Metal grinding led to evening fire

Residents displaced after home suffers ‘substantial’ damage
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
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A spark from a metal grinder led to a fire that consumed an Auburn backyard and caused “substantial” damage to the home Wednesday evening. A resident of a home on the 4000 block of Grass Valley Highway in Auburn was reportedly using a metal grinder when a spark from the machine fell to the ground and started to smolder. That initial spark caused a fire that required six engines and three water tenders to put it out, according to Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Brand. The backyard was filled with a variety of items including abandoned cars, small engines, tires and more that caused a dark black cloud of smoke to rise from the home, Brand said. Incident Commander Ray Wright added that one bedroom and a storage area as well as several outbuildings were deemed a “total loss.” The home’s five residents were not allowed to return to the residence after the fire was extinguished at about 9 p.m. Wednesday, Brand said. Brand reported that American Red Cross staff members were helping relocate the residents. Wright cautioned that anyone using equipment in a wild land or near flammable or combustible items should maintain clearance and stay near the area for at least half an hour after work is complete. He also suggested keeping water or a fire extinguisher nearby. “The message we need to take away from this is you need to use extreme caution when grinding in an open area,” Brand said. The Journal's Jenifer Gee can be reached at or post a comment.