Man narrowly escapes house fire

December 21, 2008 12:19:17 PM PST
A man narrowly escaped a fire early Saturday morning after boxes and paper placed too close to a floor furnace ignited in his home, according to the Petaluma Fire Department.

Firefighters responded to the fire at the house, located at 136 Upham St., just before 4 a.m. When they arrived, fire and smoke were coming out of the first floor windows of the two-story home.

Crews extinguished the accidental fire by about 4:30 a.m. The home has extensive smoke and fire damage, according to the fire department. The American Red Cross is assisting the home's occupant, Howard Sambol, with shelter arrangements.

There were no injuries. "At this fire, smoke detectors certainly prevented injury or even death of the home's occupant," the fire department wrote in a prepared statement.