Weekly newspaper of Three Rivers, California, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

The aftermath of a Three Rivers house fire that occurred in the early morning hours of October 26. (Click arrows for additional photos.)

Cherokee Oaks house destroyed in early-morning blaze

Fire started near outdoor appliances
By: 
John Elliott

 

Occupants at 40994 Cherokee Oaks Drive, and the neighbors nearby, were awakened by the smell of smoke on Friday, Oct. 26, in the pre-dawn hours. It soon became apparent that the rear of the 1,900-square-foot house was on fire. 
 
The emergency call to the dispatcher was received at 5 a.m. Within minutes Three Rivers firefighting units began arriving on the scene. 
 
What they found was a large section of the house adjacent to the back patio that was fully involved with flames and the fire was spreading into the adjacent wildland. 
 
As fire personnel secured the scene, two residents of the house were outside and accounted for with one dog. Another dog was believed to be still inside. Apparently, the second dog succumbed to smoke and ultimately perished in the blaze.
 
Firefighters made quick work of the fully engulfed structure and prevented its spread to nearby homes and the wildland adjacent to the rear of the house. According to a report by a fire investigator, the fire started on the rear patio where some appliances were connected to electrical outlets. 
 
As to what caused the ignition of the flames remains under investigation.
 
The incident report, which didn't list the owner of the house, estimated damages to the property at $310,000 and an additional $35,000 to its contents. The house was reportedly built in the mid 1990s. 
 
Three months previously, on July 27, another home on nearby Oakridge Drive was also destroyed by a pre-dawn fire. The cause of that blaze was reportedly a faulty kitchen appliance that was plugged in at the time of the fire.   
 
 
UPDATE - November 16, 2018
 
New details concerning the Cherokee Oaks fire that destroyed a single-family residence in the early morning hours of Friday, Oct. 26, have been verified since the first article was published ("Cherokee Oaks house gutted by fire," November 2, 2018 ). The owners of the house and property are Kyle McIntyre and Jordan Serota. 
 
Kyle confirmed that only he and Jordan were in the residence at the time the fire ignited. 
 
“At first all we could think about was getting the dogs out of the house,” McIntyre said. “My dog made it out safely but Jordan’s did not.” 
 
McIntyre also said that the fire started in the area of the rear patio where several appliances were plugged in, including a mini-fridge and a television. The roommates completed the purchase of the home in September 2017 and had recently done some remodeling and upgrades.
 
McIntyre said he is already negotiating with insurance company adjusters because he and Serota are anxious to rebuild. He pointed out that a house nearby on Oakridge Drive that burned in July is still in ruins, and he is hopeful they can get started on their rebuilding sooner than that one.      
 
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