Seven people were displaced after a two-alarm fire at a seniors apartment complex in Brentwood on July 4, the most severe of several blazes across Contra Costa County over a holiday weekend that fire officials said was not as bad as anticipated.

The displaced residents had safely escaped their apartments when crews arrived at the complex on Sycamore Avenue around 11:39 p.m., East County fire Battalion Chief Hugh Henderson said. Flames and smoke were coming from one of the units, and water and smoke damaged three others, he said.

The Red Cross was assisting all seven displaced residents in finding housing.

Crews brought the fire under control in 45 minutes. Investigators were investigating what caused the blaze, and considering the possibility that fireworks may have been sparked it, Henderson said.

"This had the potential to be a lot worse," he said.

In all, crews put out more than 30 small fires over the weekend in Contra Costa County, including one on July 4 in the 3500 block of DiMaggio Way in Antioch that damaged a house and car, Contra Costa fire Capt. Robert Marshall said.

"Overall, I think we dodged a bullet," Marshall said. "I think getting the word out (about fireworks safety) helped, and the confiscation of illegal fireworks helped. And frankly, the fact that the holiday fell on the weekend might have helped, because a lot of people left town."


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Homes in Pleasant Hill and Pittsburg were threatened Sunday but ultimately not damaged. The Pleasant Hill fire was in an area near Heritage Hills and Mohawk drives and burned about two acres around 5 p.m., Marshall said. That fire burned a shed and spread into the brush, Marshall said. Firefighters brought it under control within an hour.

Later Sunday, a vegetation fire burned off Ventura Drive in Pittsburg, near Glen Canyon Circle. That blaze spread up a hill after starting around 9:40 p.m. It eventually torched about three acres, Marshall said, but crews kept it from spreading to the nearby homes.

A two-acre brush fire along a canal off Bentley Street in Concord on July 4 was the only other notable blaze, Marshall said. That fire also was believed to be started by illegal fireworks.

No firefighters or civilians were injured in any of the blazes, he said.

Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rderh.Heritage Hills.