REDLANDS - Neighbors and passersby were clustered in front of almost every home on the block watching a fire engulf and destroy a two-story home on Wednesday morning.
Redlands firefighters arrived at 315 Sonora St. after receiving a call at 7:38 a.m., said city spokesman Carl Baker.
The roof collapsed at 8 a.m and the fire was knocked down by 9 a.m., authorities said. It's likely the fire was burning in the interior walls for some time before it was detected, Baker said
Damage was estimated at $300,000 to the structure and $50,000 to the contents. Cause is believed to be electrical, Baker said.
Shaina Turian, who lives two houses to the south, had a perfect view of the blaze when she looked out her window after hearing sirens.
Emilie Gleisberg, the neighbor to the north of the home that burned, was alerted by a "good Samaritan" driving down the street who pulled over and banged on Gleisberg's door.
"I was getting ready for work and someone was spastically knocking on my door," Gleisberg said.
Gleisberg went outside. Another neighbor thrust into her arms a small black dog rescued from the second floor of where the fire appears to have started.
A 17-year-old boy who was one of two upstairs tenants later sat watching his home burn with that dog in his lap. He had been called at school when the fire began.
A cat hiding under a bed on the first floor was also rescued.
About 20 firefighters, including two battalion chiefs - and a Rancho Cucamonga firefighter who lives in the area and was en route to work with his gear with him - were on scene for about an hour. Sonora Street was blocked to traffic from about 7:45 to 8:45 a.m.
The landlord, Dave Nollar, said he thinks the house was built in 1904. It was divided into rental units, one upstairs and one down.
"I was born and raised on this block," Nollar said. "I've known all the people who've lived there for 65 years. That was old Mrs. Blesch who used to live there. I played with her grandson."
Nollar bought the house from the Blesch estate 25 years ago.
"I know we're in for a long struggle to build it back," he said.