March 06--A hybrid car caught fire in the garage of a Corte Madera home Tuesday night, setting off an explosion that burned part of the residence and nearly injured a woman who lives there.
The fire broke out about 6:30 p.m. at 44 Creekside Court in the Paradise Road area. Lynne McAllister said she was watching television when the smoke detector went off, and she discovered her 2004 Toyota Prius was on fire in the garage.
McAllister said she tried to extinguish the fire and then called 911, and the dispatcher told her to leave the house immediately. When she got across the street, the garage exploded.
Neighbors heard the concussion and went out into the street.
"I heard this massive explosion -- boom!"
said Barry Edghill, who lives across the street. "The flames were shooting out about 20 feet, like a blowtorch was feeding it."
McAllister was not injured. Her two cats were inside when the explosion happened, and it was unclear whether they survived.
The fire gutted the garage and caused exterior damage to the home and smoke damage to the interior, said Corte Madera fire Battalion Chief Kenny Prete.
Two other connected condos appeared to be largely spared from damage.
The fire is under investigation. Corte Madera firefighters were assisted by Central Marin police and other firefighters from San Rafael, Larkspur, Tiburon, Kentfield and Southern Marin.
Contact Gary Klien via email at email@example.com
Copyright 2013 - The Marin Independent Journal, Novato, Calif.