A sheriff's deputy saved a family of five in Christmas' early morning hours after following the smell of smoke to their burning garage in the La Presa neighborhood in east San Diego County.
Deputy Mike Cruz discovered the burning garage just after 4:30 a.m., and banged on the door to rouse the family of five sleeping in side.
The family got out safety, but their small dog and several pet birds could not be saved.
About 30 firefighters were able to put out the fire within 20 minutes, but the home suffered extensive smoke damage.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.