Patterson Fire Department received a dispatch call at 4:10 a.m. regarding smoke in the area near Auto Zone, at 400 S. Second St., said Division Chief Jeff Gregory of the Patterson Fire Department. The home that was on fire was at 320 C St., less than a block away from the auto parts store.
Smoke was emanating from the eves of the home’s roof when firefighters arrived and quickly began coming through the roof itself, Gregory said. A fire crew entered the building to extinguish the blaze, but was later ordered to evacuate the abandoned residence when it became unsafe for firefighters to remain inside, he said.
The fire crew then focused its efforts on keeping the fire contained and protecting surrounding structures, Gregory said.
The blaze, which appears to have started in a back bedroom of the home, appears suspicious, Gregory said.
A nearby C Street resident, who would not give her name for fear of her personal safety, said Monday, Oct. 8, that she woke up to the smell of burning tar early Sunday. At first, she thought the smell was coming from her backyard before she noticed the firefighters responding to the fire across the street from her home, she said.
The neighbor said the home that caught fire had been vacant for quite some time after the prior owner moved away several months ago. In the past, youths have partied in the abandoned residence and have even torn up the surrounding fence, she said.
“They just riddled it is what they did,” she said.