Calif. Crew Stops Grass Fire Feet From Homes

BENICIA, Calif. --

Some Benicia residents were breathing easier Sunday night after a fast-moving, three-alarm grass fire was knocked down by firefighters within a few feet of their homes.

The fire started near Benicia Community Park around 4:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon and quickly had some residents getting ready to evacuate.

"I just ran down stairs and took my kids in the court," said Benicia resident Dalia Nino. "All the moms were there, and the kids were crying, they were scared."

For a time, some of the homeowners on Hubbs Court residents said the flames looked taller than the two-story homes in the neighborhood.

"Oh, it was pretty scary," agreed area resident Justin Carro. "My family comes first. I told them to get the truck and pull it out of the garage, and put it in the cul de sac. I just wanted to make sure the fire department knew exactly where it was."

Firefighters rushed to the scene, and quickly called a third alarm. That brought in crews from surrounding communities, including Vallejo and Fairfield.

"You know, it was really slope driven. The winds weren't too bad. Our temperatures were good, they were fairly low, and our humidity was fairly high. So those were working in our favor," explained Benicia Fire Chief Steve Vucurevich. "So really the significant factor was topography. And the fuel was pretty heavy. We had quite a bit of brush on the hillside."

In all, the fire burned ten acres and came within mere feet of numerous homes.

"Anytime you're in a fire, it's a pretty scary thing," said Carro. "But they did a great job. Fire department did an awesome job."

No one was injured in the fire. As of Sunday evening, investigators don't know what caused the blaze, though they said it was not weather related.

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