A cockatoo's squawk alerted a Rancho Bernardo mother to fire burning in the laundry room of the family's town home.
The goffin cockatoo was inside its cage inside a downstairs unit of a four-plex on Fairlie Road Tuesday morning when the woman inside the home heard unusual squawking coming from the laundry room.
When she went to investigate, she found the bird on fire.
"She attempted to put the fire out but was unable to do so," said Maurice Luque, spokesperson for San Diego Fire Rescue Department.
The woman's husband was out jogging and returned to find about 30 firefighters from Escondido, Poway, Rancho Sante Fe and San Diego attacking the fire.
Luque said the fire spread quickly upstairs through an enclosed area of the units and threatened a second town home.
After about an hour, fire crews had the stubborn fire knocked down.
The bird died in the fire but no other injuries were reported.
Luque said that even though natural gas was shut off by SDG&E, gas may still have been feeding the fire in some way.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.