Fire engulfs building near Santa Rosa

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Amber Temple was inside her trailer on the corner of B Street and Somers Street, just home from work Tuesday afternoon, when she heard a man outside screaming, “Fire! Fire! Help!”

When she ran outside, she looked next door and saw the backyard of her mother’s house — her childhood home — in flames. And her 5-year-old daughter Liberty was inside.

The fire erupted just before 3:30 p.m., quickly moving from a grass fire to one engulfing an empty horse trailer, truck and shed in the backyard of the home at 1062 B Street.

As of Tuesday, fire officials did not know how it started.

The blaze quickly encroached on the single-story home.

A sheriff’s deputy and fire prevention officer from Cal Fire who were in the area arrived before fire crews and helped Liberty escape, as well as another tenant.

Temple ran inside the house to grab the family’s four dogs.

She grabbed a garden hose and joined her neighbors, who, carrying buckets of water, were trying to douse the flames in the 95-degree heat.

When the call first came in, it was for a fence and grass fire.

“Then, more and more phone calls came in about out buildings,” said Windsor Battalion Chief David Cornelsson.

Crews from Rincon Valley Fire, Windsor Fire, Santa Rosa Fire and Cal Fire responded. Two firefighters were injured — one with a second-degree burn to his face. The other was treated and released for heat exhaustion at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center.

Cornelsson said because of the heat and lack of humidity, conditions were perfect for rapidly spreading flames.

Temple’s mother Barbara Megill lived in her single-story home for 35 years. It suffered major smoke and water damage.

“I think I’m just kind of in shock,” she said, staring at the smoking remains. “It’s like, what the hell do you do next? ... It’s the practical stuff that’s getting to me. Like, that’s all my clothes. My grandparent’s furniture. All of my photographs.”

She didn’t have fire insurance. “I barely have an income,” Megill, 51, said. “I just got back to work.”

“Devastated,” Temple said, before heading to shut off the garden hose, worried about racking up a large water bill.

Cornelsson estimated the fire caused about $100,000 damage.

You can reach Staff Writer Christi Warren at 521-5205 or On Twitter @SeaWarren.

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