SANTA CRUZ - A fire destroyed most of a home at Emeline Street on Saturday night, but firefighters were able to keep flames from nearby homes and also rescued and resuscitated the homeowner's cat, Santa Cruz Fire said.
Firefighters were dispatched at 11:08 p.m. and arrived to find a home with "significant fire involvement," Battalion Chief Jason Hajduk said.
The occupants were outside and unhurt, Hajduk said.
Firefighters doused the blaze quickly but overhaul was challenging because plywood had been placed over the attic rafters to create extra storage space, and it was difficult to break through, and also added fuel to the fire, firefighters said.
The 18-year-old black and grey cat was unresponsive, but firefighters gave it oxygen and revived it and the owner rushed it to a vet, Battalion Chief Mike Venezio said.
Most of the home and contents were destroyed, Hajduk said. He estimated the loss at $450,000.
The home did not have a sprinkler system, Venezio said.
The accidental fire started in the kitchen, but it was not caused by cooking, Venezio said. Investigators believe the cause was either electrical or due to a malfunctioning appliance, he said. Investigators will be at the home, in the 700 block near Wendell Street, again Monday, he said.
Red Cross assisted the homeowners and Central and Felton fire departments helped combat the fire.
Santa Cruz police and American Medical Response helped as well.