Home NEWS Police/Fire Ostracized Smoker Sparks Car Fire On Sandringham Dr. North In Moraga Tuesday

Ostracized Smoker Sparks Car Fire On Sandringham Dr. North In Moraga Tuesday

Photo: MOFD

A pre-dawn car fire on Sandringham Drive North in Moraga was apparently triggered when a 20-year-old occupant of the residence, banned from smoking cigarettes in the home, took a smoking break in his car under a carport outside the residence, fell asleep, and woke up to find the car ablaze and the fire spreading toward the home.

The blaze at 235 Sandringham was first reported at 4:08 a.m., with police and firefighters arriving to find the car fully engulfed in flames and the fire spreading through vegetation outside, according to Fire District Spokesman Dennis Rein.

Police said the unnamed smoker made it out of the burning car unscathed. Two other adults and a dog were evacuated from the home, also without injury.

Nineteen firefighters from MOFD and ConFire were eventually required to extinguish the blaze – reported under control within 30 minutes of firefighter’s arrival, at 4:33 a.m.

There was no immediate estimate of damage or cause given, though investigators said the car was totaled and the resultant blaze caused moderate to major damage to the adjacent home.

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  1. Station 41 is just down the hill from there.
    0.9 miles in total up the hill with no traffic in 25 minutes. I hope that response time is not typical, even at 4 am. Better to have 5 guys there in 10 than 19 guys in 25, I think.

  2. @david

    That response/control time sentence is a bit confusing, but I interpreted it as “the fire was under control at 433a, less than 30 minutes after their prior arrival on scene” (vs controlled in under 30 minutes after what would be an uncharacteristically late arrival at 433a)

  3. Annoying I know– but I never believe anything. In this case, it seems odd that a smoldering cigarette could ignite a fire that would spread so fast that the occupant (if not otherwise impaired) would not wake up before the fire got out of hand. Car interiors are subject to numerous regulations on flammability with a view toward not catching on fire too easily and also not burning too quickly.

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