3-alarm fire destroys 2 homes, injures firefighter in Pleasant Hill

PLEASANT HILL, Calif. (KGO) -- A firefighter is in the hospital and two homes are destroyed after a 3-alarm fire in Pleasant Hill Sunday, according to Contra Costa Fire Department.

The fire was first reported around 5 pm on Old Rodgers Ranch Court, about one block away from the Rodgers Ranch Heritage Center historical site.

Engulfed in flames in a matter of minutes, the roofs collapsed and the homes were destroyed.

From afar Renee Matsutani looked at her house in flames, and thought about all the memories trapped inside.

"My late husband and I... I lost my husband seven years ago and he died in this house. We were here for over 30 years and now everything is gone," she said.

Matsutani hasn't seen her two cats Mickey and Gracie and added, "They are still inside the house as far as we know. We left the front door and the bedroom door and the front door open so we are hoping they got out okay."

Matsutani said she heard cracking noises coming from the side of her house minutes before the fire and ran out. Her neighbors across the street heard the same noices too.

"We heard like someone banging on our door but clearly it was the electrical going off or the gas going off," said Robert Siemons.

Contra Costa County Fire arrived to the scene and confirmed the fire started in between the homes, where the gas lines are located.

"Gas meters are on the inside alley between the two houses. They're still engulfed, they were burned off and you can't simply shut them down. They have to dig, find the valve and shut them down underground," said Contra Costa County Fire Battalion Chief, Kevin Platt.

According to Battalion Chief Platt, it was two hours into the fire when PG&E shut the gas lines.

Sue Leake's house was feet away from the second house engulfed in flames.

"Luckily the path is between our houses so I think that's what saved me," said Leake.

For at least two hours, 40 fighters were on scene fighting the blaze.

"It's not a real high heat advisory day so that's a little in our favor but the wind definitely made this fire spread faster," said Contra Costa County Fire Battalion Chief, Kevin Platt.

At least seven residents were displaced by this fire.

No major injuries were reported, one firefighter was hospitalized for a minor foot injury.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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