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Fire destroys Petaluma mobile home

Items stored near a water heater may have sparked a fire Wednesday morning that destroyed a Petaluma mobile home, fire officials said.

A smoke detector woke the elderly resident, who found the back of his home ablaze. He was able to get out safely, said Battalion Chief Russ Rasmussen.

Multiple people began calling 9-1-1 at 5:10 a.m. to alert firefighters, who were sent to Oakwood Drive in the Sandalwood Estates Mobile Home Park off of McDowell Boulevard.

A Petaluma engine arrived first, at 5:16 a.m., from the nearby North McDowell Boulevard station.

Firefighters found the home engulfed in flames, said Rasmussen.

All of Petaluma's 15 on-duty firefighters responded, as did three on an engine from Rancho Adobe and four on a CalFire engine.

Firefighters kept the flames from spreading to nearby homes, other than minor damage to weather stripping at one neighbor's home, said the battalion chief.

A few belongings were recovered from the gutted mobile home, but the fire burned most of the man's possessions.

Investigators determined the fire was accidental. The cause remained undetermined Wednesday afternoon but indicators pointed to an excess of items stored near the water heater, officials said.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com.

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