The main floor of an old, two-bedroom Merced home was spared Thursday evening after a lit fireplace caused a fire in the attic, fire officials said.
Two male tenants in the home at the time suffered no injuries and are expected to be provided a place to stay through the Red Cross, Merced Fire Battalion Chief Brian Neely said.
A call of a residential structure fire was reported at about 5:50 p.m. in the 200 block of South Highway 59, Neely said.
According to a preliminary investigation, it appears a fire in the fireplace caused a fire up the chimney and into the attic, Neely said.
When firefighters arrived, they noticed smoke and flames billowing through the attic, he said.
There was no damage to the main floor except for areas of the ceiling firefighterd cut out to put out the fire, Neely said.
Residents Tony Sharp and James Woodhouse were watching TV with the fireplace lit when they said they noticed smoke and embers from the attic.
Sharp said he took a ladder to climb on the roof to check it oout while Woodhouse called 9-1-1.
"Tomorrow we'll have to talk about the insurance," Sharp said.