Fire damages converted living space in Santa Rosa appliance shop

  • Santa Rosa firefighters prepare to climb down from the roof of M and A Discount Appliance after quickly extinguishing a fire that broke out in a back room of the business in Santa Rosa, Calif., on April 12, 2014. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

A woman living in a converted office space at a business on Petaluma Hill Road left candles burning Saturday evening and returned to find the room on fire, Santa Rosa fire officials said.

The blaze caused about $22,000 in damage, according to Battalion Chief Michael Jones. He did not confirm that the burning candles caused the fire.

The fire department responded to the report of a structure fire at M & A Appliances, 1015 Petaluma Hill Road, shortly after 9 p.m. Saturday.

The first firefighters arrived in about five minutes and saw light smoke coming from the back of the building, Jones said. After getting into the building, firefighters found that a converted office was on fire.

They confined the flames to just that room, Jones said. However, the fire created billows of smoke, and firefighters headed to the roof to ventilate the building.

The woman who was staying in the converted office was able to escape before firefighters arrived, Jones said. She told firefighters that she had left candles burning in the area where the fire started when she went to visit a friend. When she returned, she saw that the building was filling with smoke. She called 911, Jones said.

Firefighters also found that the building was being temporarily powered by an extension cord from another building in the same business complex.

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