.

Firefighters Extinguish Full Alarm Residential Fire in El Cerrito Hills

El Cerrito and Richmond firefighters respond to a full alarm residential fire at Contra Costa Dr. and Terrace Dr. in El Cerrito.

El Cerrito and Richmond firefighters respond to a full alarm residential fire at Contra Costa and Terrace Dr. in El Cerrito. Photo credit via Twitter @mondomike65
El Cerrito and Richmond firefighters respond to a full alarm residential fire at Contra Costa and Terrace Dr. in El Cerrito. Photo credit via Twitter @mondomike65

UPDATE 11:45 a.m. -- Residents Paul and Stacey Preston and their dog sit on the sidewalk across of their home on Contra Costa Dr. (address technically 8311 Terrace Dr.) as they watch firefighters work on the roof to extinguish any remaining embers and hot ash.

Mrs. Preston was at home when around 8:00 a.m. she heard a loud popping sound and noticed the north side of the house near the carport on fire. She called 911 immediately.

In less than five minutes, firefighters from El Cerrito and Richmond arrived to the scene. By that time, a fireball was spotted on the north corner of the house and a full alarm fire was declared. Over two dozen firefighters worked to extinguish the flames in about 45 minutes, but smoke remained. The cause of fire is still being investigated.

The neighboring house to the north is reported to have some external damage from the oncoming heat. Those neighbors have yet to appear on the scene, but have been alerted.

Mr. Preston was working in San Francisco when his wife called him to report the fire. He rushed home on a BART train to find severe damage on over a quarter of the house. Severe smoke and water damage is likely to make the home inhabitable for awhile. "It'll give us something to do for the next two-three years," said Mr. Preston, adding he and his wife have lived there since 1995.

The El Cerrito Fire Department will be putting out a press release later this afternoon.

UPDATE 10:16 a.m. -- Battalion Chief David Gibson confirms the residential fire on  8311 Terrace Dr. is now under control, but has severe damage on at least a quarter of the home. The two residents are safe. A neighboring house on Contra Costa Dr. has some external damage. This was a full alarm fire with 27 fire fighters on the scene since about 8:15 a.m. The cause of fire is still under investigation.

Residents reporting the incident via Twitter:

Lisa Steiner @ElainaLouiseStu
Saw many fire trucks headed up Moeser Ln in El Cerrito at about 8:20 am. Plumes of smoke where already visible up the hill.

chrishanrahan @chrishanrahan
The fire trucks haven't stopped heading up to the El Cerrito hills. Here's to hoping it's a pre-caution.

Christian Wimmer @cwimmer77
El Cerrito Fire / Richmond Fire fighting a shed fire on Contra Costa Drive in El Cerrito that has spread to 2 houses.
evilincarKnit January 22, 2014 at 09:31 AM
Does the family need clothing or meals?
Sherry Lebeck January 22, 2014 at 04:33 PM
The El Cerrito and Richmond firefighters are to be commended for their fine efforts putting out that fire. Those men worked so hard, despite wearing those heavy suits and in the heat, to extinguish the flames. What a great group of fellows who essentially saved our neighborhood, because if the cinders had blown over to the eucalyptus trees behind my property, that would have sparked a raging inferno, all over the hill. I want to thank these men for their dedicated service and professionalism. Your mothers must be very proud of you!!!!
J-Rough January 23, 2014 at 02:08 PM
The fire at 8311 Terrace (the lot spans Terrace to Contra Costa) was a tragedy averted as there was no loss of life; however, as a neighbor of the Preston's, a few corrections to this article are necessary: 1) The Preston's do not live at 8311 Terrace. They live on Contra Costa Drive, referred to in this article as "The neighboring house to the north is reported to have some external damage from the oncoming heat." The Patch reporter, it seems, did not speak to the residents at 8311 Terrace where it appears the fire originated. 2) When Mrs. Preston looked out her window at the "north side of the house near the carport on fire" she was looking at her NEIGHBOR'S carport at the north end of 8311 Terrace home. 3) Factually, The Preston's actually live in the "neighboring house to the north (that) is reported to have some external damage from the oncoming heat". Moreover, their house sustained FAR more than "external damage" from this fire. It looks like a city inspector has tagged the house as uninhabitable. My understanding is that The Preston's are forced to move for an undetermined amount of time.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »