An accidental fire that started when can lights were left on some insulation in an east Modesto home caused an estimated $250,000 in damage, authorities said.
Fortunately, the two occupants of the home on Northcrest Court managed to escape without injury Thursday night.
Firefighters were called to the large, single-story home just southwest of Oakdale Road and Sylvan Avenue at 10:38 p.m.
When they arrived, they found flames shooting into the air and an add-on to the home that was under construction fully engulfed.
Within 30 minutes, the bulk of the fire was knocked down and the next three hours were spent chasing down hot spots, according to Battalion Chief Hugo Patino of the Modesto Fire Department.
He said contractors working on an office addition to the back of the home left can lights on some insulation in the attic.
The occupants smelled some smoke earlier in the evening, but couldn’t detect where it was coming from.
After they went to bed, the smoke alarm in their house went off.
“Clearly, the most inexpensive device was the one that had the greatest impact,” Patino said, referring to the importance of smoke alarms in residences.
Patino lauded his firefighters for saving most of the contents of the house, given the complexity of the fire and the coordination it took to limit the damage.
Vaulted ceilings, various angles of the roof, the back third of which collapsed, along with access to the back of the house made it a difficult fire to contain. A ladder truck was brought in to battle the flames from above.
“They did an incredible job considering the circumstances,” Patino said.
In all, 25 firefighters were on scene, along with a chief officer and an investigator. Five engines and two trucks were called in.
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