An electrical short in some wiring in the ceiling of a basement closet ignited a fire that heavily damaged a house in Riverside this morning, officials said.
The fire was reported at 7:53 a.m. at 1014 N. Litchfield, Fire Capt. Stuart Bevis said. The 81-year-old woman who lives there had gone for a walk, and when she returned she saw smoke coming up from the basement.
When fire crews arrived they found fire in the closet of a basement apartment where the woman's grandson lived, Bevis said.
Because the enclosed space is next to the heating and air conditioning unit, he said, heavy smoke from smoldering clothing was vented through the house. That means much of the house suffered heavy smoke damage.
The damage was set at $45,000, with $30,000 for the structure and $15,000 for contents.
No injuries were reported.