A house fire claimed the life of 88-year-old Willis “Bill” Bowers last Wednesday evening.
The report of a house fire was reported at an older manufactured home at 780 Jackson Street in College City just after 7 PM, said Arbuckle Fire Chief, Casey Cox.
“As I responded to the scene you could see the smoke all the way from Arbuckle,” said Cox.
Upon arrival, Cox said the fire was aggressive, and the home was fully involved.
“We had an initial report that a person was seen outside the home,” said Cox. “However, I could not find anyone upon arrival.”
Moments later firefighters arrived and began to battle the blaze.
“Neighbors were even trying to help with their garden hoses, to no avail,” said Cox.
Cox added that due to building materials and style of older manufactured homes it was difficult to contain the fire.
With water hoses extinguishing some of the fire, firefighters attempted to search the home for anyone who remained inside.
“We immediately started cutting into the side of the home in an attempt to locate the homeowner,” said Cox. “We were able to locate one victim and initiated recovery.”
According to Cox, the cause of the fire was undetermined. Sgt. Jose Ruiz of the Colusa County Sheriff Coroner’s office said the cause of death was chemical asphyxiation.
According to Cox, Bowers was a beloved member of the Arbuckle-College City community who enjoyed visiting with friends and locals for coffee each morning.■