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Fire officials investigate cause of Clearlake Oaks house fire

Fire officials Tuesday were still investigating the cause of a house fire that broke out Sunday night in Clearlake Oaks, prompting evacuations as it spread to four other houses and at least six outbuildings before firefighters put it out.

The North Shore Fire Protection District, which is leading the investigation, did not have a final estimate Tuesday on the damage caused by the blaze, but Battalion Chief Dave Emmel pegged it at over $2 million.

The five homes that caught fire were destroyed and are uninhabitable, Emmel said.

It was about 92 degrees in Clearlake Oaks when the fire started just before 6 p.m. along Second Street, officials said.

The first fire chief to arrive reported “heavy wind blowing embers through the town,” Emmel said on Tuesday, recounting the events of that night.

At least 50 firefighters responded to the blaze and “we pretty much had every agency in Lake County represented,” Emmel said.

Residents fled as flames spread through the neighborhood, gobbling up gardens and torching trees. Authorities evacuated everybody within two blocks of the blaze.

A utility pole caught fire and several power lines were knocked down by falling trees, wiping out electricity for much of the neighborhood, Emmel said.

Firefighters had the blaze under control by 10 p.m. and authorities allowed evacuees to return to their homes, he said. Nobody was injured.

You can reach Staff Writer Matt Pera at matthew.pera@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @Matt__Pera.

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