ORINDA -- Three people escaped a blaze Monday morning that partly collapsed a two-story house in the Orinda hills, fire officials said.

The one-alarm blaze at the house on Tarry Lane began just after 6:40 a.m., Moraga-Orinda Fire District spokesman Dennis Rein said. A resident sleeping downstairs awoke to the smell of smoke and saw flames coming through the outside deck.

The resident rushed upstairs and woke the other two, and all three escaped before part of the house collapsed, Rein said. A father, his adult daughter and another adult male lived in the house.

The home was built near a canyon and designed so that people could enter on the second floor. The deck hung over the canyon, according to Rein.

Crews were unable to get inside the house because of the thick brush in the area, and because the danger of further collapse, Rein said. Crews knocked down the blaze within an hour, but heavy smoke billowed past noon, and crews were expected to remain through the night to monitor hot spots and supress any new flames.

Fire investigators have not determined what caused the fire but said the blaze began outside the home near the deck. The residents had been doing maintenance on the property in preparation to sell it, but it's not known if that work was linked to the fire, Rein said.

The three residents found temporary housing with others and turned down offers of help from the Red Cross, Rein said.


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No other homes in the neighborhood were damaged, and nobody was injured fighting the blaze.

Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rderh.