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Fire torches ‘hoarding’ house near Citrus Heights border; body found inside

house fire, hoarder house
Metro Fire and Roseville Fire Department crews responded to the scene of a house fire on the northern border of Citrus Heights, Tuesday. Police confirmed a rifle resting on a hood of one of the vehicles outside the home was a toy gun. // CH Sentinel

Updated May 13, 7:01 p.m.–
Several dozen firefighters and numerous emergency vehicles lined up along a small side street off Twin Oaks Avenue after flames erupted inside a known hoarder house Tuesday. Authorities said one body was found inside.

Residents reported seeing plumes of smoke around 4:30 p.m. on the 8500 block of Robie Way, located one house outside the Citrus Heights border in Placer County. It was extinguished about 30 minutes later, according to Placer County Sheriff’s Sgt. John Gloor.

As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, Gloor said Arson Task Force investigators had set up spotlights at the site and had just begun an investigation. He said the identity of the person found inside was unknown, but said the home is known to have a sole male occupant.

The sergeant described the home as a “hoarding type situation” with a history of code enforcement involvement. Items and trash could be seen piled outside the home, and at least three older vehicles and a refrigerator taking up the front driveway, along with tall dry weeds. He said the amount of items hoarded inside the home also “complicates and slows down” the investigation and made it more difficult for firefighters searching for possible victims inside and seeking to extinguish the fire.

“There is one fatality so far that we’ve been able to tell,” Gloor said on Tuesday night. “There’s just so much stuff in there, that’s what we need to verify… it appears to be one, but we won’t know ’til we sort through everything.”

Damage to the home was described as “not a total loss,” with the roof remaining in tact and the garage appearing largely undamaged inside.

Gloor also said the home’s location on a dead-end street on the border of Roseville and Citrus Heights created jurisdictional complications for emergency responders, resulting in four different agencies responding to the scene.

Citrus Heights Police Sgt. Wesley Herman said CHPD initially responded to the scene, but later determined the home was located just outside the department’s jurisdiction in Placer County. Although the home has a Roseville address, it lies in a small unincorporated portion of Roseville that is under the Placer County Sheriff and South Placer Fire jurisdictions, rather than Roseville police or fire.

Update: Sgt. Gloor was not able to be reached Saturday for an update, but the Roseville Press Tribune reported Wednesday that a sole body of a man had been located inside the home.

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