Floor of Historic Sierra Nevada House Destroyed in Fire

Firefighters contained a fire that destroyed the second floor of the historic Sierra Nevada House in Coloma, reports

Despite the best efforts of more than 60 area firefighters, they could only salvage the first floor, which had minor water and smoke damage.Flames had already engulfed the second story by the time crews arrived shortly after 3 p.m. Monday.

“It’s horrible. It’s shocking. It hurts, it hurts,” said Cherie Davis, a bartender at Sierra Nevada House, who was still in disbelief as she watched firefighters mop up. “This place has been a huge part of everyone’s lives in this community, plus tons of visitors. It’s like the heart of Coloma.”

The Sierra Nevada House was “a way station for miners and tradesman” during the Gold Rush days, according to its website. 

Even firefighters who battled the fire felt something as they worked to salvage as much as they could of the building, including Michael Hardy, the head of the El Dorado County Fire Protection District.

“For me, fighting a fire when you see something like this, there is always a connection,” Hardy said. “I try to hold my emotions in check and try to take care of the business at hand.”

Watch footage from the fire here