Crime - Sacto 911

Woman and dog die in fire in “unpermitted” living space

A woman and a dog died Monday afternoon in a fire that officials said started in an “unpermitted” living space in the basement of a Grass Valley home.

Grass Valley firefighters and police responded about 12:13 p.m. to a report of a residential structure fire in the 100 block of Independence Court. They arrived to find smoke coming from several areas of a single-story house. Because of heavy smoke on the main floor, firefighters were not able to immediately locate the fire, according to a Fire Department news release.

They found what fire officials described as an illegal living space in the basement of the house and determined that was where the fire started. Fire officials said the basement’s single doorway was in the back of the home.

A female was located in the basement area and removed by firefighters; she was later pronounced dead at the scene, officials said. A dog also was trapped in the basement and died.

Fire officials said foul play is not suspected, but a joint fire and police team is investigating the cause and circumstances surrounding the fire.

Grass Valley fire crews were assisted by firefighters from Nevada County Consolidated Fire District and the Nevada City Fire Department.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy