School custodian sees smoke, grabs fire extinguisher and alerts Danville family to house fire

DANVILLE – Residents of a home on Diablo Road were unaware their house was on fire Monday evening, until school custodian Joselito Tanco arrived at their doorstep, fire extinguisher in hand.

At around 7:30 pm Monday evening, Tanco, who was finishing his shift as a custodian at Vista Grande Elementary School in Danville, spotted smoke coming from a residence across the street from the school on the 600 block of Diablo Road.

Tanco said he immediately grabbed a fire extinguisher from the school and ran across the street to the front door of the residence. “I banged on the door to see if anyone was inside, there were three people inside who had no idea their house was on fire,” Tanco said.

While a UPS driver and a neighbor assisted with evacuating the home and dialing 911, Tanco deployed the school’s fire extinguisher on the fire, located in the garage. When the extinguisher was depleted, Tanco and a male resident ran to the school to grab an additional fire extinguisher.

Firefighters soon arrived on the scene and found a significant fire burning in a the detached garage. They knocked down the blaze in around 15 minutes, according to Battalion Chief Dan McNamara.

McNamara said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. The American Red Cross assisted the home’s three residents with living accommodations, since the fire rendered the house unlivable.

Police closed Diablo Road for about two hours while fire crews cleaned up the scene.

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