VIGILANT CITIZEN HELPS SAVE NEIGHBORS’ LIVES

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December 25, 2012 (Spring Valley)--A woman working on her computer looked out her window to see smoke pouring out a window of her neighbor’s home across the street yesterday afternoon. She sought help of another neighbor and tried to alert the couple inside unit 206 at the Sweetwater Lodge Mobile Home Park, 10707 Jamacha Road, but there was no response. The neighbors opened a front door and were slammed by a huge wall of hot smoke. They called 911 and within minutes after the 12:18 pm call, firefighters from San Miguel Fire District were on scene.

When firefighters entered, extremely hot, toxic smoke had already reached the floor. Visibility was almost nil. In the bedroom they found a couple in bed, asleep or passed out. Firefighters pulled the couple to safety despite the fact they were combative, said Leonard Villareal, spokesperson for San Miguel Fire Department. “Although they refused treatment initially, the couple, in their late 40’s ultimately agreed to be transported to the hospital, both suffering from smoke inhalation.” The family’s cat was also rescued and considered in good condition, he added.

A kitchen stove fire was quickly put out with damage to some of the walls. A pan with food was left unattended over flames as the couple apparently went to bed.

“Firefighters estimate that in another five minutes, the flames would have erupted and consumed the entire mobile home. There is every indication the couple would have died from Carbon Monoxide poisoning in even less time,” Villareal concluded.

No other injuries were reported; early damage estimates are set at $8,000.


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