A fire intensified by a destroyed natural gas meter displaced a family from their home in the Rincon Valley of Santa Rosa on Tuesday afternoon, fire officials said.

The fire in the two-story home at 4510 Byrne Court was reported around 4:20 p.m. Flames were burning on the right side exterior of the house and a shed behind a fence when firefighters arrived, Battalion Chief Matthew Gloeckner said.

Firefighters knocked down the fire on the exterior of the house and were able to secure the free-flowing natural gas line from the meter, Gloeckner said.

The fire extended into the attic and crews cut ventilation holes in the roof to relieve smoke and flames in the attic. A search determined no one was inside the house at the time, Gloeckner said.

Firefighters contained the fire to the attic and exterior of the home and prevented it from spreading into the living area, a garage and neighboring homes. The fire was controlled in about 20 minutes, Gloeckner said.

The interior of the house sustained minor smoke damage and the exterior right side of the home and attic sustained major damage estimated at $150,000. The cause is under investigation but it appears accidental, Gloeckner said.

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