Flames tore through a Guerneville Road home outside Santa Rosa Sunday morning, displacing a family who firefighters said were lucky to escape the blaze.
The 6:40 a.m. fire started in an unoccupied back bedroom of the single story three-bedroom house in the 2700 block of Guerneville Road.
A mother and two of her young children were asleep in the living room at the time, said Cyndi Foreman, a fire prevention officer with Central Fire.
The mother awoke to smoke that had filled the house and rushed her children, an adult male roommate and two dogs outside, Foreman said.
The children were later evaluated at the scene for smoke inhalation.
The mother's response likely prevented what could have been a fatal fire, Foreman said. It was unclear whether or not the home had a working smoke detector.
"This was a very close call. If she had not woken up on her own ... circumstances could have been very tragic," Foreman said.
A candle that was being used in the back bedroom is suspected as a possible cause of the fire, she said.
By the time firefighters arrived, flames had engulfed the back of the house, with smoke billowing out the front door. The fire spread to adjoining rooms and the attic before it was put out. Foreman estimated damage to the home at $300,000, calling it a "total loss."
The home did not have a working power supply. Asked if there was any link to marijuana cultivation, Foreman said the home was "not currently a grow operation."
Firefighters from Graton, Rincon Valley, Santa Rosa and Cal Fire responded to the scene.
(You can reach Staff Writer Brett Wilkison at 521-5295 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)