Man dies in Penryn fire

By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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A 75-year-old Penryn man died in a fire in his home early Sunday morning, but his wife, Gretel Heinrichs was able to escape without injury. Fire units from Penryn, Loomis, Newcastle and South Placer Districts and Cal Fire responded to a house fire at 2:30 a.m. The house, located on Prairie Court off of Gold Rush and Butler Roads, was completely destroyed. “I lost everything,” said Gretel Heinrichs, who was on her way to a hotel room that had been arranged for by the Red Cross. With her was her Springer Spaniel, Sheba. The couple’s Rotweiler, Simon, also perished in the fire. The dog was found next to the body of Helmut Heinrichs, who was disabled. Gretel Heinrichs escaped through the sliding glass door in her bedroom, said Erika Wiesmann, a friend who came to help her at the scene. Wiesmann said Gretel Heinrichs was awakened at 12:30 a.m. by the smoke alarm. “She also lost her hearing aid, her eye glasses, even her driver’s license,” Wiesmann said. Two charred vehicles, including a Porsche, were in the burned-out garage. Cause of the fire is still under investigation, officials said.