A Santa Rosa Fire Department engineer revived a cat overcome by smoke Wednesday in a fire that gutted one unit of a four-plex.
Firefighters arrived at the 3:40 p.m. fire at 880 Yulupa Ave. within three minutes of several 911 calls.
One unit was already engulfed in flames, Battalion Chief Mark Basque said.
The 10 occupants of the four-plex had already evacuated by the time firefighters arrived.
As Fire Engineer Earl Dunckel was conducting a routine search of an adjacent unit, he found a cat "not looking so good" in a room thick with smoke, Basque said.
Dunckel used a pet mask to administer oxygen to the feline, and it perked up right away, Basque said.
Eighteen firefighters controlled the fire within 15 minutes. Flames destroyed the unit of origin and caused moderate heat and smoke damage to both dwellings on either side.
The cause is under investigation. Damage was estimated at $50,000.
The displaced occupants told fire officials they would find assistance on their own.
As people are allowed back into their homes in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties, there are several safety issues to remember.
•Do not touch debris. Ash is a hazardous waste. Other hazards could include asbestos, heavy metals, byproducts of plastic combustion and other chemicals. Do not transport ash or debris to landfills or transfer stations. To be eligible for state-funded debris cleanup by CalRecycle, residents cannot move or spread debris. Any action by residents to remove debris may force CalRecycle to declare a site ineligible for the program.
•Wear protective clothing: closed-toed shoes, long pants, eye protection, a face mask and gloves.
•Do not rely on dust masks for protection. Paper masks found at hardware stores are designed to trap large particles like sawdust and will not protect your lungs from the smaller particles found in wildfire smoke. If you want to wear a mask, look for one with a particulate respirator, labeled NIOSH-approved, marked N95 or P100. Look for them on Amazon, Home Depot or other hardware retailers.
•Keep indoor air as clean as possible. Keep windows and doors closed.
•Avoid activities that increase indoor pollution like smoking, burning candles or using fireplaces. Vacuuming stirs up particles inside your house, contributing to indoor pollution.
•Do not turn PG&E service on. Either PG&E has been there and turned the gas on or homeowners must wait for them to do so. Customers without gas service should stay as close to home as possible so service can be restored when a PG&E representative arrives. If no one is at home, the representative will leave a notice with a number that customers can call to schedule a return visit. PG&E can be reached at 800-743-5000.
•If you see downed power lines near your home, treat them as if they are “live” or energized and extremely dangerous. Keep yourself and others away from them. Call 911, then notify PG&E at 800-743-5002.