Contra Costa Fire Battles 2 Pittsburg Blazes; 2 Injured, Dog Perished

Smoke alarm and sprinklers averted tragedy. Red Cross is assisting with housing for victims.

Two people were injured and a dog perished in two separate residential fires in Pittsburg on Tuesday, fire officials said today.

The first fire was reported at the Columbia Park Manor senior apartments at 1780 Chester Drive just before 8 a.m., Contra Costa County Fire Protection District officials said.

Crews arrived on the scene to find heavy smoke and an automatic sprinkler system activated by a fire inside a ground-floor apartment.

Firefighters evacuated the home's sole occupant, an elderly man who was treated at the scene and taken to a hospital with minor injuries, fire officials said.

A number of residents in the multi-family apartment building were evacuated. The apartment's sprinklers quickly doused the flames and crews ensured the fire was fully extinguished and ventilated smoke from the apartment.

Residents in neighboring apartments were allowed to go back inside a short time later. Fire officials said the blaze appears to have started in the home's living room and burned a chair and other nearby contents.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

According to a statement from the fire district, the functioning fire alarm and sprinklers "operated as designed and averted what would have been a certain tragedy" in the building, where more than 200 people live.

Fire crews responded to a fire at another Pittsburg home Tuesday around 11 p.m., according to the fire district. Fire officials said crews arrived and saw smoke coming from the roof and front door of a single-story house at 16 Cedarbrook Place.

The family of five living in the home had evacuated safely by the time crews arrived on the scene.

One of the residents was transported to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries suffered while trying to fight the fire, according to fire officials.

Firefighters also found a dog inside the home and attempted to revive it, but were unsuccessful.

Crews attacked the blaze and were able to keep the fire to the room where it started. The fire caused significant damage to the home and the five residents were displaced.

American Red Cross personnel were summoned to provide housing assistance.

Investigators continue to probe what caused the fire.

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