Originally created 05/14/00

Family safe after house fire



Though his house was damaged by fire Saturday afternoon, Keith Honeycutt was just thankful that at the end of the day he still had his family and his rabbit.

Mr. Honeycutt's two-story house at 4079 Arlington Road caught fire at about 6:52 p.m. after gasoline began leaking from a car in his garage, he told firefighters.

Seconds later, the fuel apparently hit the flame from the nearby water heater, causing an explosion, said Martinez Fire Department Chief Gary Thigpen. Immediately, Mr. Honeycutt, his wife, Amy, and their 4-year-old daughter Aubrey escaped. Mr. Honeycutt suffered only minor burns to his leg and was treated at Doctors Hospital.

One family member remained inside as fire engulfed the garage and spread to the roof, though: Aubrey's pet rabbit Hoppy. Minutes later, firefighters David Wimpy and Chris Middleton made a discovery.

"We looked all over the bedroom and then there was the rabbit curled up on the floor," Mr. Middleton said.

"As long as these people right here are OK, I don't care about the house," Mr. Honeycutt said, pointing to his family and his rabbit after the rescue.

The rabbit was treated with oxygen but was OK. Chief Thigpen said firefighters were able to contain damage to the garage and attic. The car was a complete loss.