Five people were hurt, including one person who was critically injured, in a blaze that firefighters extinguished early Sunday morning at a Santa Ana home, officials said.
The fire was reported around 11:27 p.m. Saturday at a single-story home in the 4800 block of Morningside Ave., according to Cpt. Tony Bommarito with the Orange County Fire Authority.
When firefighters responded, there were extensive flames in the front of the house and two victims were standing in the street, he told KTLA.
"When we have those situations, our priority is patient treatment," he said. "So responding units treated those patients and then subsequently engines took lines in and they found three patients inside."
Another three people were then rescued from their bedrooms in the home, all in cardiac arrest, and rushed to area hospitals. Two of those patients' conditions had improved to guarded but stable by Sunday morning, Bommarito said, though a woman in her 30s remained in critical condition.
"It's one of those rare calls where we really get to make a difference, and I'm sure the firefighters are happy for what they were able to do," he added.
Two patients were transported to the UC Irvine Medical Center, and two others were taken to Orange County Global Medical Center, officials said. One patient at the scene refused transport.
A 15-year-old girl, woman in her 50s and 59-year-old man were all in stable but guarded condition, officials said.
All the victims suffered from smoke inhalation and possible burns, according to Bommarito.
A man James who lives in house was one of those who was able to escape and described the scene to KTLA.
“So I looked out my door, down the hall. As I looked down the hall, this tree on the side of the house was on fire all the way up to the window," he said. "So I went back, closed my door, pushed out my air conditioner window fan, climbed out my window.”
The home's position at a dead end created complications for firefighters, but the blaze was knocked down just before 12:30 a.m.
"When we have victims, or patients, in fires, it brings a whole new component to the fire because patients come first, fire comes second," Bommarito said. "So that's where most difficulty comes in."
The flames were isolated to the one home.
As crews continued to evaluate the scene they found one dog who had survived, but said the residence was home to as many as 10 cats and dogs who did not all appear to make it.
Investigators were at the scene Sunday morning to determine a cause. Preliminary information indicated the fire started outside the house and extended in, Bommarito said.