Off-duty firefighter helping defend east Santa Rosa home recalls overnight firefight

Grant Newnom, an off-duty San Jose firefighter, made his way to east Santa Rosa late Sunday and early Monday to help defend his girlfriend’s parents home on Somerville Road.

Wind and erratic fire behavior, whipping up enough dirt and debris that made it necessary to wear goggles, made for “an absolute nightmare and a fight,” Newnom said, describing the experience as “unlike anything that I’ve personally seen.”

He credited luck and the arrival of Santa Rosa Fire Department’s Engine 3 for making a stand and saving the home — the structure survived, though fire burned all around it and destroyed nearby home.

“They were absolutely fantastic,” Newnom said of the Santa Rosa firefighters.

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