MOUNTAIN VIEW -- A man trying to start a fire in his fireplace early Sunday sparked a blaze that went out of control and destroyed his home, authorities said.

Firefighters received a call of flames in a single-family home in the 700 block of Sonia Way around 3:30 a.m. and arrived on scene approximately five minutes later to find the house completely ablaze, said Mountain View Fire Department spokeswoman Jaime Garrett.

The resident managed to escape and was not injured, but by the time firefighters knocked down the fire just before 4 a.m., the home was totally gutted. No dollar estimate of damage was immediately available.

Garrett said the resident tried to start a fire in the fireplace, which spread to items inside the house. She said the tragic case is a reminder for people to take special care with heat sources in the winter. One tip is to keep a three-foot space between heaters or fireplaces and flammable materials.

Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.



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