LAFAYETTE -- An early morning house fire that caused $50,000 in damage to a Lafayette home Monday was started by a space heater in the basement of the house, the fire marshal said.
Crews responded to the 800 block of Hope Lane about 2:55 a.m. after a caller reported smoke coming from a home, Contra Costa Fire Marshal Lewis Broschard said.
The first engine to respond was too heavy to cross a bridge over Las Trampas Creek, and firefighters had to stretch the hose from the engine to a hydrant, and then up a long driveway to the house, Broschard said. The fire was knocked down within about 20 minutes of the call.
The fire started when belongings in a basement storage area caught fire from a space heater that was too close to the items, Broschard said. All of the people living in the home, along with their three cats, escaped from the residence uninjured.
Damage to the home was estimated at $50,000, not taking into account damage to personal belongings stored in the basement and garage, Broschard said. The fire did not spread beyond the basement, but the entire house was damaged by smoke.
The Contra Costa County Fire District urges residents to only use space heaters under the manufacturer's recommendations for clearance to combustibles, Broschard said. Space heaters should never be operated within three feet of combustible items.
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