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Family and pets escape Loomis home blaze

By: Jon Brines Loomis News correspondent
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It had a fresh coat of paint, a remodeled kitchen and a new roof that was just about finished. Now the DuBois family will have to rebuild after fire gutted their Loomis home of 11 years. Larry, Karen and their son Jordan DuBois were home at the time of the fire on Aug. 17. “I’m shocked,” Jordan DuBois said. The 20-year-old Humphrey Road resident said he was in the front bedroom when his parents started screaming in a way he’d never experienced. “I heard my parents screaming and I thought my dog died or something like that,” DuBois said. “I came out and I saw the fire on the wall.” Dubois said the wall behind the barbecue on the back porch was on fire. “That was dinner — pork chops,” DuBois said. “ Igrabbed the fire extinguisher and I tried to put it out, but it just spread to the room, just like that.” DuBois said the fire quickly got out of control and everyone had to get out. They all survived without injury, including the family’s two dogs and two cats. Their next door neighbor saw the smoke and called 9-1-1. “It is terrible,” Martha Brumen said. “I saw them and I tried to help but my (garden) hose couldn't reach. I was standing here and I could feel the heat.” Fire crews from the Penryn Fire District were first on the scene within four minutes, according to Penryn Chief Mitch Higgins. Loomis crews, on another call at the time, joined crews from Newcastle, Placer, Rocklin and Auburn in the second alarm firefight. “We saw the sunrise and we were still putting out hot spots,” Loomis Capt. Darrell Jones said. Jones did not release damage estimates but said the house is a total loss. “If it is a small room content fire that burns straight up we can usually attack that good,” Jones said. “This one had the roof exposed. They were roofing it so there was plywood and lots of air circulating in there. (The fire) just took off.” Jones said while the official cause is still under investigation, homeowners can learn from the DuBois fire. “Those barbecues are not made for zero clearance. You have to have them away from anything, at least two feet,” Jones said. Fire crews helped the DuBois family pull furniture out. The next morning Jordan Dubois’ girlfriend, Jessica Norman, who also lives there, was searching for eight of her Salvador Dali-esque paintings. “I am sad about these paintings, they took me a really long time to paint them,” Norman said. “This one has a hole in it.” Norman said even with the destruction she’s happy everyone got out alive. Jordan's brother-in-law, Corey Rahm, put on his firefighter boots and turnout gear which he last used in Afghanistan in 2001 when he was a firefighter in the military. “We're just trying to look for anything we can save,” Rahm said. “They have two piles and that’s about it.” Rahm digs in the former garage area next to a burned out Ford Mustang that use to be silver but now is black with its tires blown out from the fire. He holds up a charred black mass, remains of a round skill saw. “I don't think that’s going to make it,”?he said. “I just put this saw back in the garage yesterday.” The family saved photo albums, intact but water logged. They're hoping to dry them out and rebuild their home to make new memories together. Right now they’re staying with family. “We have insurance,” DuBois said. “We'll take it day-by-day.”