Firefighters threatened by a collapsing roof and falling tiles had to retreat from a burning Reem Court home Tuesday afternoon.
No one was injured in the blaze that destroyed the Highland View neighborhood residence. At 1:05 p.m. the El Dorado Hills Fire Department received the call after the family, two adults and four children, noticed smoke coming out of the vents, according to Deputy Chief Jim O’Camb. Minutes later Engine 84 arrived and firefighters spotted “significant smoke” pouring out of the roof’s eaves. The crew was soon joined by fellow El Dorado Hills firefighters as well as some from Latrobe and Folsom; however, the fire wasn’t ready to surrender.
“About three minutes into the call the roof started collapsing,” O’Camb said. To fight attic fires, he explained, firefighters typically go into the home and pull down the ceiling but when heavy roof tiles began falling, they had to leave the home and take a defensive position, pouring water into the home from the outside. Firefighters had flames under control in about 30 minutes and crews stayed at the home for several hours dousing flare ups.
They were able to retrieve some of the family’s belongings from a sub-level room but the main part of the home is a more than likely a total loss due to smoke and water damage, O’Camb added.
Fire investigators point to a fireplace insert’s metal chimney as the fire’s likely cause. At this point they don’t know if chimney failure, installation or another factor is to blame, O’Camb said. The homeowner did tell investigators he regularly cleaned the fireplace and chimney.
This is the second El Dorado Hills residential structure fire in a week. An Aldea Drive home’s garage and above-garage room were destroyed in a Nov. 6 fire.