While a local family is picking up the pieces after an early Monday morning fire at the Rancho Larios subdivision, an American Red Cross spokesman credited a fire alarm for helping to save the residents.
Two adults and two children and a pet were displaced after the fire reported at 2:39 a.m. in the 200 block of Via Vaquero Norte off Highway 156 in the San Juan Bautista area. Firefighters were able to contain the blaze to one room, while American Red Cross spokesman Jim Burns said the family was thankful for its working fire alarms.
There were no injuries reported from the fire in the gated community.
“In this particular case, based on what the clients told the Red Cross workers, they’re thankful their smoke alarms in their homes were activated by smoke and it really helped make it so, in this particular incident, there were no injuries,” Burns said.
He said awareness on the value of smoke alarms has been a priority for the Red Cross since launching a 2014 campaign with a goal of reducing home-fire deaths and injuries. He said the organization even does home visits where crews identify areas of the home that might benefit the most from the alarms.
Burns said the Red Cross will be conducting a big push on the issue this spring yet.
“I think this incident really illustrated the importance of having working smoke alarms in your home,” Burns said.
He said the Red Cross sent a two-person team to provide financial support for the family to help with “very basic short-term needs” such as emergency lodging, clothes and food. The organization also provided four “comfort kits” that include basic hygiene supplies.
The fire’s cause remains under investigation, Hollister fire Battalion Chief Charlie Bedolla told San Benito Live earlier Monday. Crews contained the blaze to the one room, while there was some smoke damage but nothing too major, he said.