Update: Fire caused property, city damage

The fire started in the detached garage and then spread to the rear portion of the home.Photo credit: Mozes Zarate

A house fire early Wednesday morning left neighboring properties damages in its wake, according to the Chico Fire Department.

First reports of the fire were received at 3:49 a.m. by neighbors and drivers passing by, said Mort Meyer, a fire marshal.

The fire occurred on the 200 block of East 10th Street. The property was vacant and there were no inuries, Meyers said.

Brett Cabral, a 19-year-old Butte College student, said he remembers waking up to a loud crackling.

“I thought someone was trying to break in,” Cabral said.

Cabral ran out of his house and saw that the fire was spreading to his fence, he said. He quickly grabbed hose and started spraying the flames.

“It was right there and I felt it,” Cabral said. “It was hot.”

The fire rained ash heavily on Cabral’s home, he said.

The first Chico fire engine responded 13 minutes later at 4:02 a.m.

A exterior garage in the back of the house was fully engulfed in flames and spread to the rear portion of the home and into its attic, Meyers said.

Meyers said the fire was “big” and “fully involved.”

Chico and Butte County fire departments pulled much of its resources to combat the growing flames, with approximately 13 firefighters arriving on the scene.

“Resources were getting stretched thin,” Meyers said.

Cabral’s fence was burned by the radiant heat and an electrical line collapsed, cutting power from the property east of the fire. An oak tree sitting on the property was also charred, Meyers said.

Damage was estimated at $120,000, Meyers said. The property is not insured and may be bank owned. The house was not completely destroyed, but is uninhabitable.

The cause of the fire is undetermined, Meyers said.

Mozes Zarate can be reached at [email protected] or @mzarate139 on Twitter.