Flames ripped through a Vista Mar Drive home Monday afternoon, destroying the two-story residence and burning some of the nearby open space and a spot on a neighbor’s lawn.
The El Dorado Hills Fire Department got the call at 1:49 p.m. and when firefighters arrived at the home, “It was well involved. (The fire) was through the roof,” said Battalion Chief Jim O’Camb. “We already had the roof collapsing on arrival.
“We immediately ordered more engines,” he continued.
Shifting to defensive mode, firefighters doused the house and nearby property to protect neighboring homes. Cal Fire crews were assigned to cover the open space and they doused a few spot fires that popped up when embers blew onto the dry grass.
“The people in this community did a really good job with defensible space,” said Chris Anthony with Cal Fire. “Because they mowed the grass down the fire can’t really spread.”
Neighbors Jerry and Colleen Vink kept a close eye on their property as smoke and floating debris blew around. Firefighter Jason Smith spotted some smoldering leaves near the Vink’s driveway and immediately started stamping it out. “That’s why I’m standing out here with a garden hose,” Jerry said as Smith used the hose to put out the small fire.
Colleen was one of several neighbors who called for help. “I was standing in my kitchen and all of a sudden I see this flame jumping out the window,” she said. “It was unreal.”
To the east of the fire, resident Kim White, who also called in the fire, turned on her sprinklers and hosed down her property to keep embers from catching. “You just never know how fast it’s going to move,” said White, who has lived in the area since 2000. Monday’s fire was the closest fire she’s experienced. “It’s very scary.”
Within an hour firefighters had a good handle on the blaze but not before it claimed the house. The garage was less damaged and crews put blankets over the homeowners’ vehicles to protect them. Homeowner John Mouritsen was at the scene but did not wish to speak with Village Life at the time.
Crews from El Dorado Hills, El Dorado County, Cameron Park, Cal Fire and Folsom, along with Medic 85, responded to the fire. The cause of the fire is unknown.
This is the second residential structure fire in El Dorado Hills in as many weeks. An Aberdeen Lane home was destroyed on June 19.