Fire swept through a home west of Highway 99 early Wednesday as four residents scrambled to safety and firefighters rushed to keep flying embers from setting nearby homes ablaze.
The blaze erupted at 6:15 a.m., when a candle set fire to a blanket in the older house in the 3500 block of West Normal Avenue, near McKinley and Valentine avenues. Firefighters sped into a neighborhood cluttered with old cars, trailers, piles of trash and tall pine trees that hindered efforts to quell the blaze, according to Ron Stogdell, battalion chief.
A decision was quickly made to allow the home to burn because of danger to the firefighters.
Stogdell said the flying embers threatened to set the trees and clutter afire. Firefighters also faced the danger of live power lines on the ground. Fortunately, he said, there were no strong winds in the area like the ones which helped spread the massive Northern California wildfire.