House destroyed by fire in Northwest Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

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The fire started around 3:30 at the home ... located on Alluvial and San Pedro near the San Joaquin Country Club. The home is owned by Fresno developer Rod Deluca.

Thick black smoke and burning embers filled this Northwest Fresno neighborhood Thursday ... as dozens of firefighters worked to put out a raging house fire.

"So picture coming down Alluvial, you literally the sky was blocked out jet black, the flames were coming from the roof, coming from inside and the roof 40 or 50 feet."

The house was in the process of getting a new roof. Witnesses say they saw smoke billowing in the air around 3:30 ... and within minutes, the entire house was completely engulfed in flames. Fortunately, no one was inside at the time.

But, fire crews were forced to evacuate other homes in the area when flying embers landed on other roofs.

"When they get to be this big, it gets embers flying over. We had some wind coming from the north side of the house, it was coming from the neighborhood and we had a couple of spot fires start."

Well known Valley developer Rod Deluca has owned this home for 32 years. He lost everything in the fire ... except his mother's 1972 Chevy Impala.

"The only clothes I have are the clothes I have on and a little bit of cleaner, so it's not fun to think about it."

Despite his loss, Deluca remains positive. He developed the entire neighborhood. And just as he did more than thirty years ago ... Deluca says he plans to build a new home in the exact same spot.

"I subletted the whole area. The first house here and it will be the last one, so I'm not worried about it. I will be here."

Fire investigators have contacted the roofing company. No word on whether they were actually working on the home when the fire started. So, the cause is still under investigation.

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