Homeowner injured when fire breaks out in garage

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LA MESA, Calif. — A pilot light ignited some fumes in a La Mesa garage, leaving a 31-year-old man with first- and second-degree burns to his arms and chest, authorities confirmed Wednesday.

fire-hoseThe fire in an attached garage of a home in the 9500 block of Gregory Street was reported at 10:37 p.m. Tuesday, Deputy Chief Gregory McAlpine of Heartland Fire & Rescue said.

Damage was estimated at $30,000, and the man suffered burns on 5-10 percent of his chest, he said.

The man told authorities he was working on a motor in his garage with some flammable chemicals that were touched off by the pilot light on a gas- fired water heater, according to McAlpine.

An off-duty firefighter who lives nearby helped put out the fire and get medical help. Regular firefighters arrived in about five minutes and put out the fire in 12 minutes, Monica Zech of the fire agency said.

The burned man was taken to UC San Diego Medical Center, McAlpine said.


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