An apartment dweller at 2125 Ninth St. learned that walking out of rooms where candles are burning is anything but wise.
It was shortly after 5 a.m. last Wednesday when the resident of the lower unit in a two-story, two-unit structure discovered that the pleasant warm flicker of burning wax had been replaced by a raging inferno.
A second bad decision followed, in the attempt to extinguish the blaze before making that all-important 9-1-1 call, said Deputy Fire Chief David P. Orth.
By the time firefighters arrived, flames were roaring in the adjacent kitchen as well, and before the last ember was quenched, the blaze had done an estimated $150,000 in damage to the structure and $25,000 to contents.
Most of the damage was confined to the lower unit, Orth said.
Firefighters rushed to 1500 block of Second Street just after 11 p.m. Wednesday to discover that a 2002 Chevrolet 1500 pickup was fully engulfed in flames.
Subsequent investigation revealed that the blaze had been intentionally set, triggering a criminal investigation that is still continuing, Orth said.
A short circuit on a work bench ignited a blaze inside an auto repair shop at 1809 San Pablo Ave. sometime before 8:30 p.m. Friday.
The ensuing flames did $75,000 in property damage and about $25,000 in contents to the shop and a nearby structure, said Orth.