Two unrelated cooking fires reported Wednesday

Sun-Star StaffJanuary 15, 2014 

Two apparent cooking fires Wednesday afternoon kept firefighters in Merced County busy.

One person was displaced when flames raced through a kitchen and into an attic about 2:13 p.m. in the 2400 block of McKee Road, Cal Fire-Merced County Battalion Chief Jeremy Rahn said.

“It started in the kitchen, possibly due to some unattended cooking,” Rahn said.

The fire caused about $6,000 in damages to the home, firefighters said.

No one was injured.

Twelve California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection/Merced County firefighters responded to the blaze, along with three firefighters from the city of Merced. Firefighters remained on scene until about 4:30 p.m.

Rahn said the resident, whose name was not available, would be able to move back into the home once the damage is repaired. The resident accepted assistance from the American Red Cross, firefighters said.

About 30 minutes before the house fire, Merced city firefighters responded to a small fire along the Bear Creek embankment near Park Place, city Battalion Chief Shawn Henry said.

The fire appeared to start in a barbecue on the embankment and spread to the encampment along the creek, firefighters said.

“Everyone that was there left the area before we got there,” Henry said. “It appears it started with the barbecue, possibly while cooking.”

Ten city firefighters responded to the blaze, which sent a large column of black smoke into the sky that could be seen from the downtown area of Main Street.

No injuries were reported.

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