ANTIOCH -- A sign that read "Ragtime Manor" still hung over the front steps of an older, green-trimmed Victorian home that went up in flames and left roughly $200,000 in damage in its wake late Wednesday afternoon.
The cause of the fire is still unknown, but the elderly woman who lives in the home did make it out safely. No injuries were reported.
Fire crews arrived at the home in Antioch's Rivertown district, located in the 400 block of H Street, around 5:20 p.m., and according to Contra Costa Fire District Battalion Chief John Kipp, the fire began in one of the rooms on the second story of the home and spread up through the attic.
The sole occupant of the home, Patti Geyser, was not home at the time of the blaze. Friend Leroy Crump, who lives across the street, said he called her about the fire.
A visibly shaken Geyser asked not to be interviewed, he said.
Crump described the inside of the home as being "very antiquey" and being full of memories, trinkets and collectibles. He shared a business card for "Ragtime Manor" describing it as being "a halfway house for Dixieland."
One of the first men on scene, 30-year-old Antioch resident Jerrod Allen, ran from where he had been detailing a car on H Street as part of his mobile detailing service business and into a neighbor's backyard, grabbed a hose and attempted to put out the fire before firefighters arrived. He was prompted by seeing people run into the home to see if anyone was inside, he said.
Two others joined him.
"We just reacted, just with hoses and some courage," Allen said.
Crews have contained the blaze, but remain on scene for clean up as dozens of residents look on, some taking camera phone pictures.
The estimated damage cost is $200,000, according to Kipp.
Check back for updates.