San Diego

City to Honor 14-Year-Old Who Saved Dozens of Lives in Condo Fire

Sophia Righthouse conducted evacuations calmly and professionally. The 14-year-old attributed her knowledge to training with the Young Marines.

The city of San Diego will honor a teenage girl who saved dozens of lives from a condo consumed by flames in Rancho Penasquitos.

Councilmember Chris Cate is about to declare Jan. 23 as "Sophia M. Righthouse Day" in the city of San Diego. He will carry this out at City Hall at 10 a.m. Tuesday, according to the city.

Sophia M. Righthouse, a Park Village resident, personally assisted with the evacuation of the condominium complex that caught fire, city officials said. While only 14 years old, Righthouse managed to conduct the evacuations calmly and professionally.

She said her training with the Young Marines was helpful during the fire.

“The Young Marines have impacted how I think and how I act," Righthouse explained. "They have allowed me to believe in myself and learn about the core values of honor, courage and commitment."

Righthouse, a freshman at Westview High School, has a long-term plan to attend the Naval Academy or work in College ROTC, as part of a military career, according to the city.

City officials said that Righthouse is a Master Sergeant in the Young Marines, serving with the Miramar Unit based in MCAS Miramar. She also founded the Young Marines "Valuing Our Veterans" flagpole program. Through this program, Righthouse gathers funding to buy and install flagpoles for local military veterans.

“Sophia Righthouse is an outstanding example of a youth that embodies patriotism, volunteerism, civic responsibility, leadership and a passion to help others,” Councilmember Chris Cate said, in a statement. "Individuals like Sophia make our community better."

Moreover, Righthouse has volunteered more than 600 hours serving her community as a Cadet Seaman in the Naval JROTC unit at Westview High School. She is a Senior Girl Scout with Troop 8716, city officials said.

Righthouse has received prestigious accolades including the Girl Scouts USA Bronze and Silver Awards.

Her parents, who both work for the San Diego Police Department, Sergeant Bret Righthouse and Detective Susan Righthouse, will both be present at City Hall, along with other relatives and SDPD officers.

Contact Us