Sandra and Ron McCart were inside their home when the fire started.
Fortunately, the occupants and their dog Pecan Cowboy were able to get out safely.
Sandra is a local author who writes under the pen name Sandra Masters. The YLP resident is a member of the service organization Ladies of the Lakes (LOL), a group that helps to raise funds for their local fire department, Madera County Fire Station 10.
While working at her computer, Sandra heard a clap of thunder and suddenly the computer flashed several times; she was afraid there was lightning in the area.
Shortly thereafter, the house began to fill up with smoke. Sandra believes the fire started near their air conditioning and heating unit, which was not turned on at the time, and wonders if lightning didn’t strike the house.
Right next to that unit outside the house was a nice stack of firewood that Ron had recently cut. The fire spread to the wood and from there, it began to climb the wall in the garage area.
Sandra grabbed her cordless phone and found the line was dead. She then snatched up her cell phone, ran outside with Ron and called 911.
Firefighters arrived at the scene in short order, Sandra notes, but the fire spread to other rooms of the house and up into the attic.
Cal Fire and Madera County Fire responded, along with Madera County Sheriff’s deputies, PG&E and YLP security.
Sandra, Ron and their dog Pecan Cowboy were able to get safely out of the house and waited in their vehicle as they watched their 2,400 square foot home burn. Pecan Cowboy was just adopted yesterday from Mr. Wiggles adoption center in Clovis.
Though the home was not completely consumed by fire, the smoke and water damage is substantial. Ron and Sandra are nothing if not pragmatic, saying “at least we’re okay,” while blessing the firefighters who came to their aid.
The McCarts recently had to stop using propane to heat their house, when a hole under their propane tank caused it to tip. The tank had not yet been replaced, so the couple had to use their fireplace to heat the house. Hence, the stack of wood outside the garage. Ron had just cut that wood and stacked it. Remaining in good spirits despite the catastrophe, he quipped that, “the firewood burned really well.”
The fire was contained at approximately 4 p.m. and mop-up will take two-to-three hours.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.