No cause yet for fire that destroyed Roberts home

ROBERTS — The state fire marshal’s office is investigating a fire Saturday that destroyed a home in Roberts.

An estimated 20 to 30 firefighters from Melvin, Roberts and Buckley were called at 12:45 p.m. Saturday to the two-story home at 219 N. Main St., according to Capt. Rick Flessner of the Roberts-Melvin Fire Protection District.

The house was fully engulfed upon arrival, Flessner said.

Flessner said the cause of the fire remains undetermined. An investigator for the fire marshal’s office was to arrive at the scene Monday, Flessner said.

Living in the home was Louis Barbosa, whose son and daughter-in-law and grandchildren were also staying there temporarily, Flessner said. Barbosa was the only one home at the time the fire started, Flessner said.

“He was outside in the front yard working on a pickup truck when the front windows blew out of the house,” Flessner said.

Flessner said the fire apparently started on the first floor and then spread to the second floor. Firefighters were unable to determine what caused the fire, but he speculated it might have had something to do with the age of the electrical wiring in the 80-year-old home.

The home sustained water, smoke and fire damage and is believed to be a total loss, Flessner said.

Barbosa is temporarily staying with family, Flessner said. The Roberts Area Food Bank has provided him with a supply of food, and a “community outreach” for Barbosa is being planned, Flessner said.

“Nothing is set up, but there will be news about what folks can do to help,” Flessner said. “There are plans in the works.”

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areader wrote on December 19, 2011 at 7:12 pm

My family and I are sorry to hear of a bad fire in a home so near to Christmas.  Prayers for those folks affected by this tragedy.  We are glad no one was hurt and know that there are kind folks in our area who will be helpful.  God bless.