UPDATED with PHOTOS: Fire severely damages historic Craftsman-style home in Pasadena blamed on electrical problem


PASADENA — A fire that tore through a 110-year-old Craftsman-style home last weekend was sparked by an electrical problem, authorities said.
The single story home at 740 N. Michigan Avenue, caught fire about 9 a.m. Saturday, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said. The residents were away on vacation.
1019_NWS_PSN-L-HOUSEFIRE2The recently restored home has been featured on city historical tours, officials said.
“Neighbors called when they saw smoke through the roof,” she said. “On-scene, we saw heavy smoke and flames through the roof, so we took an offensive mode on the roof.”
But firefighters were forced to switch tactics when the roof began to lose its integrity and become “spongy” beneath their feet, Derderian said.
Firefighters got off the roof once it began to weaken and switched to a defensive stance, she said. “There was a partial roof collapse within minutes of us evacuating the roof.”
1019_NWS_PSN-L-HOUSEFIRE3Nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution.
Firefighters extinguished the fire in about 30 minutes, Derderian said. It caused an estimated$700,000 worth of damage to the home and it’s contents.
No firefighters or civilians were injured, she said.
The fire was determined to be electrical in nature, stemming from a malfunctioning exterior lighting system, Derderian said.
1019_NWS_PSN-L-HOUSEFIRE4According to the California Historical Resources Inventory Database, the 1.947-square-foot home in the historic Bungalow Heaven District was built in 1903 and is a designated historical site.

PHOTOS courtesy of Jamie Nicholson/Pasadena Fire Department

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