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3-alarm fire destroys Lafayette family home

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Firefighters aggressively fought a three-alarm fire at a Lafayette home, but the house appears to be a total loss.

On Friday, Firefighters swarmed a home in Lafayette as neighbors dragged out garden hoses trying to save theirs.

By the late evening, contractors boarded up the home, but you could still see some of the damage. The house is expected to be a total loss.

Pain could be seen in every face of the Carpenter Family. They had lived in this home for two generations.

Around 6:20 p.m. neighbors started hearing popping noises. Fire investigators believe those sounds were the cars catching fire in the garage.

Neighbor Hilda Bernard said, "I looked out and everything was in flames. And I mean that's really heart stopping."

The fire marshal estimates $800,000 in damage, but it could have been worse.

Contra Costa County Fire Marshal Robert Marshall said, "If it had been windy, we might have been a bigger fire and a bigger problem on our hands."

Half an acre burned and three nearby homes were threatened.

Neighbor Frank Evangeliste grabbed his garden hose as flames crept down the hillside. He said, "If I don't put this out and some of these bigger trees start on fire, then it's going to get out of control and I won't be able to do anything with a garden hose, that's exactly what I was thinking."

As he sprayed the smoking grass, heat grabbed at him. Evangeliste said, "Even after the flames went down, you could still roast marsh mellows on the hill. These firefighters out here fighting fires with turnout gear on and what not, I got to hand it to them."

Crews chugged bottle after bottle of water and others dumped it on their heads, trying to cool off in the hundred degree heat.

"Because of the heat, our firefighters can't work as long, which is one reason we went to a third alarm so early," Marshall said.

Thankfully, no one including the family dog "Annie" was injured.

The neighborhood says they'll help the Carpenters rebuild.
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destroyed homeshomefireLafayette
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