Fundraising underway for Danville worker who lost home in apartment fire

Owners of Esin Restaurant & Bar launch online support page for employee

The local community is coming together to raise funds in support of a Danville restaurant worker and single mother of three whose home was destroyed by a fire in a Concord apartment complex Monday afternoon.

Esin and Curtis deCarion, owners of two restaurants in Danville, started a GoFundMe donation drive to support Sonia Garcia, who works at their Esin Restaurant & Bar on Camino Ramon.

The "Sonia Garcia Fire Fund" page, listed as trending on GoFundMe, had raised more than $11,400 as of mid-afternoon Wednesday -- eclipsing the page's $10,000 goal in just about a day.

"Sonia needs to replace everything," Curtis deCarion said on the GoFundMe post. "The funds will be used for her to restart her life. Sonia needs to purchase clothing, furniture and household goods. She also needs to find a place to live."

"We would be so appreciative of any amount to help Sonia and her family in this time of need," he added.

Garcia works two jobs to support her family as the single mother of children ages 4, 11 and 16, according to the deCarions.

The fire that ignited in the Concord apartment complex displaced 25 people and caused nearly a half-million dollars in damage, according to a Contra Costa County Fire Protection District spokesman.

Two units were destroyed by fire and six others in the eight-unit building were damaged by smoke and water, fire marshal Robert Marshall said. The damage was estimated at $460,000.

The fire appears to have started near a heating unit and an electrical outlet, but the cause has not been determined, Marshall said.

Crews responded to the fire in the 1600 block of Laguna Street a little before 2 p.m. and arrived at the complex to find heavy fire in downstairs units, Marshall said.

Two people had to be rescued from an upstairs balcony because the fire had cut off their only avenue of escape. They were treated for minor injuries at the scene and then released. A 5-year-old girl was taken to a hospital with minor smoke inhalation injuries.

Crews brought the two-alarm fire under control by 2:40 p.m. The blaze is not considered to be suspicious.

In addition to Esin Restaurant & Bar located in the Rose Garden Shopping Center at Camino Ramon and Sycamore Valley Road, the deCarions also operate Revel Kitchen & Bar on Hartz Avenue in downtown Danville.

Editor's note: Information from the Bay City News Service was used in this report.

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