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Fire Damages Two Homes In East Redding

An East Redding house is considered a total loss after a fire Friday that spread to a neighboring house. The house is located toward the east end of Hawn Avenue near Goodwater behind the Crosspoint Church. It may have started from a Thunderbird parked in the carport. 9-1-1 callers said that there was a vehicle-related explosion that started the fire and that two people were trapped. Apparently there were no injuries and the explosion report is still under investigation. The primary issue with the fire was a natural gas line that ruptured on the wall of the house and sent a torch to the exterior. It took more than an hour for a PG&E crew to find where the underground gas line was so they could dig down and clamp it off. In the meantime, letting it torch out was by far the least dangerous option, according to Redding Fire Battalion Chief Chris Varnum. The fire also damaged a wall on the house next door. Red Cross is assisting the home’s residents with temporary lodging. This was the final incident under the command of Battalion Chief Chris Varnum, who is retiring.