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Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Night Fire Damages Home

A late Sunday fire that destroyed a southeast Petaluma garage and rendered the attached home uninhabitable appeared to have originated in a area of the structure where residents smoke cigarettes, fire officials said.

Smoke alarms alerted the residents to the blaze at about 11:40 p.m. and allowed them to escape with help from Petaluma police officers before flames engulfed the garage and living quarters above the garage, Petaluma Fire Capt. Jude Prokop said.

Firefighters were dispatched to the River Pine Circle home at 11:43 p.m.

A woman was taken to Petaluma Valley Hospital with minor injuries sustained when she left the house, Prokop said.

Residential fire sprinklers and a dogged attack by Petaluma, Rancho Adobe, Cal Fire and Lakeville area firefighters contained the fire within about 15 minutes, he said.

The fire was limited to the first floor garage and some minor fire damage to a living space above the garage, Prokop said. The kitchen area received some water damage. The home was uninhabitable due to smoke damage.

The residents were staying with family, Prokop said.

Heat from the fire caused some damage to a neighboring home but the house was habitable.

Fire investigators’ preliminary analysis of the fire note that it appears to be accidental and originating in the garage where people are known to smoke cigarettes, Prokop said.

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