Teen saves house, asks homeowner to pay it forward - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Teen saves house, asks homeowner to pay it forward

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  • SAN DIEGO FIRE COVERAGE

    SAN DIEGO FIRE COVERAGE

    Tuesday, May 20 2014 7:19 PM EDT2014-05-20 23:19:45 GMT
    Investigations were under way Tuesday into a rash of major fires that destroyed dozens of homes and businesses last week as they raged over tens of thousands of acres throughout the San Diego area. 
    Investigations were under way Tuesday into a rash of major fires that destroyed dozens of homes and businesses last week as they raged over tens of thousands of acres throughout the San Diego area. 

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Amidst the devastation caused by the wildfires, some inspiring stories are rising from the ashes -- including one about a teenage boy who saved a stranger's home. 

The young hero left a note asking the person to pay it forward.

"I can't just be here to take photographs - I have to help these people," Chris Simmons said.

Chris Simmons had stopped in San Marcos to do what a lot of folks were doing on Wednesday - taking photos of the Cocos Fire.

The flames sent plenty people running away from their homes -

"I just heard the community members that live up there say, my dog is in there, my personal belongings and everything,” Simmons said.

And that's when the 17-year-old's decorated Boy Scouts experience kicked in.

“I can’t just stand around and watch them suffer,” Simmons said.

This is what he and a group of guys saw when they walked past a police barricade - flames surrounding a neighborhood with injured residents still trying to get out.

"Some guy had a hurt leg and I helped him - walked him down the street,” he said.

Then, Simmons saw a fence on fire and more flames coming from a hillside.

He cut his forearm breaking glass to get to fire extinguishers attached to the house. The fence was still on fire and firefighters knew they needed all the help they could get.

By now the flames were out on the fence and Simmons was feeling out of breath. He went inside the home for a drink but realized he was making a mess.

"I was stepping on their white carpet to get to the kitchen - and I realized, these people are gonna think someone tried to burglarize their house,” Simmons said.

“We went inside and that’s when we saw the note stuck on a frame on my wall from Chris,” homeowner, Todd Smith said.

Todd Smith came home the next day and couldn't help but the smile.

His backyard is burned but he still has a home, so he got a kick out of the bottom of the blood-stained note that says, "sorry about the carpet."

“If that was the worst damage I suffered to the interior of my house, I got off very very fortunately,” Smith said.

The note also says "return the favor to others" and Smith says it's a favor he won't soon forget.

“I think you need to recognize someone when they do something special like that, and that kid definitely did something special,” Smith said.

Simmons plans to join the Navy after he graduates Vista High School and he wants to be a doctor.

His mother says she had some mixed emotions at first when she found out what her son had done but she says was hard to punish him after he had helped someone.

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