Neighbor Saves Pets From House Fire

The fire broke out in a studio apartment on West Chase Avenue in El Cajon

An El Cajon resident sprung to action early Tuesday morning, saving a neighbor’s pets from a fire that tore through a studio apartment.

The blaze began just after midnight at a home located at 1154 West Chase Ave., Heartland Fire and Rescue said.

Neighbor Anthony Menchaca – who lives in a main house in front of the studio apartment – said he saw an orange glow coming from the studio and immediately ran over. As he got closer, he could see flame and smoke coming from the windows.

He knew there were pets trapped inside the unit, so he busted out the window and pulled four dogs and two cats from the apartment.

“My instant reaction was to make sure everyone was okay,” Menchaca told NBC 7, understandably shaken. “Luckily, I saved the dogs and no one was in there. Thank God for that.”

Menchaca said he has watched his neighbor’s dogs since they were puppies, so he knew he had to somehow rescue them. The dog’s owner was at work at the time of the fire, so it was up to Menchaca.

He was not injured in the rescue attempt, but looking back, admits his decision wasn’t the brightest thing to do amid the flames and chaos. Fortunately, he was not injured.

Firefighters were able to knock out the blaze within 15 minutes. Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire but believe it originated in the kitchen.

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