Sober living facility in Bangor bursts into flames, fire spreads to grass

An early Monday morning fire in Bangor destroyed a house that served as a sober living facility.

Posted: Sep 27, 2021 9:48 AM
Updated: Sep 27, 2021 9:56 AM

BANGOR, Calif. - A fire destroyed a house that also served as a sober living facility in Bangor.

CAL FIRE said flames were first reported just before 2 a.m. Monday, on Drobish road near Pleasant Grove lane.

When firefighters arrived the building was already completely engulfed in flames, so it was too late to save the house.

"It sounds like this building was possibly built in the 1940s era, it was a single-story wood-frame residential structure," said Fire Captain Roy Skinner.

The fire also spread to some nearby grass, but firefighters were able to stop the forward progress at an eighth of an acre.

CAL FIRE said their concern was the threat to wildland because there was so much dry grass around the burned home.

"A lot of receptive fuels, this fire was throwing quite a bit of ember into the air and embers out into the fire itself with the wind carrying the embers," Skinner said. "Any of those embers that land in the dry grass could start another fire, we did have engines patrolling out in front to look for possible new starts from the ember cast off of this structure."

CAL FIRE also had a tough time fighting the house fire because of the low water supply so several water tenders had to come.

"Water supply is always a challenge and an issue in areas where there are no municipal water systems in place," Skinner said.

There were two people inside the house at the time of the fire both of them escaped unharmed.

It was not just a house, it was also a sober living facility, which neighbor Karen Copeland helped with as an employee.

"It was our primary main building for SLE (Sober Living Environment), we are a community outreach as well as veterans," Karen Copeland said. "We're here to help anybody in need, anywhere from homeless, drug addiction, etc."

No other nearby buildings burned. The cause is still being investigated by CAL FIRE.

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