A father is being credited with rescuing his wife and four children from a fire that destroyed their San Bernardino County home on Saturday, local fire officials said.
The fire broke out at a single-family, concrete home in the 13700 block of Benton Street in the rural community of Trona shortly before 7:30 a.m., the San Bernardino County Fire Department stated in a news release.
The man’s young son woke up to the smell of smoke and immediately alerted his father, who then exited his bedroom to find the hallway was filled with smoke and had visible flames.
“Feeling his way through the home, the father began evacuating his family, at times carrying them through the blaze,” the Fire Department said.
The two adults suffered second-degree burns, and their found children sustained superficial, first-degree burns, firefighters said. The family’s two dogs safely escaped.
Firefighters arrived within minutes, according to the department, and rendered aid to the victims, who were transported to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital.
Although firefighters aggressively attacked the blaze, and gained control of it in 25 minutes, the home was destroyed.
The fire was believed to have started in a wall heater, but remains under investigation by the Fire Department and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Arson/Bomb Unit.
The incident should serve as a reminder to prepare for fire-related emergencies, the department said.
“San Bernardino County Fire reminds residents to provide two means of escape from every room and make sure everyone knows where to meet after leaving the home,” the news release stated. “Develop and practice a fire escape plan for your household. Remember, never return to a burning building for any reason. Your belongings can be replaced – you can’t.”
Searles Valley Minerals Fire Department personnel, China Lake Federal Fire Department, and Liberty Ambulance in Ridgecrest aided in the incident.
The American Red Cross was expected to assist the displaced family.