Home lost in O’Neals vegetation fire

A 39 acre fire on Road 211 near North Fork Road (Road 200) destroyed the home of an area schoolteacher before being contained last week, Cal Fire staff said.

What started as a five acre vegetation fire about two miles from Spring Valley Elementary School May 27 quickly grew in strength as engine crews, water tenders, and air attack moved in to fight the flames.

The blaze, in the 24000 block of Road 211 in O’Neals, was first reported by Vanessa Sammons at about 2:50 p.m.

Sammons was not the owner of the house - she keeps cows on the land and was en route to check on them when she saw the smoke.

“I immediately turned around and dialed 911,” Sammons said. “We’ll see if the cows are okay.”

No injuries were reported.

A neighbor who rushed over to assist in the fire - and didn’t want to be named - said a teacher, possibly at Spring Valley, lived in the home, but wasn’t there at the time.

Several outbuildings and property such as bicycles, vehicles, and gardening equipment were also consumed by the flames.

Cal Fire engines and water tender crews, with support from the air, worked to prevent the fire from jumping across Road 211. It was contained at about 4:15 p.m, with hours of scheduled mop-up operations.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation Tuesday.