Alert neighbor, smoke detector keep house from major fire damage
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By Dave Williams  March 10, 2014 10:56 am

The importance of having smoke detectors inside the home was never more clear than on March 8 when the sound of a fire alarm prompted an alert neighbor to call 911 even though no smoke or flames were evident.

The call concerning the home on Heath Circle in Rohnert Park came to the Rohnert Park Dept. of Public Safety at around 9:22 a.m. RPDPS fire engines responded and upon arrival checked the outside of the residents for signs of a fire. Inside, RPDPS found a working fire in the kitchen of the residence.

The fire had burnt up a side of cabinets and was moving across the ceiling. A full first alarm assignment was called for, bringing in additional RPDPS officers and engines from the Rancho Adobe Fire District and Rincon Valley.

Suppression techniques confined the fire to one side of the kitchen and prevented it from spreading inside the house or into the attic area. Damage from this fire has been estimated at around $35,000.

The residents were not home at the time of the fire, and their three dogs were cared for by a neighbor.

“This is a great example of why it is important to have working smoke detectors in our homes that are regularly tested,” RPDPS said in a press release. “If not for the quick actions and alert ears of a close neighbor, this fire could have gone undetected for an extended period of time, causing significantly more damage.”

The origin of this fire remains under investigation but preliminary information does not point to anything suspicious.

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