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Two evacuated from burning home

Deputy fire chief sees smoke on his way to work and alerts tenants of the fire.

March 17, 2011|By Cindy Frazier, cindy.frazier@latimes.com

Two people were evacuated from a Laguna Beach home early March 11 after a deputy fire chief saw smoke billowing from the lower level of a multi-story home in the 500 block of Thalia Street, according to a news release.

Deputy Fire Chief Jeff LaTendresse was on his way to work when he saw smoke billowing from the structure at 7:42 a.m. He alerted the occupants, helped them get out of the home and called firefighters. Firefighters arrived shortly thereafter and quickly extinguished the fire, which was confined to the lower level storage areas, Division Chief Dan Stefano stated in the release.

"Chief LaTendresse was instrumental in saving the occupants from harm's way and the robust firefighting work that immediately followed stopped the blaze from engulfing the upper floors," Stefano said in the release. "Our firefighters did an outstanding job today."

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Stefano added that the home had smoke alarms on all levels except the lower level where the fire originated, but at least one was not working.

There were no injuries, and the estimate of damage has not been determined, Stefano said. The cause of the fire is under investigation but appears to be accidental.

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