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Atascadero house fire likely caused by electric heater

An early-morning fire destroyed a garage at an Atascadero home on San Gregorio Road on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017.
An early-morning fire destroyed a garage at an Atascadero home on San Gregorio Road on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017.

An early-morning fire likely started by an electric heater destroyed a garage and almost spread to the main part of a home in Atascadero on Sunday, according to a news release from the city’s fire department.

About 3:30 a.m., firefighters received a 911 call from the homeowner and arrived at the single-story home on the 8600 block of San Gregorio Road to find smoke and fire coming from the front of the garage, according to a news release from the Atascadero Fire Department. The homeowner told firefighters his cat and dog were missing and possibly still inside the structure.

As firefighters set up their hose lines, the fire burned through the roof and into oak tree branches above the garage. It took 12 firefighters about 30 minutes to contain the fire, and crews stayed on scene for nearly three hours for the investigation.

The fire caused an estimated $15,000 in damage, with some water and smoke damage inside of the home, as well.

The family’s pets were found safe, with firefighters rescuing the cat that was hiding under a bed. The dog had escaped out of the garage.

Investigators believe the fire started when an electric heater came into contact with combustible materials. The owner said he used the garage as a workshop.

Atascadero, Templeton and Paso Robles fire departments, as well as Cal Fire and San Luis Ambulance, responded to the fire.

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