Teen escapes Forestville house fire that killed family dogs

A 17-year-old awoke to smoke in her Forestville home Tuesday morning and escaped through a bedroom window before a fire destroyed the residence.

The teen, her mother and little sister lost their Vellutini Road home and two family dogs, one the family had for 12 years and a bull mastiff puppy, according to Forestville Fire Chief Max Ming.

The fire chief said there apparently weren't any smoke detectors inside and the teen was lucky she awoke.

Vellutini Road House Fire In Forestville


"She jumped out her window and called for her dogs," Ming said.

The teen, Kyah Caster, called for help at 8:43 a.m.

She initially told dispatchers she feared her mother could still be inside, but then discovered her mom and 5-year-old sister already had left.

A Forestville engine crew arrived at 8:51 a.m. The small, single-story home was engulfed in flames.

The home, off Martinelli Road, was a few miles up into the hills above the Russian River.

Russian River and Graton firefighters also responded. Multiple fire engines and water trucks crowded the narrow lane, cramming into driveways and around a fire hydrant near the home.

The fire apparently started in the kitchen. The cause was under investigation but initially it appeared to be accidental, Ming said.

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