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AFD: Essential oils spark Arcata house fire, sends woman to hospital with burns

A house fire broke out in Arcata on Monday night sending one person to the hospital and causing major damage.

According to the Arcata Fire District (AFD), just before midnight on Feb. 5, crews responded to a residential structure fire at 1630 Charles Ave. in Arcata. Initial units on-scene reported heavy fire from a front window and significant heat and smoke throughout the house. Both residents made it out of the home and found safety with neighbors.

The AFD said the fire was controlled within 10 minutes, with overhaul and investigation lasting over two hours. One resident who suffered smoke inhalation and burns to her hands and feet was transported to St. Joseph Hospital and is in stable condition, according to officials.

The AFD said an initial investigation indicated that a resident fell, knocking over an essentials oils votive candle, igniting the fire. She attempted to control the fire but was unable, and the second resident was awakened by the smoke alarm before both left the house, officials said.

The AFD responded with three engines, one battalion chief and the Volunteer Logistics Unit for 14 personnel, officials said. Other agencies on-scene were the Arcata Police Dept. and the Blue Lake Fire District. Humboldt Bay Fire and the Fieldbrook Volunteer Fire Dept. provided district coverage while Arcata units were committed to the fire, according to the AFD.

Fire officials reported that the damage to the home and contents is estimated at $92,000.

The battalion chief said Tuesday that fire crews were able to present a SAVE card to the victims of this fire. SAVE is a program of the California Fire Foundation that provides immediate short-term relief via a $100 gift card to victims of fire or other natural disasters. Additionally, The American Red Cross assisted in providing emergency lodging to the residents. The AFD would like to remind everyone that having a working smoke alarm in your home can make the difference when seconds matter.

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