SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A blaze sparked by a smoldering cigarette in a Rancho Bernardo condominium Monday left a woman in critical condition and also injured her husband and killed the couple's dog and cat, a fire captain said.
The fire at the two-story structure in the 11400 block of Avenida de los Lobos erupted shortly after 7 a.m. and caused $500,000 worth of damage, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
Firefighters arrived to find heavy flames and smoke coming from a ground- level unit and were immediately approached by a man who told them his wife was trapped inside, SDFRD Capt. Joe Amador said. The husband said he had tried in vain to put out the fire before fleeing and reported that his spouse apparently had remained inside to attempt to rescue their pets.
The personnel forced entry, found the woman lying unconscious in a smoky bedroom and carried her to safety. Medics took her to UCSD Medical Center, where she was admitted in critical condition.
Her husband was taken to the same Hillcrest hospital for treatment of injuries of undisclosed severity.
Emergency crews found the dead animals inside the charred condo, Amador said.
The American Red Cross was called in to help arrange interim lodging for four residents displaced by the blaze, including two who live in a unit above the one that burned.
Investigators set the monetary losses at $350,000 to the structure and $150,000 to contents.
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