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Space Heater Sparks 1-Alarm House Fire In Rodeo

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Fire crews at the scene of a 1-alarm fire in Rodeo.

Fire crews at the scene of a 1-alarm fire in Rodeo.

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RODEO (CBS SF) — A space heater appears to have been the source of a fire that  badly damaged a house in Rodeo and left the homeowner displaced Thursday  night.

A short time after 10 p.m., a 59-year-old man was apparently  locked out of his single-story home in the 700 block of San Pablo Avenue  after he went outside to look for his dog, according to Pinole fire  officials.

The man told fire investigators that he was able to see a fire  start from a space heater in the home’s front room, which spread quickly to a  sofa and adjoining room, fire officials said.

Neighbors called 911 and fire crews arrived on the scene a short  time later to find the house partially engulfed in smoke and flames, which  were headed toward a neighboring apartment building.

Firefighters used multiple hose lines to attack the blaze and were  able to control it in roughly 30 minutes, according to Pinole fire Battalion  Chief Brian Lowry.

The American Red Cross was called to provide housing assistance  for the displaced homeowner.

No injuries were reported.

The blaze caused an estimated $200,000 in damage, according to  Lowry.

The battalion chief said the fire serves as a reminder to exercise  caution when using a space heater.

Space heaters should be turned off if left unaccompanied or if the  person using them plans to go to sleep, and should be kept at least 3 feet  away from combustible materials, fire officials said.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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