Faulty barbecue to blame for apartment fire that killed cat

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LAKESIDE, Calif. -- Firefighters quickly knocked down a two-alarm fire that broke out Wednesday evening at an apartment in Lakeside, displacing dozens of residents and leaving one cat dead.

The fast-moving fire erupted just before 6 p.m. at the Woodglenn Apartments, a two-story apartment building in the 12900 block of Mapleview Street.

Firefighters said someone was barbecuing on a second-story balcony when the flames, fueled by strong winds, got out of control and quickly spread to the home.

Fire Chief Don Butz said the faulty barbecue was to blame.

"He was barbecuing, had a malfunction on his barbecue and a large volume of fire came out of the barbecue," Butz said.

Butz said it could have been much worse if it weren't for the quick thinking of the tenant who was barbecuing.

"The owner took quick action to try and knock it down. He evacuated not only his unit but the rest of the building," Butz said.

One cat died in the fire, according to Lakeside Fire apartment.

The blaze caused a power outage at the apartment building, prompting its 32 residents to be displaced. Twenty of those residents lived in four units that were damaged in the fire.

No other injuries were reported.

When the fire broke out, a man who lives nearby was one of the first people to spot the flames. He stepped in to help.

"When I was there, right there in the moment, it was burning hot," Roberto Campos said. "I saw the owner of the house and asked if his family was alright and if he got everyone out. I immediately saw a fire extinguisher and started busting them open."

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