Apartment fire

A firefighter carries a child’s scooter away from the apartment that caught fire Saturday afternoon on Ransom Road in Weaverville.

A Weaverville family was displaced by a fire that destroyed their apartment Saturday afternoon.

The blaze at 190 Ransom Road was reported at approximately 1:40 p.m. Black smoke billowed from the upstairs apartment unit as firefighters worked.

Family members watched from the street, one of the children clutching a cat that had been rescued.

Damage was mostly contained to the unit where the fire started, Weaverville Fire Capt. Scott Alvord said.

The fire started in the master bedroom, Alvord said. “I don’t think we’ll find a cause. That room was so destroyed.”

The family had been home when the fire broke out but not in that bedroom.

“All the sudden they heard the smoke detector go off,” Alvord said, adding that the occupants tried to put the fire out using two extinguishers but couldn’t get to it.

After the blaze was knocked down, firefighters were able to rescue two cats that had remained inside. One was actually hiding under a bed in the master bedroom where the fire started.

“He looked in good shape,” Alvord said. “They’ve got nine lives I guess.”

He added that firefighters had quickly vented the building which reduced the heat inside and may have helped. It also shows that staying low in a fire can help with survival, he added.

A third cat had not been found early this week, but Alvord believes it escaped.

Firefighters were able to salvage some of the family’s food and possessions, but most were ruined by fire, heat and heavy smoke.

The apartment the family was in isn’t habitable, Alvord said, but those in neighboring units were able to return.

The American Red Cross was contacted to assist the family of five.

Weaverville Fire Chief Todd Corbett and other fire department members were away with a strike team working on the Camp fire, Alvord said, but there was still a good response to the apartment fire. There were eight firefighters from Weaverville, six from Cal Fire and three from Douglas City. Lewiston Fire responded as well but was canceled.

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