A fire that destroyed 70 percent of a two-story structure at the Fairwind Farm horse stables facility in Sonoma County started in an office on the second floor, a Bennett Valley Fire Protection District lieutenant said Wednesday afternoon.
The 3,000-square-foot building was heavily damaged by fire, according to press reports, but two attached granny units that sustained some smoke and water damage were saved. Lt. Matt Tognozzi said.
Sue Curry of Fairwind Farm, however, told Patch, "The fire affected only the caretaker home which had an office upstairs and a breeding lab downstairs. No barns were affected in any way and no people or horses harmed."
Roberto Soberano, one of the employees who was living in a granny unit, smelled smoke and saw one-quarter of the barn in flames. He reported the fire on the property at 2276 Crane Canyon Road between Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park around 8 p.m. Tuesday, Tognizzi said.
Firefighters arrived in six minutes and called a second alarm. The fire was controlled at 9:52 p.m., Tognozzi said. Five people evacuated from the building prior to the firefighters arrival and no injuries were reported, fire officials said.
Part of the roof and the second-story flooring collapsed in the blaze, Tognozzi said. Damage is estimated between $300,000 and $400,000, Tognozzi said.
"The cause is not completely clear," added Curry in her comments to Patch, "but assume either electrical problem or high wind situation with fireplace use. Will know more today after they finish investigating.
"The fire will in no way affect our upcoming events."
There were approximately 65 horses boarded in the stables that are not near the barn, which houses office space and labs used for blood testing, Tognozzi said.
Fairwind Farm's stables house show horses for dressage training.
Bay City News contributed substantially to this report.