SAN DIEGO – Three people were injured and a pet died in a fire at a home in the Oak Park neighborhood of San Diego Saturday.
Firefighters responded to the home in the 5400 block of Grape Street at about 2 p.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
Two adults and one child were taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation.
A friend of the family told FOX 5 a seven-year-old girl, Alexandria Cox, was the first to detect the fire and made sure her family got out.
Thick smoke and flames quickly grabbed neighbors’ attention.
“We couldn’t even go near where the fire was because of the fumes and everything,” Rene Dominguez said.
Neighbors then noticed a family, including a young girl, rush out of the home.
“She was screaming fire, fire,” Dominguez said.
A family friend, Kristian Giordano said that girl was Alex Cox.
“She was almost like the hero in this whole ordeal,” Giordano said.
Giordano said Alex was minding her own business when she smelled something.
“She got up and looked and she saw a fire on the ground. Most little girls at seven years old would back up and get scared,” Giordano said. “She went back and jumped the fire and then yelled for her grandma. She picked up the phone, called 911 and then her grandma came and grabbed the phone. Then she went and woke up her dad and then they got out of there screaming for Steve, and Steve barely made it out, honestly.”
A short time later, firefighters were on the scene. Crews worked to keep the fire from spreading to the home’s attic, and it was knocked down by about 2:30 p.m.
Giordano said Alex, her father and grandmother are expected to be OK.
“They’re all going to recover. They’re fine. Alex is strong, she’s already off oxygen,” Giordano said.
Giordano said Alex knew how to respond because firefighters had recently visited Alex’s school to teach fire safety.
“It’s a very close call. God bless her. For a seven-year-old to do that is quite amazing, honestly,” Giordano said.
Alex’s pet rabbit died in the blaze.
The fire caused an estimated $175,000 in damage to the house and its content.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
A GoFundMe page was set up to raise money for the family.