POLLOCK PINES, Calif. (KTXL) — A generator sparked a house fire Tuesday as it was being used by a Pollock Pines couple who lost power during Pacific Gas and Electric’s preemptive outages.
It looked like a regular day around the Bethel household but they only had power thanks to a generator. Even at a gas cost of $75 per day, Julie Bethel said she was grateful to have found that kind of power to let her enjoy most of the comforts of home during PG&E’s power shutoffs, which started Saturday.
But her area of Pollock Pines went into another round of disconnect Tuesday thanks to more red flag conditions.
Bethel and other neighbors in Gilmore Estates were still running their generators Tuesday afternoon, a practice that turned tragic for one elderly couple on Barrett Pass Road.
Their home in the woods was destroyed in a fire thought to be sparked by their generator.
The couple made it out unharmed but did not want to talk about what happened.
Bethel and her adopted son, Isaiah Williams, were stunned and scared when they saw thick smoke rising from the next street and drifting their way.
“I mean yeah, I was like, ‘Well, if we have to get out of here then we’re going to get out of here ‘cause it’s right there,’” Williams said.
But it never had to come to that.
Life under such direct fire threat was a new thing for the Bethels, who moved to the foothills just three months ago from South Sacramento.
“This I would take any day over having to deal with a fire,” Bethel said. “It’s inconvenient and I feel terrible about complaining about it when you see what’s going on down in Santa Rosa and the wine country, but it has to be done I guess.”