
“From the first units on the scene, we had the fire out in about 30 minutes,” Battalion Chief Jeff Burris said. “We had trouble accessing the fire on the second story – the stairs on the delta side of the structure (the side facing the water) burned through, limiting our access.”
Even after the initial blaze was put out firefighters continued to control remaining embers that were on the second floor of the home.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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