NEWARK -- Candles left burning in a religious prayer altar sparked a one-alarm blaze that caused about $80,000 in damage Friday morning at a Newark home, authorities said.

No one was injured in the fire that broke out at 8:22 a.m. inside a two-story home in the 36000 block of Haley Street, Alameda County Fire Department spokeswoman Aisha Knowles said.

A man and a woman, who live in the five-bedroom house with a few other family members, were sleeping upstairs when they woke up to the smell of smoke in the home, Battalion Chief Alan Evans said. They escaped without injury, Evans added.

No one else was home.

Firefighters arrived and saw smoke coming out of the eaves and the vents, Evans said.

Fire crews had the fire under control in about 20 minutes.

The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental after investigators learned it started in a prayer room located on the first floor of the home and then spread to the second floor and the attic.

Evans said candles left burning in a prayer altar in a locked room were to blame.

The fire caused about $80,000 in damage to the home and the family's personal property.



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