Family’s 'dream home' up in smoke in Christian Valley blaze

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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A fire today in the Christian Valley area north of Auburn not only damaged a family’s house, it also punctured their dreams. Flames swept through a rear deck and moved through much of the one-story Ross Court house at about 6:30 p.m.. Brad Jones, who was having dinner in Sacramento with his wife, Trish, rushed to the house to find firefighters extinguishing flames on a blaze that left fire and smoke damage throughout. The home had been occupied since the early 1970s by Trish Jones’ mother, Joan McFarlane and her family. McFarlane died several months ago, leaving the house to family members. “This was going to be our dream home,” Brad Jones said, as both he and his wife brushed back tears. The fire was spotted by several neighbors. Cal Fire and Placer Hills firefighters were able to bring it under control within 30 minutes, said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Ray Wright. There was significant smoke and fire damage to the structure, he said. Brad Jones said that the family continued the homeowner’s policy after McFarlane’s death so the house was insured. Neighbors, cognizant of the impact of a spreading fire, were quick to alert others, said Arlea Johnson, a nearby resident. “Because of the 49 Fire, response was immediate and amazing,” Johnson said. “Instantly, people were knocking on doors and looking for neighbors’ dogs and cats.” No one was inside the home at the time of the fire. Investigators were continuing to work at the scene at press deadline and unavailable to provide a cause for the fire.