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

A predawn house fire lights up the night in Cherokee Oaks. (Click arrows for additional photo.)Firefighters mop-up the morning after a destructive house fire on Oakridge Drive.

Cherokee Oaks house razed in predawn fire

By: 
John Elliott

 

The call came in at 2:57 a.m. on Friday, July 27; within five minutes, the first engine was on scene. In the next few minutes, additional units of firefighters arrived. 
 
What they found was the house located at 41043 Oakridge in the Cherokee Oaks subdivision of Three Rivers was 80 percent involved with fire. Firefighters worked quickly to cool the propane tank that was already emitting a loud hissing sound from its relief valve that was sensing the intense heat of the burning structure.
 
“That loud hissing sounded like a jet getting ready for take-off,” said Sue Rothhammer, who lives three houses away from the one that was engulfed with fire.
 
Rothhammer said she was already awake when all the excitement began. The glow from the fire lit up the entire street and was seen throughout the Cherokee Oaks neighborhood.
 
Upon arriving on the scene, firefighters were immediately contacted by the homeowner, Richard Bodily, who informed them that all family members, including their two dogs, were outside and had exited the burning structure safely.  
 
A grass fire ignited to the rear of the house but was quickly contained at less than an acre by Cal Fire firefighters. Several loud pops and explosions were heard that were reportedly caused by ammunition being stored on the premises.
 
The house was totally destroyed. The value of the house was listed on the incident report at $299,000; loss to the contents was $17,000.  
 
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. From information gathered at the scene, the owner of the house said he was having trouble with the dishwasher. 
 
The family — Richard and Melissa Bodily and their 12-year-old twin sons — lost all their belongings in the fire. A GoFundMe account with a goal of $5,000 has been opened to assist the family in replacing some of their belongings.    
 
To assist the Bodilys in replacing some of what they lost, go to www.gofundme.com/team-bodily.
X