A fire broke out at a Chula Vista home Friday night and residents inside were alerted to the smoke by a vigilant neighbor who drove past the home at just the right moment.
“We drove by and saw and smelled the smoke,” neighbor Dale Duvall told NBC 7 San Diego. “The smoke just smelled funny, so we decided to pull over. We noticed it was coming from a house, so we went and knocked on the door and asked [the residents] to check if everything was okay.”
Duvall said that when his neighbors returned to the door, they screamed and said there was a fire burning inside their home in the 200-block of East Palomar Street.
Duvall said he then went inside the home and helped his neighbors safely evacuate.
“We got them away from the house and called 911,” he said. “Praise God nobody was hurt.”
The fire sparked just before 10:30 p.m. When officials arrived at the scene, they could see smoke and the fire's glow stemming from the home. Backup crews were called to assist and the fire was contained a short time later.
The Chula Vista Fire Department said all three residents inside the home were able to safely evacuate thanks to Duvall and his heroic efforts. No one was injured in the incident.
On Saturday, Chula Vista fire officials confirmed the fire started in the home's laundry and storage room. The cause of the blaze has not yet been determined and remains under investigation.
Officials said the blaze caused approximately $350,000 in damages.
Though fire officials praise Duvall's quick-thinking, the Chula Vista resident told NBC 7 he doesn't consider himself a hero.
“I’m just glad everybody is okay,” said Duvall. “Anybody in a situation like that needs help.”