CHICO — An attempt to remove spider webs ended with a charred home at about 1 p.m. Saturday.
Eiliya Maida used a propane blowtorch to clear cobwebs in the backyard of his 811 Coit Tower Way home before dry plants ignited and started an attic fire, said George Basbous, Maida’s brother-in-law. While Maida went into the front yard unaware, Basbous noticed smoke rising from the top of the house.
“And that’s when I went crazy,” Basbous said.
Maida’s wife, Jiana Maida, and their two infant boys were outside by the time the fire had spread, and no injuries were reported.
Basbous called 9-1-1 and emergency responders were dispatched by 12:55 p.m.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze by cutting a hole in the roof to draw the fire upward, said Chief Keith Carter of Chico Fire. Without the hole, the fire would have “mushroomed” and spread farther sideways in the attic.
Damages totaled $25,000 and also left the family displaced because of destroyed electrical wiring, Fire Inspector Marie Fickert said. The family is currently without insurance.
Smoke detectors didn’t set off until 5 minutes after Basbous called 9-1-1, most likely because the fire was either outside or above the detectors until smoke reached them, she said.