Tragedy struck a quiet neighborhood in Santa Rosa this past weekend when flames engulfed a local residence, leading to a daring rescue operation. On Saturday, at approximately 9:36 p.m., the Santa Rosa Fire Department responded to emergency calls about a house on Aston Ave that was ablaze, with reports of individuals trapped inside. Firefighters arrived to discover a single-story house with fire actively showing from various windows, and a fierce battle with the flames ensued.
According to an announcement on the city's official Fire Department Facebook page, first responders swiftly launched a search and rescue mission, navigating through thick, black smoke, and intense heat to locate the victims. They managed to rescue one female occupant, who was found unresponsive but was later revived by paramedics for smoke inhalation. In addition to the department's efforts, two other occupants of the home had escaped thanks to quick-thinking good Samaritans – both were treated for smoke inhalation, and burns at the scene, and later transported to a local trauma center.
While two of the victims were transferred to a burn center for specialized care, firefighters continued their thorough sweep of the residence. Although no further human casualties were discovered, the fire's reach had extended to family pets – firefighters found three cats among the debris. One was saved and revived by the valiant efforts of the firefighters, unfortunately, two did not survive the ordeal. The operation saw the fire brought under control within a mere 20 minutes, but crews remained vigilant on site, extinguishing residual flames and hot spots for several hours more.
The incident's aftermath revealed extensive damage to the property, with initial estimates valuing the loss at around $300,000. While the household wrestles with the sting of their loss, officials are diligently working to determine the cause of the fire, which is under active investigation. The Department dispatched a robust response team that included 4 engines, 1 ladder truck, 2 chief officers, and 2 fire investigators to manage the emergency and secure the site in the fire's wake.