Dog that warned family of fire dies in blaze

Fire reported in 10700 block of Jamacha Boulevard

SAN DIEGO - An East County woman alerted by her newly adopted Chihuahua puppy to smoke and flames spreading through her residential trailer Thursday was able to safely escape along with her children and two other people, but the tiny dog died in the fire.

The blaze at a mobile home park in the 10700 block of Jamacha Boulevard in Spring Valley was reported about 8:45 a.m., said Leonard Villarreal, a spokesman for San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District.

A resident awakened by her barking and growling puppy shouted at her two adult children and two house guests to get out of the double-wide trailer, then tried in vain to get the canine out from under her bed, where it was hiding.

Several of the other occupants of the residence also tried to rescue the dog but soon had to flee due to choking smoke, Villarreal said.

It took firefighters about 20 minutes to extinguish the flames, which gutted the mobile home, destroyed two cars parked nearby and damaged a third vehicle.

Investigators set the monetary losses at $130,000. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

The owner of the puppy told firefighters she'd only had the animal since Tuesday, the spokesman said.

The trailer had no smoke alarms in it, according to Villarreal.