Firefighters go into burning home. Photo courtesy Toni Schairer
Photo courtesy Toni Schairer
LOOMIS, Calif. - A house fire resulted in tragedy for a Loomis family Sunday evening.
Fire crews say the fire started in the back of the home on Saunders Avenue around 5 p.m. Sunday.
Neighbors and responding fire fighters reported seeing black smoke coming from the home.
Once in the home, the fire department located a man in the front bedroom and his adult son near the front door. Both were unconscious.
Gerri Files said her brother, sister-in-law and nephew live in the home where the fire broke out. She first got the news when she heard it on a scanner. Then she picked up the phone and called her brother's home.
"When their answering machine didn't answer, I knew something was a matter," said Files.
Files said her brother, 63-year-old Thom Jorgensen, was a Vietnam War veteran and handicapped. He lost one leg and relied on the use of a wheelchair.
Jorgensen and his son Sean were immediately listed in serious condition with smoke inhalation. Thom Jorgensen was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
"There's more people who die from smoke inhalation than from flame contact," said Loomis Fire Chief David Wheeler.
The fire department says that the home did have functioning smoke detectors at the time.
Fire investigators were reviewing the evidence on scene. They said there was no indication there was any wrongdoing.
Wheeler said it was highly unusual for the fire to spread through the house so quickly before anyone could escape.