Fire Breaks Out in Clairemont Home

Fire Captain says man would have died within five minutes if not for the rescue

By Lauren Steussy and Megan Tevrizian
|  Thursday, Jan 17, 2013  |  Updated 3:21 PM PDT
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A janitor working at a Clairemont school and a neighbor saved the lives of a man and his two dogs Thursday morning.

A janitor working at a Clairemont school and a neighbor saved the lives of a man and his two dogs Thursday morning.

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A janitor working at a Clairemont school and a neighbor saved the lives of a man and his two dogs Thursday morning, according to the San Diego Fire Department. 

The fire started at about 8:30 a.m. at the home in the 3600 block of Mount Alvarez Avenue. 

A building services supervisor working at Riley Elementary School saw the smoke as he was raising the flag in the front of the school.

He ran over to the home with a neighbor and walked up to a window where a resident seemed disoriented.

The janitor and neighbor lifted the man and his two dogs out of the window to safety. Then, the neighbor and the janitor went back inside to attempt to extinguish the flames with fire extinguishers. 

Firefighters arrived shortly after to find smoke billowing out of the home's roof. By 8:45 a.m., the fire was extinguished.

SDFD officials said the janitor and neighbor saved the man's life, and that if the man had stayed inside, he would have died within the next five minutes. 

The janitor went to the hospital for smoke inhalation, the resident and neighbor did not require medical attention.

The damage to the home was $150,000 and $100,000 to the contents.

The man's two pugs (right) appeared to be okay. 

Fire officials said the cause of the blaze was a space heater that ignited.

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