COLLEGE PLACE -- A city family is safe today thanks to the quick action of others.
At just before 9 p.m. on Monday neighbors pounded on the door of Ben and Sarita Rodriguez to let them know the roof of their house was on fire, according to officials.
The blaze, which remains under investigation today, started in the rear of the garage and a storage shed attached to the back of the single-family dwelling, said John Boos, city fire marshal.
The fire crawled into the attic above the garage and then over the house, Boos noted. "It was a bright one. You could see it from a long ways away. It looked like it could be worse than what it was."
Although the fire's final destination mitigated smoke damage, it fried the home's electrical system, forcing the family to stay elsewhere for the night. He has not yet compiled a monetary estimate of damages, nor determined the fire's origin, Boos added.
About a dozen emergency vehicles and nearly 40 firefighters, including teams from Walla Walla Fire Department and Fire District 4, battled the blaze, which was ongoing until midnight. Some responders stayed at the house throughout the night, he said.
Sheila Hagar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8322.