1 dead, another injured in Blackhawk house fire

The two-alarm fire in Blackhaw burned mostly on the second floor of the home. (San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District)
June 23, 2010 9:48:46 PM PDT
Investigators are searching for the cause of a deadly fire in the Contra Costa community of Blackhawk that killed a 19-year-old man and left his father in serious condition.

The fire was reported at approximately 11:15 p.m. Tuesday at a 5,200-square foot, two-story home on Deer Meadow Drive. Both of the victims were found in their respective second floor bedrooms. When firefighters arrived on the scene, both were overcome by smoke inhalation.

The call went out as an alarm from a fire alarm company. Because of the size of the fire, the first firefighters on the scene had to call for additional help.

"Once other crews arrived on scene, they knew that there was probably people home. There were cars in the driveway, lights on in the house, along with all that fire," said Chief Richard Price with the San Ramon Valley Fire District. "Crews made entry and made one rescue. [They] took one unconscious male out of the house."

The unconscious male was flown to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and is being treated in the burn unit. The 19-year-old victim, later identified as Benjamin Litman, was found dead inside the house. The mother was away at the time.

Firefighters are unsure if the smoke alarms in the house went off because apparently the victims did not try to get away from the fire. They were found in their beds.

ATF investigators are on the scene, although the fire chief says it does not appear to be a suspicious fire. They know it started in one of the bedrooms, but don't know what caused it.

Bay City News contributed to this report


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