EL SOBRANTE -- A 57-year-old woman was displaced along with her 19-year-old son from her El Sobrante apartment Monday after a fire broke out at her duplex while she was at work, authorities said.

Neighbors called 911 at 5:34 p.m. and reported heavy smoke coming from the duplex in the 2400 block of Diane Drive, Battalion Chief Brian Lowry said. Firefighters from the Richmond, Pinole and El Cerrito fire departments arrived and forced entry into the apartment after finding a room in the back of the apartment fully engulfed in flames.

While fire crews attacked the flames from the inside of the home, firefighters searched the apartment and found it unoccupied, Lowry said. Crews knocked down the flames and kept them from spreading to the adjoining apartment.

The owner of the duplex arrived shortly after and called the tenant, who was at work at the time of the fire, Lowry said. Fire investigators determined the cause of the fire to be an electrical malfunction.

While there were no reported injuries, the blaze caused $50,000 in damage to the home and its contents, Lowry said. The woman and her 19-year-old son are receiving temporary housing from friends.

Contact Erin Ivie at eivie@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/erin_ivie.



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