Fire in apartment on Rockwell Place off of West 9th Thursday morning February 14, 2008. Scott Manchester

Fire damages Santa Rosa apartment

A west Santa Rosa couple went off to work Thursday not realizing they would soon be called back home because of a fire in their two-story apartment off West Ninth Street across from Lincoln Elementary School.

Fire damage was confined to the first floor, Santa Rosa Fire Inspector Toby Rey said, but the smoke poured upstairs until it was vented out through the roof.

Rey was still trying to determine the origin and cause of the 9:05 a.m. fire, saying there was nothing obvious to point to immediately in the charred and disheveled bottom floor.

Resident Evaristo ?Hector? Hurtado-Sierra said after viewing the damaged apartment with Rey that it appeared to him the fire might have started in a blackened wall that had buckled in the blaze.

Red Cross representatives were said to be en route to assist him and his wife, Julia Hurtado, who wept profusely over the wreckage of her home of about six months.

Their niece and next-door neighbor Anna Diaz was just grateful no one was hurt.

?It?s a good thing that nobody was in there,? she said, wiping her eyes.

Mary Callahan

Environment and Climate Change, The Press Democrat

I am in awe of the breathtaking nature here in Sonoma County and am so grateful to live in this spectacular region we call home. I am amazed, too, by the expertise in our community and by the commitment to protecting the land, its waterways, its wildlife and its residents. My goal is to improve understanding of the issues, to find hope and to help all of us navigate the future of our environment. 

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