Sharp eyes are being credited with catching a house fire in Blackhawk in time to save the structure. San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District spokesperson Kim French said just before 7:30 p.m. Thursday dispatchers received a call from a residence at 61 White Pine Lane.
French said the residents were outside in their back yard when they and their next door neighbors spotted smoke coming out of the attic. They quickly called in the blaze and firefighters were dispatched to the scene.
The first crew on the scene saw both fire and smoke in the attic area and pulled a second alarm, calling for more crews and equipment. French said a total of five engines, two trucks and one paramedic ambulance were dispatched to the scene.
Firefighters immediately entered the home and commenced containing the fire, which took about 45 minutes. Damage was limited to the second story and attic of the home. French said there was about $300,000 in contents and $600,000 in damage to the home.
No injuries were reported in the blaze and the cause remains under investigation.
Officials said that spotting the fire and calling 9-1-1 so quickly made it possible for crews to save the structure.
"The homeowners and neighbors activated the 9-1-1 emergency system very quickly," said Fire Investigator Natalie Kurtz. "Their quick action undoubtedly limited the damage to their home."
French said residents are reminded to call 9-1-1 as soon as possible in an emergency. She added that calling from a land line, 9-1-1 is the best way to make contact, but from a cell phone the quickest way to reach fire personnel is by dialing (925) 838-6691.
"Many people don't know that when they dial 9-1-1 from their cell phone, the call goes directly to the California Highway Patrol's dispatch center," French explained, "and then must be forwarded to the appropriate agency for a response."