Fortuna, Ca., (KIEM)- Just after 6:00 a.m. Saturday Fortuna resident Tyler Houghes woke to find his house in flames. Houghes lived in a blue building behind Main Street off of 12th Street. The two-story home is split into four units, rented out separately.
Houghes says there was a heater on the ground floor of one of the apartments. He believes that may have sparked the fire. The flames quickly spread upstairs. When fire crews arrived they were able to keep the fire contained in the North end of the house. All of the people inside made it out safely. Fire crews say several pets did not.
“I’m in shock,” Houghes says. He had just minutes to wake up his house mates, grab his dog, and move outside. The house at that point was already filled with smoke. In a matter of hours community members turned up at the scene, to bring blankets, water and snacks for Houghes and crews from Cal Fire, Fortuna, Rio Dell and Loleta fire departments.
The official cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but Jim Hinrichs, the Division Chief Safety Officer for the Fortuna Fire Department, says its a good reminder to be careful when heating your home.