A Riverside Fire Authority firefighter sprays down hot spots while an excavator is used to clean up what was left of a vacant structure that caught fire on the morning of Thursday, June 15, 2017, in the 1400 block of Alexander Street in Centralia. The early-morning blaze caused the roof of the abandoned house to completely collapse. According to RFA officials, the house was frequented by homeless people and officials said they couldn't completely rule out that there could have been someone in the house when it caught fire.

Roof Collapses as Fire Destroys Centralia Home

By The Chronicle

Four hours after neighborhood residents reported seeing a tree on fire in the 1400 block of Alexander Street in Centralia, crews were still on the scene Thursday morning using an excavator to remove a collapsed roof so they could extinguish smoldering fire beneath it, said Riverside Fire Authority Chief Mike Kytta.

The fire was first reported at 4:17 a.m. Thursday in the 1400 block of Alexander Street.

“When the first engine arrived here they actually found a vacant home that was fully involved in fire,” Kytta said.

The home was believed to be vacant and did not have power, according to the Centralia Police Department.

“They did not see anyone in the area,” Kytta said. “We’re not aware of anyone sustaining any injuries.”

The fire caused the home’s roof to collapse, he said. As of about 8:30 a.m., the intact roof was covering the interior of the house, obscuring fire that continued to smolder underneath.

“We have an excavator on site right now,” Kytta said.

Until the roof is removed and the fire underneath extinguished, crews will not be able to investigate the cause of the fire or confirm that the house was unoccupied, he said.