Illegal cooking setup sparks blaze | October 2, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Newsfront - October 2, 2009

Illegal cooking setup sparks blaze

Two-alarm fire results in $500,000 damage

by Geoff Gillette

A propane cooking arrangement set up in a garage is being blamed for a fire in a San Ramon home. Crews from the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District were called out to a home at 206 Arden Court shortly before 5 p.m. Sunday after both residents and neighbors reported the blaze.

The first crews on the scene reported the garage and second floor of the home heavily involved with fire. Fire District spokeswoman Kim French said firefighters immediately began an aggressive interior attack. A combination of factors hampered firefighters in getting the blaze under control.

"The extreme heat and complexity of this fire made it a challenge," said Battalion Chief Michael Brown. "The crews were able to knock the fire down and prevent the spread to neighboring homes."

The homeowners were there at the time of the fire and escaped with only minor injuries. French said one person was treated for minor burns but declined transportation to the hospital.

A total of six engines, two trucks, a paramedic ambulance and one breathing unit were dispatched to the scene as well as four chief officers and two fire investigators.

Investigators determined that the cause of the fire was a propane fueled cooking arrangement set up in the garage. Damage has been estimated at $400,000 to the structure and $100,000 in contents.

"We remind our residents to use approved cooking areas," said French. "It's also important to remain in the kitchen when you're frying, grilling or boiling food."

French said they recommend keeping a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen, and noted that adults must know how to use it. Information on fire extinguishers and fire safety can be found at