Firefighters battle barn blaze in west Santa Rosa

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Fire damaged a two-story barn on Occidental Road in west Santa Rosa Friday morning, causing an estimated $120,000 in damage, fire officials said.

The property owner reported the fire about 10 a.m. at the barn, a former horse stable with paddocks used for a variety of purposes, including storage and for keeping chickens, roosters and pigeons, fire officials said.

Flames were burning an eastern wall when the first crews arrived about 10:08 a.m.. The barn was located in a field, challenging firefighters seeking to get their engines as close as possible to the burning structure. It took about 600 yards of hose to reach the barn, said Battalion Chief Matt Gustafson.

A Cal Fire engine crew attempted to drive closer but got stuck in the muddy field. Crews extinguished the fire in about 20 minutes.

Investigators don’t yet know what caused the fire. The barn was heated with a propane tank and had electricity and a portion of the structure was used for recreation with a pool table, Gustafson said.

But the fire started in a storage area housing a variety of items including gardening supplies and Halloween costumes.

A few birds were singed in the fire, but it didn’t appear any had major injuries, Gustafson said.

You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 707-521-5220 or julie.johnson@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @jjpressdem.

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