North Redding home ravaged by towering flames

North Redding home ravaged by towering inferno

REDDING, Calif. - For the fourth weekend in a row, Redding firefighters were called to battle a blaze engulfing a structure, this time off Lake Boulevard.

The call initially came in as a vegetation fire threatening a home on the 600 block of Oleta Drive in north Redding at 2:45 p.m. Saturday.

"It appeared that it started on the fence line," said Ted MacDowell, who lived at the now burned home. "I didn't catch it that soon to really know for sure."

The fire quickly spread to the back portion of MacDowell's home before fire crews could get to it. 

The fire destroyed a garage and deck in the backyard before moving inside the home and growing in the attic.

Before long, flames were towering 20 feet out of the top of the home's roof.

MacDowell could only watch it all unfold.

"I'm trying to keep cool, you know. I'm trying to keep my head on," MacDowell said. "Nothing I can do so I'm just going to have to leave it in the hands of the firefighters."

Fire personnel from the Redding Fire Department and CAL FIRE attacked the home from the inside and outside, but after about 45 minutes a fire engine's horn blared, signalling for crews to evacuate from within. At that point, hoses and a water canon from atop an engine were turned onto the home's roof.

Nearby structures were also sprayed with water to ensure the fire didn't spread. Those efforts were successful.

Damage to MacDowell's home is estimated at hundred-of-thousands-of-dollars. There have been no reports of any injuries, aside from minor burns suffered by MacDowell and a neighbor when they tried to fight the initial flames.

All available off-duty Redding firefighters were called to their duty stations to cover the city while much of the rest of the department remained at the scene mopping up.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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