November 28, 2022

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Fire breaks out in Napa home, person suffers minor burns | Local News

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Updated at 12:45 p.m. Thursday — One person suffered minor injuries resulting from a fire that erupted at a Napa house early Wednesday evening.

The blaze broke out in a one-story home in the 1300 block of B Street near Spencer Street, according to Battalion Chief Charlie Rhodes of Napa Fire. After the fire was reported around 6:06 p.m., members of the city fire and police departments arrived to find smoke coming from the rear of the house, Napa Fire spokesperson Matt Colburn said.

Flames at the home were contained within 15 minutes, but the home was left “fairly damaged,” Rhodes said.

A person sustained minor burns in the fire and was treated by firefighter paramedics, but declined an ambulance, according to Rhodes. No injuries to firefighters were reported.

Napa Fire had previously responded to the same address after a reported fire at the home, Rhodes added.

Thick vegetation on the property impeded arriving firefighters, Colburn said of the B Street house, which is mostly obscured by dense tree foliage and bushes.

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First responders shut down a block of B Street between Spencer and Jefferson streets, near the south side of the “alphabet” neighborhood west of downtown Napa, and the closure was expected to continue into Wednesday night. A Pacific Gas & Electric Co. crew was called to the scene after an electrical line fell during the fire.

The cause of the house fire remains under investigation.

Wednesday’s fire was the latest incident involving the B Street home, which the city of Napa twice red-tagged as unsafe to occupy more than a decade ago, according to previous Napa Valley Register reports.

The house sustained major damage April 1, 2008, in a fire that Napa Fire said may have started when candles were left burning in a bathroom. Firefighters had to negotiate a path into the home because the man living there was a collector and the greenery was overgrown, putting firefighters at risk of injury from falling debris, Battalion Chief John Callanan said at the time.


City brings in heavy equipment to clear overgrown yard

Calling a house on B Street a public nuisance, the city’s code
enforcement office moved in with a front loader Tuesday morning to
clear out a …

Three years later, a city code enforcement officer declared the house a public nuisance and a fire hazard, with trees in the curb strip that obstructed the sidewalk and roadway. A private contractor visited June 21, 2011 and removed enough living and dead vegetation, along with moldy newspapers, to fill a truck-size 20-cubic-yard bin, the Register reported.

During the cleanup, the home received a red tag barring its owner Vince Hangman from living there — as he had been stopped from reoccupying it after the 2008 fire. “The safety issue was paramount,” said code enforcement officer Jane Hamer of the situation, which had led neighbors to call the city and complain Hangman was staying in the house despite the red tags. (Hangman denied those claims to the Register and said he had been staying with friends in Fairfield.)

Hangman, who bought the house in 1999 as a fixer-upper, said the mass of palms, fruit trees, and lilies was meant to create privacy and hide what he called an unsightly stucco exterior. “I thought plants were better for the environment than concrete,” he said during the enforced cleanup, for which Napa billed him $2,000.

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