Fire inspector: Knocked-over candle caused Burt Street blaze in Santa Rosa

A fire that badly damaged a Santa Rosa apartment complex in May was caused by a burning candle that was accidentally knocked over in one of the units, fire officials said Wednesday.

The cause was determined following an investigation of the May 22 fire at the Vineyard Garden Apartments on Burt Street, Santa Rosa Fire Department Fire Inspector Marita Peterson said.

As a result of the fire, which was reported about 10 p.m., one person suffered from a minor case of smoke inhalation, according to fire officials. Ten apartments were deemed uninhabitable. Firefighters rescued a dog by administering oxygen.

Fire officials said the blaze caused an estimated $600,000 in damage and is believed to have started in a corner apartment on a lower floor.

Of the 10 units deemed uninhabitable, four sustained heavy damage, officials said, while gas and electricity were knocked out to the remaining six.

A resident pulled one older woman out of a burning apartment.

You can reach Staff Writer Kathleen Coates at

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