Popping noises, not the installed smoke alarms, alerted a Paradise Hills homeowner when fire broke out inside her home.
Jose Fletes said a loud noise awakened his wife Tuesday morning.
He credits his wife for nudging him from going back to sleep, lulled by the smoke.
“If it wasn’t for her, I’d probably be dead right now because she woke me up,” Fletes said.
Their home was filled with thick, black smoke and there were flames in their kitchen so they went to a neighbor’s home to call for help.
San Diego Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Steve Salez said the homeowner told firefighters he had a fire in the fireplace but they have not determined the cause of the fire.
The couple has lived in the home on Calle Trepadora for 27 years.
“A lot of stuff in the living room that I had is destroyed,” Fletes said. “A lot of memories.”
Fletes said he thanks God he survived the fire.
He said the home does have a smoke alarm but he didn’t check the battery on the alarm recently.
Salez said homeowners should check the batteries on their smoke detectors when the time changes in the fall.
“It’s a good reminder for everyone to look things over and just be fire safe,” Salez said.
Fletes agreed. “Make sure that they check their batteries,” he said. “It could save your life.”