Fire destroys $1 million home, displaced three residents

April 6, 2014 4:42:56 PM PDT
A one-alarm fire displaced three people and destroyed a $1 million home in a hilly neighborhood near Mt. Tamalpais in unincorporated Mill Valley early Sunday morning, a Marin County fire battalion chief said.

Three adult residents of the two-story house in the 500 block of Panoramic Highway were awakened by the fire and called 911 around 4:30 a.m., fire officials said.

The residents were able to safely evacuate, and both the first and second floors of the house were engulfed in flames when crews arrived on the scene, according to Marin County fire Battalion Chief Mike Giannini.

No injuries were reported.

The blaze ripped through the home and firefighters aggressively attacked the fire to keep it from spreading to three neighboring homes, the battalion chief said.

Firefighters struggled to access the fire but were able to knock it down by 5:47 a.m., Giannini said.

The battalion chief said the fire is a reminder to residents to maintain defensible space around their homes and clean out dried vegetation or brush, which can quickly accelerate a fire.

"Had this fire occurred during the summer, the threat to the surrounding hills would have been significant," Giannini said.

An estimate of the damage caused by the fire was not available, but the house is considered a total loss, the dispatcher said.

The American Red Cross was called to assist the displaced residents with their immediate needs.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


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