Fire destroys fire chief’s home

A Cal Fire battalion chief’s Concord home was destroyed in a fire early Wednesday¬†morning, less than 24 hours after it was damaged in a one-alarm blaze, fire officials said.

Neighbors spotted the fire burning at the home in the 2100 block of Frederick Street around 3 a.m. and called 911, fire Marshal Robert Marshall of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District said.

The family living at the home was staying with relatives after being displaced by a one-alarm fire that apparently started in a front bedroom around 8 a.m. Tuesday. Marshall said the cause of that fire remains under investigation but that investigators believe it may have been sparked by an electrical problem.

Firefighters arrived at the home for the second time in 24 hours to find heavy fire. Crews attacked the blaze from outside, getting it under control in about 90 minutes, the fire marshal said. No firefighters were injured.

Marshall said it appears some smoldering pieces remained undetected in the home’s attic area after the first fire was extinguished on Monday morning. The blaze then spread to some cellulose-based insulation that is “notoriously difficult to extinguish,” he said:

“We don’t ever like to go back to a place where we initially extinguished a fire, but when you’ve got certain circumstances, that’s sometimes unavoidable.”

Marshall said the incident hit close to home for firefighters since the house belonged to a fire battalion chief. “They spend all their time helping other people. They’re not supposed to need help themselves,” he said.