Photo: Humboldt Bay Fire.

Press release from Humboldt Bay Fire:

On Monday, November 21 at 08:30 pm Humboldt Bay Fire units responded to a structure fire at the intersection of 2nd and Q Streets. The first-arriving engine reported a smoke column visible from 5th and W Streets and found a detached garage significantly involved with heavy fire and smoke, threatening the single-family house on the property. Engine 8114 secured a water supply and quickly attacked the fire, achieving fire control within ten minutes. Other units searched the structure and verified there was no fire extension or damage to the nearby house. The occupant at the house who reported the fire was uninjured. There was approximately $25,000 of damage to the garage with an undetermined cause following investigation. Units ensured the residence and garage were safe and secured before turning the property over to the owner.

The following morning at approximately 07:30am units were again dispatched to a structure fire at 307 W Sonoma Street. At the time, one of the HBF units was already on a medical aid incident but was able to quickly clear and respond to the fire call.

The Battalion Chief arrived on scene first and reported fire and smoke coming from one unit of a duplex apartment building. All occupants were able to safely exit the structure. The tiller truck arrived on scene next and quickly hit the fire with their tank water, stopping any further significant growth. The remaining crews secured a water supply and searched both units for any occupants or pets. Fortunately, all made it out safely except for a pet gecko that perished in the fire conditions.

Crews controlled the fire within 20 minutes but significant damage was sustained throughout the one unit. Once the fire was completely extinguished, firefighters cleared both apartments of smoke. Both families were displaced by the incident and were provided aid for alternative accommodation by HBF and the Red Cross. After an investigation, it was determined that a candle had been left burning near combustibles which led to smoke and, eventually, an accidental fire. The damage to the home is estimated to be a total of $250,000 including damage to the structure itself and its contents.

This was a costly reminder to never leave candles unattended or near combustibles. Great care must be taken with any open flames within your household. It is also a good reminder to ensure smoke alarms are operational and all occupants know what to do when they sound.

Humboldt Bay Fire would like to thank our partners at City Ambulance, Eureka Police Department and Public Works, Arcata, Blue Lake and Samoa Fire Districts for the assistance on both of these incidents.