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Water heater, Christmas tree probable causes of two separate house fires

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Electrical wiring stemming from a water heater appears to be the cause of a fire that destroyed an Applegate home Thursday afternoon, according to Placer Hills Fire District Chief Ian Gow. While the home, owned by Carl and Cheryl Moore, was a total loss, Gow said fire crews were able to salvage a “great deal” of items located in the basement. “Firefighters did a great job protecting that area and getting a large number of personal belongings and items out of it,” Gow said. Crews responded to the fire at about 3 p.m. Thursday. The home is located off Lake Arthur Drive. On Friday, Gow said firefighters responded to a second house fire at about 10 p.m. The home, located in a rural part on Placer Hills Road in the Plum Tree area, was fully involved by the time crews arrived. Gow said crews were able to save a detached garage that held several belongings and a vehicle. The family was not home at the time of the fire. Gow said the home was “a total loss.” He finished his investigation Friday night and said a Christmas tree was close to the source of the fire. However, due to extensive burn damage, officials cannot confirm that the tree was the cause. -Jenifer Gee