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Sonora Home Destroyed By Fire

A fast moving fire destroyed a 75 year-old three story home in Sonora early Wednesday morning.

The fire was first reported at 2:15 a.m. on Banner Drive in the city.

Fire Marshall Kary Hubbard says smoke detectors are being credited for getting the home´s two residents alerted that their Spanish style house was filling with smoke and on fire. They escaped without injury.

Sonora City Fire Chief Mike Barrows says a Sonora Police officer was first on the scene and made sure everyone, including two dogs were out of the burning building.

The vintage home, said to have been built around 1924, in is located in heavily wooded area. Hubbard says firefighters were able to keep the flames from spreading into the surrounding wildland. The heavy tile roof also kept embers from flying into the surrounding area.

Barrows says the home had been remodeled and the original exterior walls were covered with newer construction, leaving a 1 1/2-inch gap around the entire home. The fire spread from the basement into this open pocket and moved swiftly into the attic and roof.

According to Lisa Hines, the house was known as Alma Wolfe´s home, a long-time Sonora High School teacher, now deceased. The current owners of the home are Donald and Charlotte Frasier, whom also own a local senior board and care facility.

Officials say the home was filled with highly valuable antiques worth over 1/2 million dollars which were saved. The home is a total loss and damage to the structure and contents estimated at a 1/2 million dollars.

Fire is believed have been caused by a malfunctioning swamp cooler.