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Mountain Ranch House Burns, Owner´s Body Found

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An afternoon blaze at a house near Mountain Ranch Saturday destroyed the structure, and authorities believe one of the home´s residents started the fire then took his own life.

Firefighters from the Central and San Andreas fire protection districts and ground crews and aircraft from the California Department of Forestry were dispatched to 9251 Mountain Ranch Road at 3:10 p.m. The home was fully involved when firefighters arrived, according to Cameron Todd, battalion chief with CDF.

“It was fully engulfed in smoke, and flames were seen under the eves and through attic vents,” Todd said. He said firefighters battling the conflagration searched the house as they doused the flames, but found no one inside.

Calaveras County sheriff´s deputies searched the entire property after fire personnel failed to find anyone inside the house. Initial reports stated someone might have been inside the home.

Investigators believe the owner, Troy Linenau, 70, ignited the blaze and then walked outside to a field near a pond on the property and killed himself.

Calaveras Enterprise story by Mike Taylor. For more Calaveras news, click: