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Clover fire: Man who died refused to evacuate, officials say

September 12, 2013|By Hailey Branson-Potts
  • Residents gather in Igo, Calif., as the Clover fire burns near the county landfill Monday.
Residents gather in Igo, Calif., as the Clover fire burns near the county… (Andreas Fuhrmann )

A man whose body was found this week within the perimeter of the Clover fire in Shasta County refused to evacuate as the fire moved closer to his home, officials said.

Authorities on Tuesday discovered the burned remains of Brian Stanley Henry, 56, while conducting a welfare check on rural Coal Pit Road, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday.

Henry lived in a motor home on property where his father lived in a house, said Mark Lillibridge, chief deputy coroner for the sheriff’s office.  Henry’s body was found within the motor home, which was destroyed by the fire, Lillibridge said.

The house on the property escaped damage, Lillibridge added.

“There were other family members there that did choose to evacuate, and he chose to stay,” Lillibridge said. “They urged him to evacuate.”

The coroner’s office is hoping to complete an autopsy this week, Lillibridge said.

The wind-driven Clover fire has been burning near the rural communities of Happy Valley and Igo, southwest of Redding, since Monday afternoon when it started near Cloverdale Road, officials said.

The number of homes destroyed by the fire more than doubled Wednesday to 68 after firefighters were able to better assess the area, said Cal Fire spokesman David Ballard. For most of the week, firefighters had thought the blaze destroyed 30 homes, he added.

“That was kind of a shocker to us,” he said Thursday.

The fire has also destroyed 128 outbuildings, and an additional 300 structures remain threatened by the blaze.

The Clover fire was 65% contained as of Thursday morning, and firefighters are hoping for full containment by Sunday, Ballard said. It has charred 7,993 acres, or about 12.5 square miles, he said. The estimated size of the fire has fluctuated as smoke clears from the area and firefighters are able to make more accurate maps of the blaze, he said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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