Granite Bay, Calif. — The Sacramento Bee reports
that Summer Sanders, a champion Olympic swimmer and television show host, lost her childhood home to a fire early Saturday night.
Neither Sanders nor her family were in the home at the time of the all-consuming blaze. The house in Granite Bay was found to be fully engulfed in flames at 6:40 p.m. Firefighters described the home as “in an envelope of flames” when they arrived.
Sanders’ father, Robert Sanders, said the house was a complete loss, with a monetary value of $1 million in assets lost to the fire.
He was more heartbroken that many of Summer’s childhood articles were destroyed. “How are you going to ever replace trophies and medals of your children’s accomplishments?” Robert Sanders told reporters.
Summer was thankful that no one was hurt, but she agreed with her father. “I’m sure they’ll be things that just won’t ever be able to be replaced.”
Although the cause of the fire is still being investigated, Robert Sanders believe it came from combustible chemicals. He claimed that he had thrown out a number of paint cans with combustible chemicals into a trash can next to his garage. When they ignited, the chemicals instantly lit up the home which was surrounded by 3 Ã?Â½ acres of dry woodland. Robert Sanders built the home in 1980.
Summer Sanders was in the Roseville, California area on Saturday when the accident happened. She was visiting her eponymous aquatic complex that was opened in 1995.
“Somebody turned and looked in the sky and there was just huge black smoke…and as we started driving we realized that that was it,” said Sanders to reporters.
Sanders first gained notoriety when she won three gold medals during the 1990 Goodwill Games. She won four medals in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics; those include a bronze medal for the 400 meter individual medley, silver for the 200 meter individual medley, a gold medal for the 400 meter medley relay and gold for the 200 meter butterfly. She won Swimmer of the Year awards while attending Stanford University.
Since retiring from swimming, Summer has been seen in numerous television programs, most notably as co-host for the show NBA Inside Stuff. She was in the movies Broken Record and Jerry Maguire. She is married to World Cup skier Erik Schlopy. They have one child together.
Crystal Carreon, “Summer Sanders’ family home burns”, sacbee.com, http://www.sacbee.com/101/story/214683.html