Sacto 9-1-1
June 14, 2013
Fire official cites hidden perils in Elk Grove house fire

A firefighter suffered minor injuries Thursday night in a residential fire in Elk Grove that proved perilous for fire crews who discovered that roof supports had been compromised.

The Cosumnes Fire Department responded about 9:50 p.m. to a house at 8949 Adobe Valley Court. The house had been recently renovated and was vacant, awaiting the move-in of new residents, according to a Fire District news release.

Neighbors noticed a smell of smoke and, upon investigating, saw smoking coming from attic vents of the house.

John Michelini, deputy fire chief, said the fire presented challenges for firefighters as they quickly worked to locate the hidden fire.

The fire had been burning for some time before it was reported, and fire crews sent to the roof to cut a hole to ventilate smoke and heat from the attic discovered a "soft" roof, indicating that the supports had been compromised.

"Good training, tools and technology prevented four firefighters from falling through the roof into the burning attic," Michelini said in a written statement.

Fire crews were able to control the fire within 20 minutes. Once the fire was extinguished, firefighters discovered that a large area of the structure holding up the roof had been destroyed by fire, although there was no visible indication of the damage inside or outside the house until crews were able to get into the attic space.

The house, which had new carpet, tile paint and fixtures, suffered more than $30,000 damage. Michelini said the cost of damage was limited because the house contained no personal belongings.

Michelini said one firefighter suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

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