SAN PABLO -- Two San Pablo residents were in need of new housing but otherwise OK after the attempt by one of them to barbecue ended in a garage fire, a battalion chief said.
The near tragedy started around 3:05 p.m. on Saturday, while rescuers from Richmond Fire District were on scene of a vehicle wreck, Batallion Chief Brian Lowry said. Once rescuers determined nobody was injured in that wreck, rescue personnel were sent to the garage fire in the 2900 block of 15th Street, Lowry said.
The first rescuers to the single-story residence found a 33-year-old man outside trying to spray water from a garden hose on the flames, and they saw heavy smoke and flames coming from the garage, Lowry said. His roomate was not in the house, Lowry said.
The fire moved into the back of the house and through the living area, and crews needed 20 minutes to bring it under control, Lowry said. The resident who started the barbecue just outside a side door to the garage said he used gasoline to help start the wood fuel, left the barbecue unattended for a few moments and returned to find flames entering the garage door, Lowry said.
A neighbor called 911 as the man tried to use a fire extinguisher and garden hose to stop the fire, Lowry said.
Investigators estimated that $90,000 in damages were done in the blaze. Nobody was injured. Red Cross was called to provide temporary housing for the two residents living there.
Rick Hurd covers public safety. Contact him at 925-945-4780 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.