Dash Cam Captures North Bay Explosion

Firefighters battled an explosive fire at a small cafe in Novato early Thursday morning.

While battling the flames, firefighters noticed the temperature in the building beginning to rise and exited the building about 40 seconds before a loud explosion rocked the cafe.

The explosion was the result of a flashover, a combustion caused by heat buildup inside a confined space,  district spokeswoman Sandy Wargo said.

The incident commander captured footage of the explosion through his dashboard camera in his car.
The fire was reported shortly after 4 a.m. by a police sergeant who smelled smoke in the area of Grant Avenue Cafe.

Firefighters had the fire under control by 4:40 a.m. No injuries were reported, Wargo said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, although it appeared to have started near the back of the cafe.

The cafe did not have a sprinkler or alarm system. If it did, Wargo said, "people might have been eating lunch there this afternoon."

There is no estimate yet on the cost of the damage, but Wargo said it was mostly confined to the cafe. Russeau's Fine Art Framing, a business next to the cafe, sustained minimal smoke and water damage, she said.

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