A Santa Rosa man whose home in the Fountaingrove neighborhood burned down in last fall’s devastating Tubbs fire moved into his father’s house in Rincon Valley. On Monday, a fire badly damaged that home, according to a Santa Rosa fire official.
The blaze burned through the attic of the house, spread heavy smoke damage throughout the structure, gutted a motor home parked behind the Benjamins Road residence and destroyed another one parked nearby, said Santa Rosa Fire Battalion Chief Mark Basque. He estimated damage at $400,000.
Property records name Steven Moylan as the owner of the Rincon Valley home. Greg Moylan, his son, lived at the house with three others at the time of the fire, Basque said. Nobody was home when the fire started, fire officials said. A neighbor retrieved a dog on the property.
“The sad irony is he lost his home in the Tubbs fire. This is where he’d been staying since,” Basque said of Greg Moylan. The Tubbs fire swept into Santa Rosa from Napa County on Oct. 8, 2017, and destroyed 5,200 homes and killed 22 people.
On Monday, a caller reported smoke in the Rincon Valley area at 12:14 p.m., followed by several others who reported flames at a Benjamins Road home.
Basque and a fire engine arrived at the eastside property at 12:23 p.m. He found one of the motor homes, parked a few feet from the back of the house, engulfed in flames. Flames also were running through the attic of the house, and so Basque sought help fighting the fire. Six fire engines and a ladder truck from Santa Rosa and Rincon Valley fire rushed to the scene. Benjamins Road is near Montecito Boulevard and Middle Rincon Road.
Steel mesh nailed into the home’s ceiling as part of the construction slowed firefighters who had to cut through it to vent the fire, Basque said.
Explosions punctuated the firefight — mainly typical household items such as aerosol canisters — but the noise included a burst of ammunition kept in the house. Fire investigators were looking at electrical issues as a possible cause, but they still don’t know if the blaze started in the motor home or the house, the battalion chief said.
When contacted by phone the homeowner, Steven Moylan, declined to talk about the fire. His son, Greg, could not be reached.
The Benjamins Road fire was the second Monday in the Rincon Valley neighborhood. An early morning fire burned much of the second story of a Wallace Road home.
Several people began calling 911 about 3:15 a.m. Monday about a house on fire in east Santa Rosa with people still inside.
Santa Rosa firefighters arrived in five minutes and found flames throughout the second story of the Wallace Road home, Santa Rosa fire Battalion Chief Matt Dahl said. Wallace Road is in Rincon Valley, near Badger and Brush Creek roads.
Four adults and three children had gotten out safely but one resident in the garage was unsuccessfully trying to extinguish the blaze with a garden hose, Dahl said. Firefighters got him out, set up their attack and searched the home for anyone still inside.
The fire was held to the second floor and under control in about 20 minutes, Dahl said. There were 21 Santa Rosa and Rincon Valley firefighters at the call.