Unoccupied Burney home that burned last April burns again

BURNEY — Officials are investigating a suspicious residential structure fire that erupted yesterday at an abandoned Burney home less than half mile from Burney’s Fire Station 17. The home, at 36764 Woods Ave, near Oak St. and behind Pit River Mini Mart, previously caught fire and burned in mid-April.


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A firefighter takes a break to hydrate while battling yesterdays residential structure fire. Randy Hale photo

Burney Fire Protection District, Shasta County Sheriff’s Department, and other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the home around 6:30 p.m., after receiving reports of the fire.

911 callers reported seeing heavy black smoke and flames billowing from the already burnt out and destroyed home and that flames were threatening surrounding structures and properties.

When fire officials arrived they found an older, wood framed house toward the dead-end of Woods Avenue on Burney’s west side of town burning.

Firefighters made an aggressive attack on the fire, even as spotter planes flew overhead, updating firefighters on the ground regarding the fire’s rate of spread.

Although the fire was quickly contained, the suspicious blaze has left many area residents speculating about the cause of the many recent fires in and around Burney.

Area resident Randy Hale, who took a number of photographs of this fire – which he later shared with SCNS for this report, later explained he was snapping photos of the firefighting efforts when he captured a powerful photo showing an exhausted firefighter re-hydrating as the stubborn fire burns in the background.

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“I didn’t realize it when I took this picture, maybe I kind of take it for granted or assume it’s just part of the job being part of the fire service family for so long,” Hale explained.

“After taking a short break and hydrating he went right back to work,” continued Hale. “It just shows that those that work in public safety will go above and beyond to do what it takes to protect and serve the public and the community to the best of (their) ability no matter what they have going on in (their) life.”

There were no known injuries related to the fire.

Firefighters are still working to determine the cause of the blaze and their investigation is ongoing.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.

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Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 47, recently moved to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 14 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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