No explosion at Dorian Way fire

December 5, 2008 12:42:14 PM PST
Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of a four-alarm fire that caused extensive damage to a residence at 12 Dorian Way Wednesday night.

San Rafael police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher said initial reports about explosions and multiple fires in the Glenwood area are unfounded. Several neighbors called 911 around 7:30 p.m.

They reported hearing popping sounds and said the structure was completely engulfed in flames, Rohrbacher said.

The residents were not home when the fire started and there were no injuries to fire personnel or civilians, Rohrbacher said. The family's dog, however, did not survive the fire, she said.

Responding firefighters could see flames shooting into the sky as they approached the burning residence and called a second-alarm response at 7:37 p.m. Rohrbacher said.

A third and fourth alarm were called shortly thereafter and the fire was contained at 8:10 p.m., Rohrbacher said.

A total of 45 firefighters and 16 pieces of equipment from the San Rafael, Novato, Kentfield, Ross, Larkspur, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Mill Valley and Southern Marin fire departments responded, Rohrbacher said.

The damage from the fire has not been determined.

A fire earlier Wednesday at 812 A St. apparently claimed the life of 51-year-old Alexander Gregory Sujohn, the San Rafael Fire Department said.

Sujohn's body was found inside the residence near the front door around 7:15 p.m. The fire was reported at 4 p.m. and contained by 4:30 p.m.

Rohrbacher said Sujohn was a tattoo artist who lived alone in the house. His family owns the residence, according to fire officials.

The fire was caused by a natural gas explosion but what sparked the explosion has not been determined.

Rohrbacher said because of the extent of the damage to the residence, investigators may never know the ignition source.