Fire destroyed an old Russian River area cabin Monday night, the home of a Camp Meeker woman and her young son.

What caused the fire couldn't be determined because of the extent of the damage, said Wes Kitchel, Sonoma County assistant fire chief.

"It's totally destroyed. They lost everything in the house," Kitchel said.

He estimated the loss of the 1,700-square-foot, multilevel rental cabin at about $170,000.

Resident Michelle Fico had gone to work a few hours before the fire and taken her 9-year-old son, so no one was home, Kitchel said.

Firefighters were told the Montgomery Street cabin could have been there since the late 1890s.

Once the fire took hold, it didn't take long for the wooden structure to burn. Neighbors called 911 at 8:17 p.m., saying they could see flames coming from the house.

The first engines, carrying Camp Meeker volunteers, arrived at 8:25 p.m., according to dispatch records. They found the old wooden cabin engulfed in flames.

Minutes later fire officials called for a second alarm, seeking additional help to keep the fire from spreading to nearby homes along the narrow lane.

Camp Meeker is a small west county community tucked into the redwoods along winding Bohemian Highway.

The home was about 200 yards up from the highway. While the roads are narrow as they traverse the canyon, fire engines had no access trouble and water from the community hydrants was sufficient, Kitchel said.

Firefighters responded with about six engines from the Camp Meeker,Occidental, Monte Rio and Cal Fire departments.

They had the fire knocked down by about 8:40 p.m. The last crews left the scene at about 1 a.m.

One home across the street had broken windows because of the heat. Otherwise the fire caused no damage to nearby residences, said Kitchel.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or

Resources To Help

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