Fire spread from home’s side yard to garage in Santa Cruz

A fire that spread from a home’s side yard to a garage in Santa Cruz Thursday afternoon caused $200,000 in damage and left three people displaced, according to fire officials.

Crews responded to a reported structure on Modesto Avenue just north of West Cliff Drive around 3:30 p.m., fire Battalion Chief Rob Young said.

Preliminary reports indicated a pile of wood was burning next to a home, Young said.

About 20 firefighters who responded arrived to find the blaze burning at a side yard, engulfed a shed and spread to a garage attached to the home, Young said.

Three people who had been inside the home evacuated by the time crews arrived and weren’t injured, the battalion chief said.

Crews were able to control the fire about 20 minutes later and prevented flames from spreading to the home’s main living area, he said.

Firefighters were able to gather property that belonged to the three residents, who were displaced and received assistance from the American Red Cross, Young said.

The blaze caused an estimated $200,000 in damage, according to Young.

An investigation showed the fire was an accident, but the exact cause remains under investigation, he said.