Gasoline Fueled Barbecue Sparks House Fire

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A San Pablo home suffered extensive damage Saturday afternoon after a resident started a barbecue with gasoline and then left it unattended, sparking a fire in his garage, Contra Costa County fire officials said.

    The fire in a single-story home at 2911 15th St. was reported just after 4 p.m., according to Battalion Chief Brian Lowry.

    Firefighters responding to the scene found the garage already heavily involved in flames and smoke, and the occupant outside attempting to put out the flames with a garden hose, Lowry said.

    The occupant told firefighters no one was inside. Firefighters fought the fire, which had extended into the interior of the house, for around 20 minutes before it was extinguished.

    Investigators later determined that the resident, a 33-year-old man, had started a barbecue just outside the open pedestrian door to his garage, using gasoline as a firestarter.

    He had then left the fire unattended, and returned to find flames spreading to the garage door, Lowry said.

    The resident tried unsuccessfully to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher and garden hose. A neighbor called 911, Lowry said.

    The fire caused an estimated $90,000 in damage. There were no injuries, but two occupants were displaced.