Marin County

Structure Fire in Marin County Leaves 1 Dead, 1 Injured

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A structure fire in the Sleepy Hollow area of Marin County left one person dead and another injured Monday, firefighters said.

Flames were reported at a residence on Dutch Valley Lane around 4:20 p.m. and fire crews were able to contain them in about an hour.

One person was found dead inside the home and another was transported to the hospital due to smoke inhalation.

A dog also suffered unknown injuries, firefighters said.

“This fire is adjacent to Hillsides in the back of Sleepy Hollow, a wooded area but there’s great defensible space around the property, the Triple C Ranch, which certainly helped,” said Jason Weber, Ross Valley fire chief. 

Firefighters spent the night there, knowing that the fire is out but the threat of a stray spark igniting the hillside remains.

Early Monday morning, a fire sparked at Vasco Restaurant in downtown Mill Valley, a part of town that lost electrical power Sunday night due to the PG&E power shutoff. But Vasco had power from its generator, being used for the first time.

“It was the only place powered up in downtown Mill Valley,” said Paul Lazzareschi, who was affected by a previous power shutoff that cost him tens of thousands of dollars in lost business and food. So to prevent that from happening again, he spent $7,000 on a generator. 

On Monday morning, he got a call that his restaurant was smoking.

“I saw smoke and flames so I got out my fire extinguisher that I had not used in 40 years of business and I put the flames out and called 911,” he said.

The restaurant suffered $10,000 in damage and will be closed again for maybe a week. The problem, ironically, was the generator that was supposed to be the solution.

“What the fire department said was the generator was too close to the wall and heated up the wall so much, some of the timber inside the wall caught fire,” said Lazzareschi.

Lots of people lost food during Sunday night's outage, but help is on the way in Marin County. 

The San Francisco Marin Food Bank will give out free food for victims of the shut down, Tuesday morning at the Boro Community Center in San Rafael and on Wednesday at the Northgate Mall. All residents have to take is their ZIP code.

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