Veronica Soto, 19, said she and her mother had just returned from the store when they noticed the home at 2244 E. Las Palmas Ave. was on fire. Firefighters were dispatched at 3:21 p.m.
“The good thing is that no one was inside,” Soto said, wiping tears from her eyes. “Other than that, everything else is just material stuff.”
At first she was afraid her 10-year-old brother and 11-year-old sister may have been inside, but they were dropped off by the school bus closer to 4 p.m. Though two of the family’s three dogs were found near the fire, a Chihuahua named Princess was still missing as of 4 p.m. Veronica's father, Geronimo, and mother, Angelina, also lived at the home.
Though the fire caused substantial damage, it was mostly confined to a bedroom in the home, Patterson Fire Chief Steve Hall said. He said a heater unit appeared to be close to a pile of clothes, but he was still not sure of the cause as of 4 p.m.
Firefighters were able to salvage several electronic goods, though a treadmill, a bed and other furnishings inside the home appeared to be destroyed.
Family members did not request assistance from the American Red Cross.
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