Firefighters responded to reports of a fire between two houses in the 2700 block of Patio Court at about 12:40 p.m., according to the Santa Rosa Fire Department.
Arriving firefighters found that flames from a plastic garbage container had spread to an exterior wall and part of a garage. A passing motorist and a neighbor tried unsuccessfully to put out the fire with garden hoses.
Flames then spread into an attic area and threatened the rest of the home, according to the fire department. Firefighters opened up the roof and controlled the fire in about 15 minutes.
No one was injured.
An investigation revealed that cigarette ashes had been dumped in the garbage container earlier in the day and had not been fully extinguished.
The blaze caused an estimated $40,000 in structural damage and $8,000 in damage to the home's contents.