Residents of a quiet Pleasant Hill neighborhood were awakened early Wednesday by the sounds of explosions and a night sky illuminated by flames as one-alarm fire destroyed a home and vehicles, authorities said.
Contra Costa Fire Battalion Chief Keith Cormier said his agency got numerous calls reporting the fire at Dove Court near Lockwood lane and Pinewood Park at about 1:24 a.m.
Arriving firefighters found the home’s garage fully engulfed in flames, two vehicles ablaze in the driveway, a live power line down near the front door and a fence ablaze that was damaging vehicles at an adjacent apartment complex.
“The family was not alerted to the fire by smoke alarms, but by the smell of smoke in the home,” Cormier said. “An occupant went out to the garage and saw there was heavy black smoke… The occupants were able to safely get out of the structure. “
Cormier said the sound of explosions the neighbors heard were caused by blowing out tires and popping batteries. A Mercedes and Land Rover parked in the driveway were completely destroyed.
The fire was brought under control in about 30 minutes, but not before the garage was destroyed and the home damaged.
Cormier said the fire started in the garage, but the damage was so extensive the actual cause may never been known.
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.