CHINA — A fire destroyed a house early Friday morning near the head of China Lake, but the only resident was away at the time and no one was injured.

After a passer-by reported the blaze at 1:45 a.m., firefighters arrived to find that the floor and the roof were collapsing at the home on 16 Pleasant View Ridge Road, said Chief Tim Theriault, of the China Village Fire Department. However, they were able to stop flames that had spread to a detached garage about 10 feet away.

“It was a complete surround-and-drown,” Theriault said Friday morning, calling it “a crazy fire.”

The man who rented the home had left at some point before the fire started because of problems with its furnace, Theriault said. State investigators still were trying to determine the cause of the blaze late Friday morning, but Theriault said it could have been related to the furnace problems.

The home is owned by Susan Bailey, according to local tax records.

Firefighters from China’s three departments — China Village, South China and Weeks Mills — and from Albion and Winslow all helped extinguish the fire, Theriault said. They were at the scene until about 4:30 a.m.

Later Friday morning, Sgt. Joel Davis of the state fire marshal’s office said investigators were still trying to speak with the man who lived there and determine the cause of the fire.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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