Refrigerator motor cause of fire Wednesday

Smoke was pouring from the house at 600 E. Forest Street in California, Wednesday, Jan. 22.

Smoke was pouring from the house at 600 E. Forest Street in California, Wednesday, Jan. 22. Photo by Paula Earls.

At approximately noon, Wednesday, Jan. 22, the California Fire Department responded to a fire at a residence at 600 East Forest Street in California.

California Fire Chief Allan Smith said, "When we arrived on the scene we did not know what started the fire, however, we found it had been burning in the attic before the air took the fire to a full blaze." With the extreme cold temperature of 13 degrees and the wind chill making it even worse the firefighters used a new item on the fire engine. According to Smith they have a compressor that sprays a foam instead of water. This allows them to continue to fight fires even in the depths of the winter.

Smith shared the State Fire Marshal was called to the scene Wednesday afternoon to access the cause. He detected the fire started from the refrigerator motor in the kitchen. The refrigerator was against the main wall in the front of the house sending the blaze straight up to the ceiling.

The house, owned and occupied by Susan Porter and daughter Hailey, 11, was a total loss.

When contacted for comment Porter shared the following, "I just want to say thank you to all the people in the community who have reached out to help us in our time of need. Words cannot express our gratitude for everything people have done for us. The California Fire Department did a great job keeping things under control so that we could salvage some items and not totally lose everything.  I was able to salvage some family photos and some other items that were of sentimental value.  I want to thank the people at Project Share and the Red Cross for helping us.  I also want to thank those of you in the community who donate to Project Share and the Red Cross so that they are able to help those in an emergency situation. I would also like to thank my insurance agent, Mike English, for showing up the day of the fire and being there to assist me with all my questions and processing of my claim. I would also like to say a special thanks to my neighbors who reported the fire, have helped keep an eye on things, and  having been feeding my animals until I get situated and can take them. I want to thank Mrs. Goans, the school counselor for bringing Hailey new clothes and other items. They are greatly appreciated.  I would also like to thank the kind person who paid for our dinner at Sonic. Thank you to my Facebook friends and co-workers and former co-workers who have offered  assistance. Most of all, I would like to thank my sister Melinda and her husband David Burgoon, for providing us with a place to stay. I would also like to thank other family members who have been there to help. I am truly blessed to live in such a caring community. The outpouring of people who have offered assistance has been appreciated and unexpected. "  

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