Woman, 2 cats escape Petaluma house fire

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A house fire at a downtown Petaluma home displaced a woman and her pets over the weekend after ash from a discarded cigarette caught fire with leaves in the gutter of the home, fire officials said.

Firefighters found smoke and flames coming from the roof of the house, located at the 300 block of Pleasant Street, when they responded to the fire at 8:15 p.m. Saturday night, the Petaluma Fire Department said. The woman, who called 911, and her two cats were able to escape without injuries and were waiting outside the home when firefighters arrived.

The woman told authorities she had been smoking on the home’s second-story balcony prior to the fire, and had put out her cigarette against a gutter. It appeared ash from the cigarette caught fire with leaves in the gutter, and winds caused the flames to quickly spread onto the roof and then into the home’s attic, the fire department said.

Several engines and a ladder truck were dispatched to the scene, and firefighters attacked the fire from both the inside and outside of the house. One firefighters was sent to the hospital with heat-related injuries but was expected to make a full recovery, the department said.

The resident and her two pets were displaced from the home and were staying with family.

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