Sunday/Monday Fire Cluster Starts In Sunny Brae – June 20, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Melinda McCarin grieves the loss of her home as the fire is put out. KLH | Ee

Melinda McLarin grieves the loss of her home as the fire is put out. Photos by KLH | Eye

Kevin L. Hoover

Eye Editor

SUNNY BRAE – A family of three is without a home after a Sunday morning blaze that engulfed their house at 46 Crescent Way in Sunny Brae.

William McLarin told Arcata Firefighters he awoke this morning to his sister, Sydney, 7, yelling “Fire! Fire!” The two quickly exited the burning home. Their mother, Melinda, wasn’t home at the time. No one was harmed.

As firefighters attacked the flames, Melinda McLarin arrived home to behold the spectacle. “This isn’t happening,” she said in horror.

The family had lived in the home eight years, William said. Tears streamed down Sydney’s face as she wailed, “Our house is on fire!”

Arcata Fire doused the blaze, but the house was all but destroyed.

The McLarins lost everything in the fire, leaving the house with just the clothes they had on. One major plus was that Sydney’s cochlear implant, a $6,000 item, was recovered intact and returned to Melinda.

The first offering arrived even as smoke billowed from the home, when neighbor Darci Miranda brought shoes and clothing for the little girl.

A bedroom is extinguished.

Later that day, firefighters investigating the incident were able to salvage just a handful of severely scorched family photos.

Neighbor Katherine Lee at 1092 Buttermilk Lane, on the corner of Crescent Way, immediately agreed to accept relief donations. By Tuesday, Lee was overwhelmed with offerings of food, clothing and furniture. So much so that she and the McCarin family have asked donors to hold off on material items.

Most needed at this point are gift cards for food and housewares, which will allow the family to make choices once they have new living accommodations.

Those wishing to make cash gifts may donate to the McLarin Family Fund at North Valley Bank in McKinleyville.

The Sunny Brae fire was just one of three that the Arcata Fire Protection District had to deal with Sunday and Monday. The department issued this press release Monday:

Sunny Brae fire

The charred bedroom later that day.

Arcata Fire District personnel responded to three separate fires, two Sunday and one Monday.

The first, a house fire, started around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday morning inside a house at 46 Crescent Way.

There were two occupants at home at the time of the fire; a seven-year-old girl and her older brother.

After becoming aware of the fire, the 21 year-old brother attempted to extinguish the bedroom fire and then exited the house.

Neighbor Katherine Lee with just a small amount of the aid that the community has offered the newly homeless family. There’s so much that Lee’s house was overwhelmed, and other neighbors have agreed to store some of the items.

Firefighters arrived to find the house about 50 percent involved in fire and heavily charged with smoke. After determining that the house was unoccupied, they established a water supply from a nearby hydrant and used a large hose line to darken down the fire.

Once the fire was knocked down, they entered with a smaller hose line and completely extinguished the fire. There were no injuries to the residents or firefighters.

Damage to the house and contents is estimated at approximately $230,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Manila fire

At 4:05 p.m. Sunday, firefighters from Arcata Fire and Humboldt Bay Fire

responded to  a report of a commercial fire on Vance Avenue in the Manila area. Humboldt Bay Engine 8114 arrived and reported a vehicle on fire inside the small, dilapidated building.

Arcata units arrived and firefighters worked to extinguish the fire before it spread to the building. Fifteen firefighters responded to the call and there were no injuries.

The vehicle, an older model Buick sedan which was reported stolen earlier in the day, was completely destroyed. The theft is being investigated by CHP. The fire is being considered an arson and remains under investigation.

McKinleyville fire

Monday morning at 9:12 a.m., units from Arcata Fire District and CalFire responded to a fire involving a feller buncher at a logging site on Green Diamond property off Murray Road in McKinleyville. They arrived on scene to find that the piece of equipment, valued at an estimated $450,000 had been severely damaged. Firefighters operating Engine 8217 out of the

McKinleyville Station completed the job of extinguishing the fire with CalFire also proving assistance. The loss to the equipment is estimated at $300,000. No one was injured in the fire. The fire started when a hydraulic line failed and the fluid ignited.

In all three of these fires, automatic aid agreements worked to provide the fastest response by the closest available units in order to protect the community.

HCSO Press Release

The LeSabre’s final destination. Photos by Jack Durham | McKinleyville Press


On 06-17-2012, approximately 3 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a residential burglary which occurred in the 2100 block of Meadow wood Lane, Eureka.

When deputies arrived they met with the owners of the residence. They told the deputies’ unknown suspect (s) broke into their locked residence sometime during the last three hours while they were away and stole three rifles, two shotguns, two handguns, and numerous other items including electronics from the residence, along with their car a 1997 Buick LaSabre. The total loss is still being tallied by the victims but is estimated to be in excess of $10,000.

While the deputies were still on scene investigating the crime, they were advised the California Highway Patrol located the victim’s stolen Buick LaSabre in Manila, and that it was on fire.

Firefighters at the Manila blaze.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.


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