SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The distressed cries of a pet cockatoo alerted a Rancho Bernardo woman Tuesday to a fire in her condominium, helping her escape safely along with her infant son, but the bird perished in the blaze.
The blaze erupted shortly before 10 a.m. near the bird's cage in a laundry room of the residence in the 17400 block of Fairlie Road, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
Alerted by her pet's frantic squawks, the woman discovered the blaze and tried to put it out with a portable fire extinguisher, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said. When the effort failed, she ran upstairs, grabbed her 3-month-old child and fled the residence.
It took crews about an hour to fully extinguish the flames, which killed the cockatoo but caused no other injuries.
Investigators determined that the blaze had been sparked by some sort of combustible materials ignited by a furnace, Luque said. The condo was equipped with smoke alarms, but the woman said she did not hear them sound.
The fire also damaged an adjoining unit and displaced at least five residents from the two residences. Total losses were set at $500,000 to the structure and $200,000 to contents.
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