Two sheriff's deputies are being credited today with saving the life of an 89-year-old woman who was overcome by smoke as a fire raged in her Malibu home, causing $500,000 in damages.
Deputy Mike Treinin, a 22-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and Lt. Jim Royal, an 18-year veteran, were at a community meeting in Malibu around 9 p.m. Monday when they heard a radio call reporting a residential fire in the 20400 block of Little Rock Way near Big Rock Drive.
The deputies recognized the address as the home of an elderly woman with whom they had regular contact, according to Sgt. Stephanie Shrout of the Sheriff's Malibu/Lost Hills Station.
A dispatcher announced that a woman who called 911 to report the blaze had been cut off as she cried, "Fire, fire," Shrout reported.
The two-story home was fully engulfed when Treinin and Royal arrived. Being the first on the scene, they entered the house, made their way to the rear and found the woman lying in the threshold of the open back door, Shrout said.
She was unable to walk and was having difficulty breathing, so the deputies carried her down the driveway, where two other deputies had just arrived in a patrol car.
Treinin and Royal then went back into the burning house to look for any other occupants, but no one was inside, Shrout said.
"We believed that there was another person in the house because we were familiar with the woman and we know she has a caretaker," Lt. Royal said on Tuesday.
The woman was taken to a hospital in Santa Monica, where she was treated for smoke inhalation. The two deputies were also treated and released at the hospital after complaining of smoke inhalation, according to Shrout.
"This woman is on oxygen normally, so she was in respiratory stress to begin with," Lt. Royal added.
Between 20 and 25 firefighters from four Los Angeles County Fire Department engine companies responded and knocked down the blaze in 18 minutes, said County fire dispatcher Andre Gougis.
The fire caused $500,000 in damages, said Shrout. The cause of the blaze was under investigation but is believed to have been accidental, she said.
KTLA captured video of the fire.
--City News Service