PETALUMA (CBS SF/BCN) – Fire officials said that an abandoned home that has been used as shelter by Petaluma's homeless residents burned to the ground early Monday morning.
The fire was reported just before 5 a.m. and when crews arrived, they found the structure already engulfed in flames with part of the house collapsed, according to the Petaluma Fire Department.
The house sits on a large vacant lot at the end of Cedar Grove Parkway and is normally accessed by crossing the nearby SMART Train tracks but routine maintenance activity prevented fire trucks from getting onto the property, fire officials said.
Crews fought the blaze by running fire hoses through the yard of a home on Rocca Drive.
"There was an active fire fight but it was well involved when we got there so it was a defensive fire fight," said Fire Chief Chad Costa.
The train tracks were closed for about 30 minutes as a result of the fire.
The cause is still under investigation and fire officials estimate the damage to the completely destroyed home is about $100,000.
"There are no utilities to the building," Costa said. "We know that it has had homeless people in it before. We have had a prior history of fires in that building."
"Whether it's a warming fire that got out of control, whether it's intentional, we don't know right now," he said.
No injuries were reported.
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