Crews douse house fire in Clairemont: Custodian helps man out of house fire

Man, 2 dogs helped out of burning home

SAN DIEGO - A custodian at a nearby school sprung into action and helped save a man and his two dogs from a house fire in the Clairemont area Thursday.

The fire was reported at 8:25 a.m. at the home near Mt. Alvarez Avenue and Mt. Ackerly Drive.

Fire officials said Steven Cooper, who works at Riley Elementary School, ran to a nearby house when he saw it was on fire. Firefighters said a space heater started the fire and quickly filled the home with smoke.

Joseph Jamison was asleep inside at the time. He woke up when Cooper started banging on his window.

"He opened his window and I said, 'Your house is on fire.' So we got his dogs, got him out," said Cooper.

Jamison had enough time to grab some important paperwork and something that could save his fiancee's life.

"My fiancee's pills, because I gave her my kidney four years ago and she needs them to stay alive … so, the important stuff," said Jamison.

Cooper pulled Jamison and two pugs from the smoldering home before emergency responders arrived.

"[I] picked him up and carried him away from the house and put over here and waited for the paramedics," said Cooper.

This was the third time in two weeks someone saved the life of a stranger. A San Diego police officer caught three people as they jumped from a burning apartment last week. Also, a man ran into a burning East County home to save a woman who was sleeping inside.

Jamison said he can't thank Cooper enough.

"That guy is a complete hero as far as guys go," said Jamison.

Firefighters said the fire did about $260,000 in the home. A spokesman told 10News Cooper may be nominated for one of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department's annual Life Saving awards.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. No injuries were immediately reported.

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