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Friends make harrowing escape from North Park fire sparked by E-scooter

Friends make harrowing escape from North Park fire sparked by E-scooter
Posted at 5:14 PM, May 22, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A North Park woman is recounting a harrowing escape from a fire she says was sparked by an electric scooter.

“At times, I still can't believe this happened. What a freak accident,” said Jade Rocca, 31.

Just before 10 p.m. last Thursday along Idaho Street, Rocca and a friend were watching movies in the living room of her second-floor apartment, when her friend went to unplug his charging electric scooter in the same room.

“It began to spark, and then it blew … I remember a white flash coming at me … a large explosion. It blew the ceiling off the wall. The living room was filled with fire and smoke,” said Rocca.

Rocca says the front door was blocked by fire, so she and her friend grabbed their three tiny dogs and ran into the bedroom.

“I couldn't believe it. I thought we were going to die. The smoke was unbelievable,” said Rocca.

Rocca says she kicked out her screen window and started screaming for help. Within minutes, those screams drew the attention of neighbors like Tim VanThyne.

“Help us! Help, help, help!” said VanThyne.

He grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran into the front door, as others went to the back.

A gate into the back alley was locked, so neighbors broke open the latch, then dragged a recycling bin underneath her bedroom window.

After neighbors climbed onto the bin, the dogs were dropped to them, before Rocca and her friend landed in their arms.

Rocca suffered second- and third-degree burns to her face, head, arms, and neck.

Doctors are hopeful she won't need any surgery or grafting.

“It’s very overwhelming. I’m just grateful to be alive and to have so much love and support around this experience,” said an emotional Rocca.

A Gofundme campaign has been set up for Rocca, who lost nearly all her belongings in the fire. Her renter's insurance has limited coverage.

The fire is the third local fire since March, where the suspected cause is a lithium battery from an E-scooter or E-bike.