Fire crews were watching over two San Ramon homes Saturday night after they caught fire earlier in the day to make sure nothing flares up.
The fire started at about 4:30 p.m. between two homes on Lexington Place in San Ramon.
One home was quickly engulfed in flames, and dozens of firefighters scrambled to save the surrounding homes.
"It was going really fast so there was a lot of heat, a lot of smoke inside, and it was building quite fast," said Lon Phares, San Ramon Valley Fire District battalion chief.
"There's some trees in the background that you can see behind the house there, and earlier in the day the flames were almost as high up on the trees," said Wes Washburn, a witness. "The fire very quickly jumped from one house to the next."
One house sustained some damage to the roof and garage.
Julia Hall lived in the other home for 25 years until the fire destroyed it.
But with her dog in tow, she had a remarkably positive attitude.
"I saw I have my family and my friends and my dog immediately, and that's what counts," she said.
She acknowledges she lost some priceless items.
"Pictures, family history back from 1642 and had boxes and boxes of stuff that I was filing and had planned to give them to my son and they're gone," Hall said.
But Hall says she and her husband will rebuild.
"My neighbors, all these people have offered me everything," she said. "It's an amazing community. We really like each other."
One firefighter suffered a minor back injury, but he was the only person hurt.
Officials say the fire started between the two homes in the carport, but as yet, they haven't found the cause.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.