Historic Sierra Nevada House in Coloma engulfed in flames

The historic Sierra Nevada House in Coloma on Highway 49 erupted in flames Monday afternoon, forcing evacuation of customers and drawing mutual aid from firefighting crews throughout the area, a Cal Fire spokesman said.

The fire was reported at 3:05 p.m. and more than an hour later was still actively burning, said Cal Fire spokesman Brice Bennett. The Sierra Nevada House still has a restaurant but had stopped serving as a hotel, according to its website.

Bennett said all customers left the building without injury. One firefighter suffered a minor injury, he said, but he had no details.

“The second story was well involved with fire coming from all sides. We called for added resources and firefighters are actively engaged,” Bennett said more than an hour after the fire broke out.

He said there was no immediate word on how the fire started, and the cause will be part of a upcoming investigation.

Fire crews arrived to help fight the blaze from Garden Valley, Diamond Springs, Cameron Park, El Dorado County and Cal Fire, Bennett said.

The Sierra Nevada House is east of the south fork of the American River, less than a mile from the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. A sign in front of the structure says “Established 1850,” Bennett said.

The Sierra Nevada House was originally built as a hotel serving miners and tradesmen during the Gold Rush, according to its website. The hotel was destroyed by fire in 1902 but rebuilt soon after. It suffered a fire again in 1926 and was rebuilt in 1963.