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West Sonoma County garage fire causes $100,000 in damage

Whatever caused a west county garage to burst into flames Sunday can’t be determined due to the extensive damage, a Gold Ridge fire official said Monday.

Saturday night’s fire destroyed the small detached garage and workshop on Hessel Avenue at Paulsen Lane.

Some people who called 911 about the 8:30 p.m. fire said they’d heard explosions. Gold Ridge Battalion Chief Adam Schipper said those sounds most likely came from paint and fuel cans inside the garage that blew up from the heat.

Flames engulfed the building as firefighters arrived, Schipper said. The fire burned a small amount of grass nearby but was stopped from spreading and there was no damage to nearby structures.

The residents apparently had been using the 600-square-foot building as a workshop. Firefighters found what appeared to be woodworking tools and equipment inside.

Schipper estimated the loss at $100,000. He said the fire appeared to be accidental and any evidence that might have helped investigators figure out how it started was lost in the flames.

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