Rescues in San Juan Capistrano, Calif


SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (AP) — A fire tore through a second-story condominium where there were no working smoke alarms Tuesday, forcing a woman to lower her children out of a window before jumping out herself.

Nine people were injured, including six children, by the blaze that filled the four-bedroom unit in San Juan Capistrano with heavy smoke, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi.

Firefighters rescued a 20-year-old woman and her 2-year-old and 3-year-old sons in grave condition. Another woman suffered burns and severe leg injuries after she jumped from a window, he said.

Yet another woman lowered her 2-year-old and 3-year-old daughters out a window onto a mattress set up by neighbors in the alley below, Concialdi said. A 5-year-old boy then came running into the room and she helped him out before jumping herself, he said.

The fire broke out at 9:15 a.m. and caused heavy smoke. About 60 firefighters put out the blaze within an hour.

There were 17 people living in the rented condo, which had no working smoke alarms, Concialdi said.

“There were smoke alarms, but none of the smoke alarms were working,” he said.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation.

About 80 people were displaced by the blaze. Two units were damaged by the fire and another six suffered smoke and water damage, Concialdi said.

Firefighters also rescued a small dog that was hiding in a dresser drawer beneath some clothes. Firefighters found the dog, named “Osito,” on a secondary search of the unit, and paramedics gave him oxygen, Concialdi said.

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