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NEVADA CITY, Calif. January 27, 2021 – A vacant house on Broad Street in Nevada City was destroyed and an adjacent office building sustained substantial damage in a mid-morning fire.

Dispatch received numerous reports of flames and smoke seen in the vacant house and numerous engines arrived quickly at scene. “The fire spread very quickly through the whole house and was already 75% involved when we got here,” said Captain Sam Goodspeed. Grass Valley/Nevada City firefighters responded to the first alarm with Nevada County Consolidated Fire and Goodspeed said they focused on mitigating the exposure to the adjacent office building. That building has sustained substantial damage from the fire spreading to the attic and the side wall.

Shortly after 10:30 am on Jan. 27. Photo Buzz

One person of interest, a 32-year old Nevada City resident, is in custody. He is being held at the county jail on trespassing, second degree burglary and arson of an inhabited structure charges.

Fire investigators are at scene and will try to build a solid case with the help of video footage from several buildings and testimonies, Goodspeed said.

Debris removal is underway and will continue today and likely tomorrow. Then, the structural integrity of the damaged building will have to be assessed. The removal is complicated by a cellar under the destroyed building.

At publication time, firefighters were still checking for and extinguishing hotspots in the adjacent building. CAL FIRE, Penn Valley Fire Department and other neighboring fire departments assisted Grass Valley/Nevada City Fire, providing resources on the fire and covering the fire stations through the mutual aid agreement.

Broad Street will remain closed from Pine Street to the East and West Broad split for an extended period of time.

Nevada City staff issued this notice to residents:

“Fire crews utilized 7 hydrants which has impacted the water distribution system possibly causing brown or dirty water for customers and residents.  To remedy this, flush the line out into the bathtub or use an outside hose bib for 15 to 30 minutes or until clear. If the problem persists please call City Hall first thing (8am) tomorrow morning.  Crews are still cleaning up and may possibly be using hydrants for some time.”